New national women's time trial champ Wardlaw has Games hopes

FELICITY Wardlaw is daring to think about the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after becoming the new national elite women’s time trial champion at Burrumbeet yesterday.

The Victorian 36-year-old ended the three-year reign of Shara Gillow on an exposed, windy 28km circuit suiting the strongest. 

Wardlaw clocked 38 minutes 46.64 seconds – 32 seconds faster than Gillow.

Another Victorian veteran, Bridie O’Donnell, who won the title in 2008, was third in the first elite event of the MARS Cycling Australia Road Championships.

Wardlaw was the surprise packet of the time trial last year, snaring the bronze medal.

She said she was really proud of what she had achieved – mixing cycling with the demands of a full-time job as a fire planner with Department of Environment in Benalla.

Wardlaw said she had developed her time trialling enormously since standing on the podium in Ballarat at last year’s championships, when the event was run on an out-and-back circuit between Lake Wendouree and Burrumbeet.

She said she was now mentally so much stronger.

“I’m really proud of what I have done.

“There was a lot of talent out there. That pushed me,” she said.

Wardlaw, who is originally from Tasmania and was cheered across the line by her family who made the trip from the Apple Isle for the event, said she had a real liking for the time trial.

“I love the time trial.”

Wardlaw said she had not looked beyond the championships.

“My first goal was the championships, and wait and see how I go.

“I knew first, second and third would be hard.”

Wardlaw said she had focused her training on the time trial for two months.

It would now be a matter of assessing things, she said.

“Perhaps the Com-

monwealth Games is an option. 

“It’s a once in a lifetime chance,” she said.

QUEENSLANDER Jenelle Crooks took out the under-23 women’s time trial over 28km.

Emily Roper (Queensland) was second, with Jessica Allen (WA) third.

Crooks, 19, from the Gold Coast, has been cycling seriously for two years after moving over from triathlons.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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