Hi everyone here is my latest update for you…
Well firstly you will be pleased to know that, although I had six weeks off school last year, for competitions in NZ and overseas, I had managed to find time for the requisite study and passed my NCEA Level 1. You need 80 credits to pass. I managed 139 credits with over 100 credits at Excellence or Merit level – the equivalent to the old School Certificate A’s and B’s. I’m doing 6 subjects this year at NCEA Level 2 – English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography and Physical Education.
AUCKLAND CYCLING CHAMPS – 6-12 February
The start to setting the 500m time trial record
Auckland champs are where you qualify to represent Auckland at Nationals. This is always an event which I do not taper for and train hard throughout the competition in order to be peaking for Nationals in 2 weeks time.
My results were:
1st - Sprints
1st - 500m time trial (broke the AKLD record with a time of 37.999 seconds)
2nd - Kierin
3rd - Scratch race
So onwards and upwards to Nationals!
Nationals were a blast and I couldn’t wait to let the training pay off! There is a
morning session from 9.30am-1pm and a night session from 6.30pm-10pm. This means there is always plenty of time between sessions to catch up with cycling friends from all over the country which I love doing. In my spare time between sessions I will also make sure I have little sleep and eat healthily, so I am peaking for the night session.
First up on Tuesday morning were the sprints, a 200m time trial qualifying ride which ranks you in time order with the fastest at the top. The first two riders went straight through to the semi finals. I qualified in a time of 12.178 seconds to put me in 2nd place and straight through to the semis. In the semi finals I versed Kate Dunlevy, the rider seeded 3rd and advanced to the finals to be held later on in the evening. The finals were what I had been waiting for all season! I was to ride against Steph Mckenzie, a former Auckland team mate, who had qualified in a very quick time of 11.404 seconds which not only broke the U19 NZ record but was also the fastest time a NZ women had ever ridden. The finals are best of three races and my coach had some very specific tactics up his sleeves. The first race I ‘went blocks’ which is a cycling term for going hard right from the start of the usual 3 lap, very tactical race. This surprised Steph and she only managed to catch up to me with one lap to go but finished me off in the last 100m of the race...New tactics were introduced for the 2nd race…height and speed, but Stephs experience and skill once again were simply too good. This meant I finished up 2nd in the sprints. Given Steph finished 4th at the Junior World Champs in Italy last year it was great experience racing her.
Me vs. Steph during the sprints final
Next event up was the Kierin on Wednesday. It is a 7 lap race with 4 ½ laps behind the motorbike. The motorbike starts at 30km/h and increases its speed to 60km/h at which stage, it will pull off the track and leave the last 2 ½ laps of the race to us. This is one of my favourite races because it’s like a scratch race that starts at 60km/h!
Semi finals were held in the morning and my goal was to expend the least energy possible to save myself for the final at night. So I qualified in 2nd spot, and couldn’t wait for the night session to start.
The attacks from other riders start as soon as the motorbike pulls off – our race was no different with Auckland teammate Georgie Wilson attacking early. I left my attack to the last lap where I was sitting in 3rd place. I stayed seated and accelerated around the first corner in the last lap - hitting another rider on the inside flinging me up on the track but I kept going - heading down the back straight I was side by side with my biggest rival Steph McKenzie - still side by side in last corner I got the better of her in the final straight and won the race. You can check out the video on you tube :
500m time trial
Thursday night was the 500m time trial final. One race, two laps, all on your own, as hard as you can go. My personal best prior to nationals was 37.2 seconds and my goal was to go under 37secs. This was a pretty big ask, as it was the qualifying time to meet to be considered for the New Zealand team, to go to the Junior World Championships (now moved to Moscow). It hurt. A lot. But I was satisfied when I looked up at the clock and saw a time of 36.6 seconds which put me in 2nd place, overall a good result and a new personal best!
Me during my 500m time trial
On the last day of the competition was the team sprint. I teamed up with Auckland team mate Racquel Sheath to do a 500m time trial where each person does a lap. We worked together really well and had a great time edging each other on. Our biggest competitors were Southland, a team of Steph Mckenzie and Kate Dunlevy who had placed 1st and 3rd respectively in the prior sprinting events. In the qualifying round first up we were placed 2nd by 0.113 of a second to Southland. Later in the night was the final, we were eager for the gold but our legs didn’t quite have it in them to pull off the win so we came away with second place.
So where to from here?
Bike NZ names the New Zealand cycling team for the Junior World Cycling Championships in Russia on the 18th of March and from there I will plan out the rest of my cycling season ahead. Till the 18th I am having time off the bike to let my body recover and make sure I don’t get burnt out. In the mean time I’m getting into a little bit of hockey as I have made the Auckland U21 hockey team and our tournament is in early May so the build up is well underway.
Hope you are well – the support to get to Nationals was great.
Well I couldn’t believe it, I was just so excited, as on Friday night I was selected in the
team to go to the Junior World Champs. The champs are being held in New Zealand in August and we are away for 1 month including 10 days in Moscow for the build up…yahoo …Training just gets better and better, harder and harder. I love it! Switzerland