Felicity Wardlaw beat full-time cyclists to win the Cycling Australia Road National Championships’ elite women’s time trial last Wednesday.MONIQUE FREER January 15, 2014 4:17am
Felicity Wardlaw won the Cycling Australia Road National Championships elite women's time trial. Picture: Ballarat Courier
Benalla fire planner Felicity Wardlaw earned her place in cycling history last week after winning the Cycling Australia Road National Championships’ elite women’s time trial.
Wardlaw completed the 28
After finishing third in the event last year, the 36-year-old defeated Gillow by 32 seconds and Bridie O’Donnell by 37 seconds.
Wardlaw, who works full-time at the Department of Environment and Primary Industries’ Benalla office, said she was proud to have beaten full-time cyclists.
‘‘I was in shock that I’d beaten Gillow and (Katrin) Garfoot and not just beaten them by a second, but by a significant gap,’’ she said.
‘‘What I’ve done is just show that with a bit of sacrifice and discipline you can achieve things when you’ve got limited time.’’
Flanked by family and friends, Wardlaw was on the verge on tears when she realised she had won the title.
‘‘I had my family there and they’d flown in from Tassie the night before, I had all my teammates .
‘‘It was just exhilarating and then there were just people everywhere.
‘‘It was relief that the hard work I’d done worked, and all the sacrifices I have made went into that gold medal.’’
Wardlaw thought she was in the running for a podium finish, but said she never expected to claim gold.
‘‘I knew the training we had done and the prep we had done would be close, it would be closing the gap from 12 months ago, but you just don’t know how you feel on the day,’’ she said.
‘‘I knew I had to put in a solid return leg because I knew if (favourites Garfoot and Gillow) were going to catch me it would be on the return leg. I really pushed myself — it was phenomenal.
‘‘I crossed the line like a bullet because in a time trial every second counts.’’
Wardlaw said preparation and mental strength were the keys to her improvement in the past 12 months.
‘‘What I’ve developed a lot from winning bronze to gold is a lot of mental strength, and with a time trial it is so easy when things are hurting that much, it’s easy just to give up,’’ she said.
‘‘I knew it was going to hurt that much, and I was embracing the pain, really.
‘‘I’d ridden the course three times before, I knew it was a rough, bumpy course, very similar to the roads we race on in the north-east.’’
The surprise victory means Wardlaw will reassess her goals for this year, which may now extend to aiming for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow or the World Championships.
‘‘I think I’ll have to have a crack at (the Commonwealth Games) for sure,’’ she said.
‘‘Winning this race is good but there are a few others things I need to do to back it up .
Wardlaw chose not to race in the criterium event on Thursday, but finished 13th in the 102
She returned to work in Benalla on Monday, and said she was looking forward to sharing part of her prize with her colleagues — 24 Mars bars.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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