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Benalla cyclist wins top award

Felicity Wardlaw was last week awarded the Female Victorian Road Cyclist of the Year.

March 19, 2014 4:17am

Benalla cyclist Felicity Wardlaw received top honours at last week’s 2013 Victorian Cyclist of the Year Awards.

Wardlaw, who won the Cycling Australia Road National Championships elite women’s time trial in January, was awarded the Female Victorian Road Cyclist of the Year on Friday night.

While she was unable to attend the Cycling Australia awards night, she said the award was a very exciting addition to her cycling resume.

‘‘I was pretty surprised given the calibre of the elite women that were nominated ... it was just unfortunate I wasn’t there for the awards night,’’ she said.

The local cyclist was chosen above three other nominees — Chloe McConville, Jo Hogan and Miranda Griffiths — all of whom compete internationally.

The award is another accolade for the cyclist, who recently claimed silver at the Oceania time trials.

Wardlaw finished 26sec behind winner Shara Gillow at the 25km course at Toowoomba on February 21.

‘‘The course didn’t suit me as much as nationals, purely because of the climbing in it, but I was pretty happy with how I performed — and given that three other girls were very strong on that course, I was quite happy to put a bit of time into them there,’’ she said.

The Benalla fire planner said her focus still remained firmly on being selected for the Australian World Championships team.

‘‘I put in two good performances at nationals and Oceanias, the goal is to be selected for the Australian Worlds team to compete in Spain in September so to do that I’ll probably be in Europe to do a couple of qualifying races between now and the beginning of June,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s quite exciting thinking I could be racing in Europe, and daunting at the same time.

‘‘It’s just working out the cost of it all, because a lot of it will have to be self-funded.’’

Wardlaw said competing at the Commonwealth Games was still an attainable goal, but was much harder than selection for the Australian World Championships team.

‘‘The Commonwealth Games is still not out of reach, but it’s probably a hard one to qualify for time trial specialists because in the past they have taken over a road team and taken time trials from that,’’ she said.

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