Sole woman from the Isle of Man...
Lauren O'Neill from the Isle of Man was conspicuous in the recent Commonwealth Youth Games because she was the sole cycling representative of her country. She made up for that with some good performances and she also had one of the biggest 'cheer squads' in the cycling events.
WomensCycling.net caught up with her for a quick chat after the Road Race. Here's what she said:
WomensCyclingNet You're here, you're on your own, you've been riding all the events (except the mountainbike), how have you found it? Have you enjoyed it?
Lauren O'Neil Its been really interesting, its been great to come to Bendigo, I've met some lovely people and the racing has been fantastic. I didn't do particularly well on the track - that was the first time I've ever done the 2km pursuit, but I thought, since I'm here I might as well give it a go. The time trial went reasonably well. I came seventh.
WCN You had a big support squad there
LON Yeah, loads of supporters have come from the Isle of Man which is really nice. Its nice to have some familiar faces around.
WCN How do you feel being the only competitor from the Isle of Man?
LON It has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. In the road race its more of a disadvantage, but you just cope with these things and get on with it.
WCN What about the RR course - how did you find it?
LON I really enjoyed the course - it had a good hill. The Aussies were very strong. They road tactically well and I don't think many people could really compete with that. They were brilliant. The rest of the teams tried to chase them down, but there was no concerted effort to get them back. Noone else really worked as a team.
WCN What about your performance in the RR?
LON I'm happy with my performance. I don't think I could have done too much to affect the race - being alone in my team. I did try to chase back to the Aussie break but one of their team-mates kept blocking me. I just hung in there and I was happy with what I did.
WCN You're really a triathlete aren't you, how does that fit in with road racing?
LON Yes, I'm a triathlete. Cycling is becoming more road race style in triathlon, so its an advantage to go out and be with cyclists. I want to be with the best so I can improve.
WCN Thanks for your time anything you'd like to add?
LON Yes, I would like to thank the Isle of Man Sports Council and my family for supporting me.
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