Katrin Garfoot had even more reason to celebrate in the aftermath of winning bronze in the UCI Road World Championships women's elite time trial with Orica-AIS announcing it would extend her and Rachel Neylan's contracts for a further season to the end of 2017.
Garfoot broke through for her first medal at a Worlds on Doha, finishing eight seconds down on 41-year-old American Amber Neben. Garfoot's result was on better than her fourth place against the clock in Richmond last year and an improvement on her ninth place in Rio.
Garfoot's medal was just the third for Australia in the event and first since Anna Wilson in 1999. The medal also matched her result from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
"I'm happy to be on the podium this year since I failed it by a few seconds last year. I wish it was a bit better but I’m happy to work on that for next year," Garfoot said. "I was fourth with 10seconds last year. I'm third with eight seconds this year. I want first place one time before I finish my career."
The Australian national champion against the clock has enjoyed a successful season in 2016 with overall Santos Tour Down Under victory, the Oceania TT title, a stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar and day in the leader's jersey, second overall at the Festival Elsy Jacobs, and victory in the Chrono Champenois - Trophée Européen.
"It has been a great year despite being disappointed with my performance at the Rio Olympic Games," the 35-year-old said the August event in which she was ill during the lead in. "I found it great to see how we improved our racing as a team this season and I am excited about how we will be stepping up next year."
The women's road race on Saturday will be Garfoot's final race of the season with the Australian team aiming to deliver Chloe Hosking to the rainbow jersey.
Neylan, 34, has also been rewarded for her first full season with Orica-AIS after she joined the team in early-2015, enjoying several top-ten results and victory at the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames.
"I'm thrilled to re-sign with Orica-AIS. I've learned and grown a lot in this team environment over the past 18-months and I am looking forward to building on that positive trajectory," said Neylan who has called time on her 2016 season. "It's been a challenging 12months with highs and lows but feel that I am stronger by all accounts and ready for the next chapter in my career.
"I'm still furthering myself in many facets as an athlete and a bike rider and I am excited to embrace the 2017 season with fresh ideas and ambitions."
The announcement follows the re-signing of Gracie Elvin and Amanda Spratt who along with Garfoot and Neylan, made up the Rio Olympic women's team. Annemiek van Vleuten has also extended her contract with Orica-AIS into 2017.
For the full guide to women's rider transfers, click here
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