Garfoot ready to put family first after bronze in Worlds time trial

Orica-Scott rider reacts to polemic on road race squad selection process

Katrin Garfoot won the bronze medal for a consecutive year in the women's individual time trial but she was still happy with her performance and sportingly acknowledged the quality of Dutch rivals Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen who beat her in the 21.1km time trial in Bergen.

Garfoot finished 19 seconds slower than new world champion Van Vleuten, with Van der Breggen closer at seven seconds.

"Bronze is still a medal and so it's still a pretty big achievement, considering it was a pretty good field out there," she said, proudly showing off her medal in the post-race press conference and joking about the strength of the Netherlands.

"It would have been nice to step up at least one place but I'm still happy with my ride. It is what it is and I think the strongest rider won, which is good.

"There were two Dutchies in front of me, it's always the Dutchies … But hopefully, we can break that circle one day. But it's definitely a high-quality podium and the atmosphere was amazing, so thanks Bergen for that."

Time to start a family

Garfoot has only been competing as an elite cyclist for six years after a career as a runner and her move to Australia. She will turn 36 on October 8 and revealed she is considering a year out to start a family before a possible return to racing to target the time trial at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I'm not too sure because I'm quite old, I'm 36 this year and haven't had any children yet," she explained openly.

"I'm still trying to work out how to make that fit in with maybe staying as a time triallist. I haven't thought too much about it because I was focused on the World Championships. Maybe I have to take a break for one year, to squeeze out a baby… But in the back of my head, I'd also like to ride the Tokyo Olympics."

The polemic about the road race squad

The Australian team has been hit by a debate, appeal and eventual repeal of a decision to select just five riders for Saturday's road race world title.

Shara Gillow (FDJ) was named in the Australian team in an otherwise all Orica-Scott squad of just five despite Australian qualifying seven places in the road race. Garfoot was selected for the time trial and road race, with teammates Gracie Elvin, Sarah Roy and Amanda Spratt completing the squad.

Recently appointed Australian high-performance director Simon Jones argued that a five-rider, one-strategy team was the best plan for Bergen, with Alé Cipollini sprinter Chloe Hosking missing out despite being the country's top-ranked rider.

Hosking and Rachel Neylan were added to the squad after an appeal by Hosking, sparking a debate about the country's selection procedures and strategies.

When asked by Cyclingnews about the events of recent weeks, Garfoot walked a careful line. She is part of the Orica-Scott majority in the team but agreed with having a seven-rider squad for Saturday's road race.

"I think with five riders we already had a strong team and with seven riders we have an even stronger team and better opportunities," she said.

"Even though it's a course of attrition, I reckon that a number of riders doesn't necessarily help you win. But there are other things connected to having seven riders, so I'm pretty happy that we can start with seven. I hope we can have a really strong ride and mix it with the Dutchies."

She claimed she did not follow the huge debate that followed Jones' unusual selection decision.

"I didn't follow the selection process because I was focusing myself on being a time triallist, that's what you do," Garfoot pointed out.

"What I heard is that the five riders selected were suited to the course. So I'm not sure why they decided to take five instead of seven. I'm just happy that we've got seven now."

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