Young Australian rider Chloe Hosking is the latest talent from Down Under making it into the ranks of the Columbia-HTC 'superteam'. Hailing from the national capital of Canberra, the 19-year-old impressed in 2009 and caught the eye of Bob Stapleton and his management team, including Kristy Scrymgeour, a former national champion and Team Saturn professional.
Hosking's ability at the pointy end of a race has been the hallmark of her fledgling career and the reason she was offered a one-year contract riding alongside the likes of Ina Teutenberg, Judith Arndt and fellow Australian Kate Bates. A perfect example of the team's focus on complete rider development, Hosking is also undertaking tertiary study in media whilst managing her transition into the professional ranks.
The young sprinter will ride the Ladies Tour of Qatar in January next year before heading to the Redlands stage race and "possibly a couple of World Cup rounds". It's exciting times for the confident youngster, who seems to have taken a whirlwind 2009 all in her stride.
Cyclingnews: How did the ride with Columbia-HTC come about?
Chloe Hosking: I got an email from Kristy Scrymgeour saying that she'd been watching my results and would be really interested in having a chat. I was so excited.
It just went from there, really… a couple of emails back and forth before they offered me a stagiaire position for the Giro della Toscana in late September. I rode that and at the end they had a few talks with the national coach; obviously they were concerned about how young I am but they offered me a one-year contract. I'll be heading to a training camp straight after nationals before riding the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
CN: Is the prospect of riding against the world's best daunting?
CH: It's not really daunting. I spent all year riding against these girls and I'm driven by that fact. It's exciting for me, especially as I'm racing with one of the best teams in the world and hopefully I'll be able to have a significant impact on the race - that's what I'm looking forward to the most.
By Toscana I had already shown them what I was capable of - I'd taken some really good results earlier in the season - and because I'd try to go all the way from January through to September in my first season and I was really struggling. They could see that I was tired and at Toscana they wanted to see if I was able to mentally cope with being in a team like that.
CN: Were you part of the national team setup in Europe this year or did you do it the 'traditional' way?
CH: I hooked up a ride with a Dutch club team - Moving Ladies - and went over to Europe. When I was over there the national team approached me so I had a month-long stint with them before going back to my Dutch outfit. It's one of the best club teams and one of the best things I could have done for myself this year because I went straight to the Netherlands with the perfect style of racing for me.
I thrive on flat races, being a sprinter - flat, aggressive, technical races that are challenging; I think some girls struggle on the technical side of things but that's what I love about cycling and it's why I can't wait to get back over there.
Read the complete Cyclingnews interview with Chloe Hosking.