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Track World Cup Classics - Sydney - Round 4

18 - 20 February 2005

 

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Rochelle Gilmore Interview

 

Interview with Rochelle Gilmore - Australian trackie who rides the road for Italy's Team Safi

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WomensCycling was fortunate to be present at an exclusive interview between Rochelle Gilmore and Peter Kogoy of The Australian  newspaper.

After 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.

Three 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 with. Then in early 2004 my mum was diagnosed with Lymphatic Cancer and Colon cancer” her 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 Olympics. “Two 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”.

Rochelle 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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Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Rochelle Gilmore Interview