Williams re-signs with Mitchelton-Scott for 2019

New Zealand national champion stays with Australian team for next season

New Zealand's reigning road race and time trial national champion, Georgia Williams, will race for Mitchelton-Scott again in 2019, the team has announced.

Williams won her two national titles in January this year, and will line up in the hope of defending her black-and-white jersey and skinsuit in the new year, having secured her immediate future with the Australian women's team.

"I'd love to win both national titles again, and it will be a focus for me," Williams said in a team press release. "It'll be a lot tougher this year, and I'll have a huge target on my back, but I'll give it my best shot. The rest of January will also be important for me, targeting all of the racing in Australia.

"I'll always be really proud of my 2018 Nationals," she added. "After being on the podium a few times in the TT and after three second-places in the road race, it was such a good feeling to finally be on the top step in both events. In a way it was a relief, and I was really excited to represent New Zealand in the European peloton."

The 25-year-old from Auckland has ridden strongly for the team this season, in what was her second year with Mitchelton-Scott. Williams was part of the team time trial squad that took third place on the opening stage of the Madrid Challenge in September, and went on to be part of the team that finished fifth in the World Championship TTT later that month, where she also finished 11th in the individual time trial.

Williams has also taken advantage of a number of opportunities to ride for her own results this year, placing fourth overall at the Emakumeen Bira stage race in Spain in May, which was won by teammate Amanda Spratt, and taking second place – and the silver medal – at the Commonwealth Games road race on the Gold Coast in Australia in April while representing New Zealand, only just missing out on the gold to Australia's Chloé Hosking.

It hasn't all been plain sailing, however, with Williams having fractured her hip, sacrum (connecting the spine to the hip bones) and pubis in a training crash on her time trial bike in June, after hitting some gravel on the road, which forced her to miss the Giro Rosa in July, which had been a big goal.

"I feel like my highs were really high and the lows really low, but that's all part of the sport and I feel it will make me stronger for the 2019 season," Williams said.

"I feel so comfortable and happy in the team. Everyone works hard but also likes to have fun," she continued. "The team is supportive in helping me achieve my goals, as well as being supportive off the bike, like this year when I was injured. I think this is a really important balance and is key to our success this year. I'm excited for an even better 2019."

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