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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Ruth Corset celebrates in the NRS Series leader jersey
Former national road champion is hopeful but realistic about regaining series crown
After an ultra-competitive Battle on the Border last weekend, the 2010 Australian national women's road champion and 2012 NRS Champion Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling) still holds a narrow lead in the overall series standings, but the gap is closing.
With 39 points, the recently turned 37-year-old (May 9) Queenslander retains the overall Subaru NRS lead by two points over Specialized Securitor's Lizzie Williams (37 points) in second while Battle on the Border tour winner Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo/VIS) moves into third position with 35 points.
Corset joined the Melbourne-based women's development team for the 2014 season after spending last year with Pensar-SPM and is aware of the slim margin, but says after a long career and busy schedule juggling family, work and cycling, it's all a matter of perspective.
"It's tempting to finish the year on top now that I am in the lead," Corset told Cyclingnews. "I am only in the lead by two points but I am not going to stress about it. It would be nice to win it, but it is not all consuming like it would have been earlier in my life and career. I just have to balance family life, work and cycling."
For the triathlete-turned-cyclist, the balancing act can be a struggle.
"It is very hard," said Corset. "When I was racing overseas it was obviously a lot harder just being away. Now racing in Australia, I only have to be away for three or four days at a time which is a lot easier on the family, but when I am at home I work a lot as well."
A typical day for Corset starts at 4am and does not end until late in the evening after a day of training, getting the kids to and from school, work as a massage therapist and getting the family fed.
"I am always rushing, and usually eat while standing up," said Corset.
Now with a two-month break from the women's NRS, Corset finds herself back on the road running and looks to be back in the pool soon as well. Corset tells Cyclingnews that maintaining the series lead will be a struggle this year with so many girls in top form and the fact that she may miss up to two of the final four races remaining on the NRS calendar.
"I am going to miss the [Tour of Murray River] in August," said Corset. "My youngest daughter Caitlin, 10, is competing in a gymnastics competition and I really want to go and watch her compete.
"Then my twin sister, Esther, is expecting a baby on the weekend of the King Valley Tour (August 22-24) and I think she would kill me if I missed the birth of her baby, so hopefully she has the baby before King Valley Tour so I can race it, otherwise I am not sure about that one either."
With such a narrow lead and potentially only two races to earn valuable race points, Corset is realistic about her chances to regain her NRS series crown.
Canberra Tour and Tour of Goldfields are the final two races of the women's NRS series.
"I definitely plan to race the Canberra Tour and the Tour of Goldfields," she said. "It would be nice to win the overall series and my team is fully behind me, but we will just see what happens. There are a lot of strong girls racing this year and anything can happen over the next four races."