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Kathy Watt claims 31st National Title

Australian Time Trial Champion is looking forward to Melbourne 2006

Kathy Watt, who won the Olympic road race in Barcelona in 1992 and the Commonwealth Games road race in 1990 has claimed her 31st national champion's jersey and gold medal at Mt Torrens, near Adelaide today (Wednesday). 

On a tough out-and-back course, Watt was dominant, beating the nearest contender by 32 seconds. That nearest contender was none other than the current Olympic road race Champion, Sara Carrigan, who she beat by over 30 seconds. Third place went to Natalie Bates. Olivia Gollan was fourth and defending Champion, Oenone Wood was fifth, whilst talented young rider, Amanda Spratt took sixth.

The time trial was a selection race for the Commonwealth games, with the winner gaining automatic selection for the Australian team. Watt will now represent Australia in the "Melbourne 2006" games - 16 years after her debut. 


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Posn Name Surname State Team Time  Gap
1 Kathryn Watt (VIC) 40:23.82 (40.1 km/h)
2 Sara Carrigan (QLD) 40:56.37 00:32.55
3 Natalie Bates (NSW) AA Drink 41:05.11 00:41.3
4 Olivia Gollan (NSW) Nobili Rubinetterie 42:19.90 01:56.1
5 Oenone Wood (ACT) Equipe Nurnberger 42:42.71 02:18.9
6 Amanda Spratt (NSW) 43:13.83 02:50.0
7 Anna Sutton (NSW) 43:46.35 03:22.5
8 Alexis Rhodes (SA) 43:54.11 03:30.3
9 Candice Sullivan (QLD) 44:07.56 03:43.7
10 Toireasa Gallagher (NSW) 44:36.75 04:12.9
11 Judith May (ACT) 44:42.89 04:19.1
12 Sally Cowman (QLD) 45:11.18 04:47.4
13 Emma James (NSW) 45:22.21 04:58.4
14 Kate Charge (NSW) 45:25.03 05:01.2
15 Vicki Eustace (ACT) 45:30.77 05:06.9
16 Helen Kelly (VIC) 45:47.85 05:24.0
17 Bridie O'donnell (VIC) 45:49.32 05:25.5
18 Nikki Egyed (QLD) 45:51.55** 05:27.7
19 Stephanie Frawley (SA) 45:55.67 05:31.8
20 Laura Bortolozzi (NSW) 46:09.04 05:45.2
21 Rachel O'connell (NSW) 46:26.80 06:03.0
22 Liz Young (QLD) 46:44.65 06:20.8
23 Elizabeth Hayman (ACT) 46:51.56 06:27.7
24 Nicole Whitburn (VIC) 46:54.48 06:30.7
25 Carly Hibberd (QLD) 47:42.29 07:18.5
26 Monique Hanley (VIC) 48:01.02 07:37.2
27 Yoko Okuda (QLD) 48:06.56 07:42.7
28 Claire Mclean (WA) 48:21.83 07:58.0
DNS Katherine Bates (NSW)
DNS Jessie Maclean (ACT)
DNS Briana James (VIC)
DNS Jessica Mccallum (WA)

** Penalised 10 seconds for "jumping the gun"



Kathy Watt

"I'm really pleased to win today, to make the Commonwealth Games team.  I made my first one in 1990 and I was actually selected for the track and got put in at the last minute and won the road race and so I wanted to make sure I made the team today. I'm not at my peak, I can still find improvement I think." When asked whether she would just be riding the time trial, or was she looking for a road race place too, she replied : “I'm hoping to do the road as well as the time trial.” Had she spent much time reconnoitering the time trial course? “I rode it two days ago and that was it basically.  I visualised then remembered it and used that today.”  Kathy was asked whether she was surprised with how it went today “I've been training really hard and I’ve got good form. I won a race in France (towards the end of 2005) and I haven't let up since there, I kept racing and won the DeBortoli Tour and the Victorian time trial Championship. I had a good series of hard races coming in here, the same as in 1990 for the Commonwealth Games, because I've tried to copy a bit of what I did then.”

The impromptu media conference continued :

Q: This is your 31st national title how does it feel?

KW: Its really exciting, it's more exciting than my first one actually.

Q: You're 41 years old, how long can you keep going? Have you thought about Beijing?

KW: There's nothing stopping me, I'm fit and healthy and I think I'm actually getting better at time trialling because it's more a mental thing, learning what to do.  When I was younger, after about 10 or 12 km, I'd lose my focus.

Q: Is the desire there to keep going?

KW: Yes, definitely.  If you don't have the desire then you can't do it.  Cycling is a tough sport and once that goes you may as well just quit.

Q: If you compare yourself to the rider you were at your first Comm. Games, how would you say you are?

KW: Its hard to say exactly, I haven't had any fitness tests or anything, but mentally I'm stronger.  There's different areas you can look at, when I was younger I could pedal faster, but now I'm actually stronger so what you lose in one area you can gain in another.

Q: Are you cashing in on your experience?  Being mentally stronger?

KW: Definitely, because it's important what you do in every kilometre of a time trial. Whereas before, I'd lose concentration and lose time too.


Natalie Bates

“We`re more used to seeing Katie up here, it's my first time up here on a National senior podium, so it's great to be here - it's fantastic. The conditions were great today, it was quite still, but its a tough circuit, really hard.  The last two kilometres are downhill, but if you overcooked it to that point you couldn't take any advantage. Everyone is thinking towards the Commonwealth Games, it'd be great to be there on the road with my little sister [Kate Bates] on the track, we'll see when the team is selected."

Sara Carrigan

“It was a pretty tough circuit out there today, congratulations to Kathy and also to 'Nattie'.  It's always reat to be up on the podium and I'm looking forward to the Commonwealth Games

Carrigan was another rider who patiently answered media questions :

Q: Runner-up again?

SC: Yeah, third year in a row,  lovin it - not!  (Laughs). Hopefully we'll make it number one for the Comm Games.

Q: Is there a lot more speed in your legs to develop over the next few weeks?

SC: Absolutely, I'm certainly not at my peak physical condition at the moment.  I'm definitely feeling strong, I've done a lot training and I feel really good, really healthy at the moment but I definitely know I've got a lot to gain over the next two months.

Q: What about leading into Friday?  Have you got a good Queensland team behind you again?

SC: Yes we do. There's a lot of other strong teams this year as well.  The VIS have got a very strong team with Helen Kelly and Emma Rikards, Jenny Macpherson and Katie 'Mac' (Mactier), so there'll be a really strong team to content with. Then of course you've got Nat Bates, Amanda Spratt and Katie Bates in the end Swiss team.  But we've been training together up in Queensland with all the young girls who are coming through.  We may not have as much experience as the other State teams but we've definitely got some strong riders.

Q: What would you say about Cathy's performance?

SC: I'm not sure about the time gap, I know was a large one (32 seconds), it was pretty tough course and she's definitely going really well.


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