Track World Cup Classics - Sydney - Round 4
18 - 20 February 2005
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Interview with Rochelle Gilmore - Australian trackie who rides the road for Italy's Team Safi
was fortunate to be present at an exclusive interview between Rochelle
Gilmore and Peter Kogoy of The Australian newspaper.
the excitement of winning the point’s race Rochelle reflected on the
three years, what emerged were the enormous personal and emotional
challenges she has faced just to keep going in the sport of cycling.
years ago her best friend and who Rochelle described as her “back
bone and the one I talked to about everything”,
Karen Staub was killed in a car accident in South Africa. Preparing for
races become tough, in Rochelle’s words “five minutes before the start of a race, what ever I
needed she was always there for me, trying to cope through races without
her was devastating”
if this wasn’t
enough to throw most people off balance Rochelle went on “also
in 2002 I broke up with my 5 year boyfriend which is very hard to deal
Then in early 2004 my mum was diagnosed with Lymphatic Cancer and Colon
mum, Dell, is now “living
in New Zealand trying to get on with her life and live normally through
all of the treatment”
Gilmore said. During last years World Championships in Melbourne, Rochelle
was on the end of serious crash during the points race, breaking her
collar bone which ended her Olympic preparation, “that was really hard
to deal with” Rochelle said. If everything that had happen
so far was not enough to deal with Rochelle went on, “when
I got back my bike in July at my first race back the Giro d’Italia I
blew my knee up” this resulted in knee surgery, Rochelle
was under the knife while her fellow cyclists were battling it out at the
weeks later I got a phone call to say that my Grandmother Wynette had
died, she brought me up from 10 years old. This left my Grandfather at
home by himself, he moved into my house and waited for me to come home at
the end of the year, so I guess this just topped of the end of 2004”.
followed to say that “since
then it has been really hard road to get back into things, the fact that I
had no form and the coaches had given up on me and even to some extent my
family had given up on me, I felt very isolated”.
Recognising the one person who she felt has stood by her Rochelle spoke
fondly of Warren McDonald the AIS coach “he could see that I was in
trouble and that no one else was prepared to give me a go, if it wasn’t
him I was on the edge of retiring because I could not cope with
everything, he put faith in me and was interested in getting me going”.
When asked if it was time for her to have a bit of luck Rochelle added “there aren’t
many people out there who are prepared to help you through a tough
time and to give you a chance, most want to be there when you are doing
well, many aren’t prepared to pick you up. I want to thank Warren
for getting me here tonight and
helping my performance”.
Speaking to WomensCycling after the above interview with The Australian, it is clear that the roller coaster continues. Gilmore is now torn between team duty for her Italian based pro team and the possibility of personal achievement representing Australia at the World Track Championships
Committed to going to Geelong and New Zealand for the World Cup and tour road events. The decision then is whether to go back to Italy to join her pro team, Team Safi and commit to them “they are paying my salary and putting a lot of faith in my, I feel like I should be with them on the other hand I would like to stay in Australia and prepare specifically for the World Championships, that’s a decision I need to make. Ride the track worlds or concentrate on the road” Gilmore said. When asked if the team would put pressure on her or support her decision she said “they may put pressure on me to go back to Italy” when asked what in her heart she would want to do, she ended the interview with “my heart wants to go to the World Championships and win the scratch race and for my career and the longer term it would be better to go to the road” a tough decision for anyone to make.
Thank you to Rochelle Gilmore and Peter Kogoy of The Australian
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