By John-Michael Flynn at Peregian Springs - Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Returning to the happy hunting ground which brought a breakthrough victory in the sport she so dearly cherishes, injured A.I.S. cyclist Lorian Graham today spirited in the start of competition at Australia's National Club Road Cycling Championships on the Sunshine Coast.
Still nursing a shattered kneecap from the horror crash which claimed the life of her 'cycling sister' Amy Gillett and seriously injured four other team-mates, Graham urged Australia's next generation of women's cyclists to aim up, with nine days of racing about to get underway.
It was on the Sunshine Coast in 2002 where Rockhampton born Graham was first noticed by scouts from Australia's elite national program, upon winning a gold medal in the criterium event.
"It was fantastic to receive a first gold medal for any athlete that's an amazing achievement," Graham recalled of her experience. "But its also you know, it pushes you onto the next goal, with results, that's what's kept me going."
The message couldn't come louder or stronger for the hundreds of competitors, both junior and senior, women and men, who will take to the streets of Queensland's Sunshine Coast chasing individual and Club glory in road races, time trials and criterium events.
Success here, according to Graham, will go a long way to securing a future in the sport and the advice from Australia's Open Female Road Champion is straight to the point.
"You go in there in contention to actually win the race. It's a learning race and in that way it's a learning race for the bigger races you have to experience overseas," Graham said. (An interview with Lorian Graham will follow.)
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