Last year was tough for Olivia Gollan. After a move to Europe's biggest women's team things started to unravel when the big results didn't eventuate, her form dropped and she just didn't feel like riding. Then losing her good friend Amy Gillett sparked the need for a change. Gollan speaks to Cyclingnews' Les Clarke about those changes, the racing year ahead plus her view for the future of women's cycling.
Starting her racing career later in life, Olivia Gollan is a rider who demands respect. Established as one of the mainstays of the women's pro peloton, the 32-year-old from Newcastle, NSW, won the national championships road race in 2003 before heading to Europe with the AIS women's squad in 2004. Consistently in the top ten for world cup races in 2004, Gollan caught the eye of the Nürnberger juggernaut and subsequently moved across to the German squad to race in 2005.
But 2005 didn't go according to plan. Take a look at Gollan's palmares for the year (compared to previous years) and it becomes quite clear something wasn't quite right. In August last year, "I made the decision I wanted to go back to Italy, and basically I just needed a change," says Gollan. "I'd had a fairly ordinary season - I hadn't been enjoying my racing as much as I had in the past - and there was the fact I lost a really good friend [Amy Gillett]. I just needed something to make me change my focus and get me out of a rut, I guess."