Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla cyclist is beating the clock

Cyclist Felicity Wardlaw is on the road to success after claiming bronze at the Australian National Championships.

MONIQUE FREER February 14, 2013 4:19am

Cyclist Felicity Wardlaw is blitzing the clock in her time trial competitions

Benalla cyclist Felicity Wardlaw is creating a name for herself as a time trial specialist after winning a bronze medal at the Australian National Championships in January.

Wardlaw raced the 29km in just under 40 minutes to take home the medal on January 8.

‘‘When I crossed the line I didn’t really know where I’d placed,’’ Wardlaw said.

‘‘Placing on the podium wasn’t too much of a key focus ... we were focusing on a few other things to work on and if it meant getting a medal then that was an additional bonus.’’

The 29-year-old’s performance was particularly impressive, as the other medal winners were professional riders.

‘‘Out of all the top 10, all of them had been professional riders, or are professional riders,’’ Wardlaw said.

‘‘So I was a dark horse, and it was kind of nice to get on there and show just how strong domestic racing is in Australia.’’

While she competes in mountain biking, road racing, time trials and criterium, Wardlaw has spent the past 12 months working closely with her coach, Mark Fenner, to develop her strengths as a time trial competitor.

A former rower and triathlete, Wardlaw ended up on the bike after a knee injury prevented her from running, and she believes this was advantageous in her development as a time trial cyclist.

‘‘Coming into the sport a little bit later (time trial) is an easier option,’’ Wardlaw said.

‘‘It makes a big difference for road racing if you’ve gone through junior development where you learn about pelotons and road racing strategy.’’

Wardlaw now has her sights set on a year of racing, beginning in March at the Oceania Road Championships in Canberra. She has also been selected to race with the Bicycle Superstore National Women’s Road Racing team, which will see her compete in nine races across Australia this year.

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