Rhodes: "Now the real work starts"

After what she's been through in the last nine months, making the Commonwealth Games team was a dream for Alexis Rhodes, but five days before the opening ceremony in Melbourne, the 21 year-old says the "reality is starting to set in".

"It's something that I thought I might have had taken away from me," Rhodes said of her Commonwealth Games selection to AAP. "To come back and to be named in my first ever Commonwealth Games team, it has been pretty exciting but I guess now the real work starts."

One of the six members involved in the fateful crash in Germany last July that claimed the life of Amy Gillett, Rhodes has made an amazing recovery to the elite level, defending her national criterium championship crown in January and now part of the 33-strong Australian cycling team to contest the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Initially named for the road race in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens on March 26, it now appears she will compete in the points race with her best friend Katherine Bates as well as the individual pursuit. "Specifically, I am more there as a team player," Rhodes said of her changed motives.

"I mean, obviously the [points] medal goes to the individual person, but if I can help... Kate Bates win gold in the points race, it has been a successful day for me as well. She has been there pretty much every day for me, so for me to help her in the points will be really quite special for me."

Rhodes added she doesn't take what she does as seriously anymore, and would dedicate what she is managing to do - something four of her other team-mates from Germany can only hope for - to her former Australian Institute of Sport teammate Gillett. "She is still there in my mind," she said.

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