Kiwi champs key for Kiesanowski

Joanne Kiesanowski will race in New Zealand this weekend

Joanne Kiesanowski will race in New Zealand this weekend (Image credit: Kurt Jambretz)

There's a feast of Antipodean cycling on offer this weekend as New Zealand's elite riders also contest their national championships in Te Awamutu.

One rider looking to get 2009 off to a strong start is Tibco team member Jo Kiesanowski. Regarded as one of the best sprinters on the women's circuit, she enjoyed mixed fortunes in 2008, with a 28th at the Olympics and eighth at the world championships in Varese.

"I am definitely really keen to win the championship," said Kiesanowski. "That's a big reason why I am back home. It's important to me to get that jersey and it will be really nice to be able to wear it in all the big races in the US this year. It will give some profile to New Zealand and also some real pride to me.

The 29-year-old Christchurch native has travelled back to New Zealand from her training base in Colorado Springs, and although New Zealand is hardly tropical, it's a lot warmer than back in the US. "I've been back on the bike for a few weeks although it's been pretty cold of course in Colorado Springs right now. A bit of the training has been indoors although I have managed to train around the major snow falls and get out quite a bit," she explained.

She also explained her racing situation for 2009. "I've just re-signed for Team Tibco for the whole season which means I can be based in Colorado Springs and not spend so much time going across the Atlantic. I really want to enjoy the riding and be a little more settled this year," she said.

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