Australian Michelle King is aiming high for the 13th UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships, which start tomorrow in Sydney. They will be held from October 16 to 21 at the Dunc Gray Velodrome.
King, who won the silver medal in the time trial last year, is hoping to do one better. But even with last year's winner, American Elizabeth Reap, not in attendance, she will have a challenge. For her, only the world record counts. "I am out for that world record. If I win gold, but don't get the world record, yes, I will be disappointed," she stated. "It's about a test of how fast I can go, not about who I can beat at these championships," she added. "I want that record."
King, like many masters, feels the added stress of doing the rigorous workouts -- two 5 hour DISC velodrome sessions, a Carnegie velodrome session, 3 gym workouts and a Pilates session per week during the last six months -- while raising a family. King has two children younger than 18 and therefore may take a step back after the Worlds. "Look, at this stage, I am not sure, but its hard with two young kids at 14 and 17, as they are at an age that they need their mother around more and with all the training and cycling in my life of late, it's just hard for me to be there," she recognized the difficulty of combining cycling and family life. "I guess we will wait and see whether I have that world record in my pocket," she added, making clear what her main goal is.
The reason King is so confident stems from the fact that she came so agonizingly close to the World Record in the time trial, setting a time of 37"272, just 0"275 seconds outside the world record. That sparked the intensive training sessions, which would bring most of her cycling peers half her age to their knees.
Another reason for confidence are VIS coach Hilton Clarke and husband Darren. "I am a very different cyclist to Darren, in that I find it hard to be openly confident, and he has helped me to become more positive," she said. "I know that I have put in the work here at DISC, which is easily the fastest track I have ridden on, and to have someone such as Hilton Clarke behind you is great" she said.
After last year's disappointment with silver Michelle bounced back at the 2007 Victorian Championships with three golds and an Australian record in the time trial. And just for good measure, she did that all again at the Australian Masters Championships, held in Melbourne, where she took out the Female Champion of Champions title after her three golds -- time trial, sprint and scratch race, plus two Australian records in the time trial and the 200 metres with flying start. Michelle then topped off her great season by winning the Victorian Masters Female Cyclist of the Year at the CSV Awards Dinner in July.
Her date with destiny in the Time Trial will be on Tuesday, October 16, in the late afternoon.