O'Donnell wants 2012 Olympic Games slot

Australian time trial champion Bridie O'Donnell says she wants to win the next four Australian...

Australian time trial champion Bridie O'Donnell says she wants to win the next four Australian titles and the World Championships so she can't be overlooked for the 2012 Olympic Games in Manchester, England. The 34 year-old missed selection for the Beijing squad after finishing 16th at the 5th Souvenir Magali Pache Lausanne in May.

"It was a make or break race for me, but it had a steep climb which didn’t suit me," O’Donnell said. "I was really quite devastated and frustrated not to be able to go to Beijing, but my bitterness is slowly dissolving."

O'Donnel believes she can claim the UCI World Champion jersey, and is targeting her home World Championships in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 to do it. "I believe I am capable of winning a world championship and I would like to give myself every chance to attain supreme fitness," she said. "I want to win the next four national time trial titles in Ballarat, the world championship in Melbourne in 2010, and then they’ll have to take me to the London Olympics in 2012."

The Victorian time trial champion is an assistant surgeon, but has put her medical career on the backburner while she strives to fulfil Olympic aspirations. She will contest this weekend's Australian Cycling Grand Prix at Ballarat this weekend, which includes a 27km time trial at Learmonth on Friday, the 33km criterium in Sturt Street, Ballarat, on Saturday, and the 82km road race at Buninyong on Sunday.

"I am really excited about my prospects this weekend," O’Donnell said. "I’m looking for the perfect hit-out before I leave the country for the world time trial championship in Italy on September 24."

O'Donnell is no stranger to the Varese, Italy area where this year's UCI World Road Championships will be held in September. The rider took part in a two month training camp with the Australian National Team in the region earlier this year.

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