Rebecca Wiasak (3.28.884) claimed her first ever international medal when she won the individual pursuit ahead of Great Britain’s Elinor Barker (3:31.070) and Ireland’s Caroline Ryan (3:34.257).
“It’s pretty emotional for me at the moment,” Wiasak said who won the event in a personal best time. “This is the first time I’ve been able to sing to national anthem and I was close to tears on the podium.”
Wiasak was part of the women’s team pursuit bronze medal winning ride on Friday night after travelling to Mexico as an emergency rider for the team. The absence of Ashlee Ankudinoff due to illness granted Wiasak a last minute call up for both the team and individual pursuit events.
“I wasn’t supposed to ride here, and I was only told yesterday that I was racing [the individual pursuit].
“It’s been a really hard week knowing I had good form [and wasn’t supposed to be racing]. I wanted to prove that I am capable of delivering a good result for Australia and hopefully prove that I am worthy of staying in the track program for another year.”"
Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares has claimed gold in the 500 metre time trial in a world record time of 32.836 making her the first women in history to go under 33 seconds in the event.
Racing at the Mexico Track World Cup, Meares eclipsed her own world record posted at the Melbourne World Championships in 2012 (33.010) to again write herself into the history books.
“I just wanted it, I wanted it really badly,” Meares said.
“It’s really weird, it’s taken me nearly 10 years to improve just over a second in the discipline. In Athens in 2004 I was 20 years old and became the first women to ride a sub 34 [33.952] and now, ten years later at 30 years of age, I’m the first to ride a sub 33.
“I am just so proud.”"
When quizzed about the biggest challenges facing women’s cycling today, she quickly nominates three areas of concern: an under representation of women in decision making, a lack of media coverage and the retention of talent within the sport.
“We need to improve the diversity of those in decision making positions. We need boards with real representation of women, and not just one token female,” she said.
“The evidence is out there: diverse boards are more financially successful and they also enable better decisions to be made. Studies have shown that you need at least 1/3 of each gender to be represented.
“All UCI commissions should be striving to get more females into leadership positions and encouraging them to join commissions, and the UCI should mandate minimum representation targets. We introduced minimum representation targets into our bylaws in Cycling Victoria. It is possible."
Love this interview with Monique - she’s on the board of Cycling Victoria and Cycling Australia, working hard on improving cycling - and especially women’s cycling - in Australia. Plus if you’ve ever wondered why people like me really don’t like it when women cyclists are called “girls” by commentator/media, and people who aren’t in the peloton themselves, she explains that really well.
It has been a long held belief in boxing that sex before a bout will leave a fighter with weak legs. Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser on the other hand was of the opinion that it enhanced athletic performance, for her anyway.
And while having sex before a pro-bike race may or may not enhance performance, the actual sex of the rider certainly makes a difference to how the race is reported.
See what I’ve done there? I’ve tricked you into beginning an article that is about women’s cycling."
The prize at the end of 10 days of work is a scholarship and chance to race internationally.
‘‘We put them through everything. We have a thing called ‘the removal of hope’ and remove all hope they have of completing the training just to see who is resilient,’’ Barrass said.
‘‘Most of them who complete the camp will probably go to bed for a month. Physically and mentally they’ll be a wreck.’’
Cycling Australia’s selection camp is underway
Can Meares return to the level she reached in 2011 when she won the sprint, keirin and team sprint world titles in Apeldoorn? Still only 30-years-old, the chances are she can, although it’s not going to be easy. It’s nasty how long you work to build up a level of fitness, a level of strength, and how quickly it goes. I lost a lot of weight on my break, and it’s been a long hard slog to get back to a competitive level.”
"My [sprint] qualifying [in Manchester] was fantastic but the intensity is a real shock to the system. I haven’t been able to expeirence that in 16 months. It’s a good reminder and a good bench mark for me."
"I raced the Adelaide GP and also Cottbus in July but at this level you always lift it and hurt yourself a little more physically, and that is what’s really hard to get your head around. Your body is crying out for you to stop and your head telling it to keep going."
Meares will return to the UK next summer to compete in the Commonwealth Games. I’m really looking forward to Glasgow, I’ve never been to Scotland I hear the track is wonderful. The Commie Games is really important to me, sometimes back in Australia the level of importance is [reduced] a little bit or not really appreciated because it’s not the Olympics.”
"For me it’s important I get to wear my colours I get to represent my country and do what I love.""
Really nice interview and profile with Meares - and photos and videos from different points in her career