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Interview with Sally Cowman - Sally Wraps Up Two State Titles

This interview was first published on www.CycleSportnews.com in July - it comes to WomensCycling.net courtesy of Peter Ford.

Last weekend, Sally Cowman was crowned Queensland State Senior Womenís Time Trial Champion and Senior Womenís Road Champion at Kingsthorpe.

In the Time Trial, Sally won by a mere second from long time rivals Liz Young and Emma Mackie, and followed this up with an outstanding victory in the Road Race title, sustaining a powerful surge to draw away from Emma Mackie and Uni Cycle Club rider Nicole Magner.

To win both senior female titles was an outstanding feat in itself, but to achieve this milestone in the face of adversity and against increasing odds, made these two wins very special, not only to Sally, but also to her legion of loyal fans and supporters, who have watched over recent months as the young Victor Cycle Club rider has agonizingly managed to get beaten in some of her lead up races.

The courage and determination shown by Sally Cowman at Kingsthorpe is the sort of ďtrue gritĒ that one has come to expect from our elite womenís cyclists, and it will be these qualities which will help Sally to negotiate the next steps towards National selection.

Here's the Interview >>>>  

 CSN: How does it feel to be Queensland's Womens Road Champion and Champion Time Trialist?
SC: It feels really great! I wanted to win both, and breakaway in the road race, and its good when you can do exactly what you want to.

CSN: What was your training schedule leading up the championships?

SC: Not that great! We had that week where it rained, then the week before the States, I came down with a cold. So I didnít really get to do much but just easy riding.

CSN: What was going through your mind?

SC: Well, I knew it was just State Titles, and they donít feel like much of a race, cos Iíve done so many, but I thought if I want to achieve what I want to with my cycling (career), I have to be beating these gals in the road race by a fair way.

CSN: How positive or determined were you?

SC: I always do my best to be positive, and Iím always determined when I set my mind on something.

CSN: I believe you weren't feeling 100%??

SC: No! I got bad sinus just after the ITT, and was up most of the night because of it. It was horrible! I didnít think I could start the road race, but lucky I did!

CSN: What was your strategy going into the Time Trial?

SC: Just to focus on a few key words, and to do the best time trial I ever had.

CSN: How did you feel out on the road?

SC: Fine, I found my rhythm easily. On the way back it was a big head wind so I just tried to keep on top of the biggest gear I could push.

CSN: When and where was the Road race held?

SC: On Sunday morning at 9:15am a little past Toowoomba at Kingsthorpe.

CSN: What was the course like?

SC: It had a couple of hills in it- one was about 1.5kms, but they werenít very hard at all. The thing that really effected the race was the wind. We did four laps and the race ended up being 107kms.

CSN: Did the weather conditions suit you?

SC: I think so, I handle well in the strong winds.

CSN: How many women were lined up for the road race?

SC: I think there were about 17, maybe a few more?

CSN: Who were the main opposition?

SC: Well there were the QAS talent squad, Liz young with her Marcelets team, and Emma Mackie from Melbourne.

CSN: What sort of form did they have coming into the event?

SC: I knew they had all been training very hard for this. I knew what Liz Hepple had the QAS riders doing. Emma lives with Liz Young and said she had done a lot of TT efforts.

CSN: How confident were you after the TT?

SC: Its different to the road race, I just knew I wanted to win by a fair way

CSN: Can you lead us through the race. What were the major turning points?

SC: I got a gap from the bunch with Emma after I went on the 2nd lap up the climb, but it didnít work out. I knew it would when I went again on the third lap. Emma and I were working well together.
We then turned the corner to the 7km finishing straight that was just a block headwind. We were only coming up to the bell lap,I could see Emma was really tired, so I thought I had to go now or we would be caught. I made Emma go through for a turn and backed off a couple lengths and then hit it. I kept a good pace and that was it to the finish.

CSN: Describe the closing stages.

SC: I was holding 1min 25 on Emma when I turned for the 7kms head wind home. When I had 2.5kms to go, a different car came up and said 'You have 30secs and they are gaining fast!' I thought, what!? I havenít cracked! But I put more in! More that I didnít have! I crossed the line stuffed! Only to find out it was the guys coming in for there bell lap, Not Emma!

CSN: How did you feel when you crossed the line?

SC: Just wrecked!

CSN: What does this victory mean to you?

SC: Well itís always good to win a State Title, and to win it convincingly. It was great for the TT training! And it proves a point.

CSN: Where to from here?

SC: Well, now I will start getting some quality training in! Everything from now is leading up to the Club Nats for me.

CSN: Have your future plans or ambitions altered because of the wins?

SC: I think it just makes me feel like Iím heading in the right direction. Iím just starting to get back on track now.

CSN: How are you feeling right now? Has it done a lot or your self esteem?

SC: Iím feeling good. It was a little step, and now I will make another one at the Club Nats.

CSN: Are you one step closer to getting picked up by the AIS after a win like this?

SC: It is mainly at the Open Nationals in January that they look at the riders for that. But its good that I could win by a fair way. Iím sure some people notice.

CSN: Can you see yourself riding overseas within the next year or so?

SC: Definitely! Thatís the plan!

CSN: Was it a good weekend for women's cycling in general?

SC: Yes it was great for us women! We all finished the race just spent, and thatís how it should be.





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To view photos of Sally Cowman, click here, or click on the images below >>