Australian youngster Alexandra Carle is embracing the opportunity to compete in the United States of America this year, after securing a ride with Philadelphia-based Verducci-Breakaway. Carle claimed the lead in Cycling Australia’s National Road Series after her win at the Mersey Valley Tour last month, but will head to the USA a week after the series’ next round in Canberra later this month.
“I'll be overseas until early October - so that'll keep me out of the majority of the NRS,” Carle told Cyclingnews. “I guess firstly it's going to be about gaining racing experience in big bunches with a massive depth of quality. I'm really excited about improving my bunch skills, which will have a big impact on my ability to get results further down the track.
“I'm also hoping to just put in a solid, consistent season, hopefully get some guest rides and see where it all takes me,” she added.
Prior to the Mersey Valley Tour Carle had competed in New Zealand with the Australian National Team and also took part in a training camp on the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championships course in Melbourne, Australia. After finishing 2009 off with a victory at the Oceania Time Trial Championships in New Zealand, Carle was delighted to secure her first major victory for the year in Tasmania last month.
“Absolutely, for me Mersey Valley was such a great tour, as it really allowed me to see how far I've progressed in the past year,” she said. “There was a lot of quality in the field. To be competitive with many of the girls I really respect, I was really happy.”
Despite being abroad for much of the season, the layout of the NRS calendar means Carle could be a mathematical possibility for the series title. While that would depend on a strong performance at the Canberra Tour before her departure and the Tour de Perth and Glen Innes to Inverell immediately after her return, Carle isn’t writing anything off at this early stage.
“I guess that's a definite possibility,” she said. “I think it's very important to support the domestic racing scene in Australia. So if the opportunities arise, I'd absolutely love to race a few more rounds - particularly because racing with the ACTAS/NTID team was such a great experience in Tassie.”