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© Peter Ford (Cycle Sport News)

Interview with  Julie Barnett  - World and Australian Sprint Champion

Julie Barnett is the 2005 Australian Masters sprint champion and will be defending her 2004 World Masters sprint title in the competition held at Manchester later this year.

This interview is reproduced with kind permission from the Cycle Sport News website - "the hub of Australian Cycling". Peter Ford, CSN editor interviewed Julie. Here's his article >>

For Julie Barnett, recently crowned 2005 National Masters Champion, life is more than just Gold medals and world glory.

On the weekend of the 2nd April, she joined Athens Paralympic gold medalist, Chris Scott, at a cycling “Come and Try” Day at the Chandler Velodrome which attracted about 40 participants.

The aim of the day was to encourage able-bodied and disabled riders to share the joy of riding together, and from all accounts the day was a great success.

“One young boy..he was one of a twin and totally blind…he just had a ball!!” Julie recalled.

The “ Athletes With Disabilities” initiative helped to demonstrate Cycling Queensland’s commitment to developing services to enhance recreational, competition and fitness opportunities for people with a physical disability or with vision impairment.

Top Queensland coach, Tony Melcer, was also on hand to give the disabled riders a few tips.

During the week Peter Ford caught up with Julie Barnett and had a chat about her recent successes in Melbourne and her aspirations for the remainder of 2005.

 

Here's the Interview >>>> 

PF: You had a great assault on the Nationals. Does it get any better?

JB: 2 Australian records for my age group. Gold in the 500m time trial, Gold in scratch race, Fastest 200m Sprint Time. Silver medal in the Sprint.

PF: How confident were you going into the Nationals?

JB: Confident yes, but very wary. You never know. I still get very nervous before events. Sometimes it is harder to stay at the top than when you’re climbing your way there. I was beaten last year in the sprints, so I needed to think about getting things right. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned.

PF: Had you studied the form of the other riders?

JB: Yes I always sneak a look at who I may be racing against. In Australia we race in 10 year age Groups, then when we get to the worlds, we race 5 year age groups.

PF: What was your impression when you saw the track?

JB: The track was new, and as amenities were half finished, but it was good to be the first official event.

PF: What was it like to ride on?

JB: It will be a good track to race on once it settles in. It was very dusty from being new. So it can only get better.

PF: Is it steep, and did you get up to the top much?

JB: It is world class 42 degrees steep. And, oh yes, always go to the top and fly off the banking.

PF: What was the quality of riders like that you were up against?

JB: Up to world standard.

PF: How much support did you have in the crowd?

JB: It was a small crowd but vocal

PF: You were the first person to collect gold at this track. How important does that feel?

JB: Always good to be one of the first.

PF: What sort of tactics were you employing in the first race?

JB: The first race was the time trial. As for tactics, I go as fast as I can. It is always good to have the first race over with, as the nerves seem to go after that. The time trial is my favorite event against the clock and it is all up to oneself.

PF: Did you expect to go well in the other events?

JB: Yes. I put a lot of pressure on myself for the sprint as I am currently the record holder for 2004. However, due to poor tactics, I was beaten in the sprint. It took two photo finishes to separate us by 3mm both races. So maybe next year, with better focus. This year, we were given riding shirts for the Champion rider of each category and I was lucky enough to win the best over all rider.

PF: Is it hard to become focused after winning gold in one event and then going into another?

JB: Winning your first gold medal seems to take the pressure off, however, as long as I race well it shouldn’t matter about the medals.

PF: Talk us through the 500m event.

JB: At the titles they rushed us through that quickly I was still sitting up visualizing with 5 seconds to go!!! So regardless of all the preparation you may do, there are always little things that don’t go to plan.
 
  PF: I bet the third gold would have been a real bonus?

JB: It would of been great to come home with 3 Gold medals However losing the sprint match the way I did and coming home with a silver will give me new direction in my training it is good to be beaten and learn from my mistakes.

PF: Talk us through the 5k scratch event.

JB: The scratch race is always a great event to win. It was my 50th medal in my cycling career. The scratch races are always the last events and it is a good feeling when you have had a good race meet to top it off. I now hold Australian records in the sprint and the time trial for two age groups.

PF: What sort of preparation had you had going into the nationals?

JB: This year I trained through to the Aussies from Manchester so now I will have some family time then give it one more fierce go.

PF: Is Manchester still on the cards?

JB: I am on target for a good time in Manchester. I am faster now this time then last year, so I must keep focused and all will go well. Going to Manchester is my major goal. However being realistic it will strongly depend on sponsorship. At the moment I am selling chocolates.

PF: How do you think you'll go there in view of your performances in Melbourne?

JB: My times are better this time than last year I will make a few changes In my training regime

PF: Are you aware of who you might be up against at this stage?

JB: No I don’t know who I will meet at the worlds this year but as it gets closer I will sneak a look you bet.

PF: Will you be doing anything different training-wise between now and then?

JB: Training will be very different than last year in the next 20 weeks.

PF: What was it like going back to being a mum after all the highs of being World champion and the best in Australia?

JB: Coming home to reality is the way it is. My family sacrifice a lot of their time for me, so when I am home I try to focus on them. I miss them very much when I am away. Troy can’t come away with me, as we have no family to leave Jake and Zoe with.

PF: Who have been some of the important players who helped you get to National Gold?

JB: I have a network of people that help me obtain my goals, and I would like to thank them all- Col Stewart my coach, Merilyn, who rides the motor bike for me all year (and some mornings it very cold at Nerang, believe me!), my training partners who keep me honest, Archie Davis, Ronnie Grant and Ron Truman, and Sean Jeffries at ANOTOMIC, who built my new track frame which was tested for its first major competition in Melbourne. And special thanks to TROY, JAKE and ZOE!

PF: Any closing comments?

JB: My closing comments are that I desperately want to defend my World Title in Manchester and go on to win the 500m Time Trial. So if anyone out there has any ideas on fundraising to allow me to fullfil my dream, please let me know. 

You can email me on >> troyjulie@winshop.com.au

 

 

 

The World Masters Track Championships take placei n Manchester, UK from Sept 12th - 17th 2005.

 

 

 

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Julie at home with proud daughter, Zoe

© Peter Ford (Cycle Sport News)

Julie sets her sights on Manchester
 
© Peter Ford (Cycle Sport News)
 
A pensive Julie, taken at Chandler
 
© Peter Ford (Cycle Sport News)