Phoenix Cycling Collective team member Lauren Thomas hasn’t been cycling for long but her team has already dubbed her a superstar in the making.
Published by The Canberra Times on 25 August 2017: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/phoenix-cycling-collectives-lauren-thomas-prepares-for-national-road-series-20170825-gy44od.html
Thomas is set to make her National Road Series debut at the Tour of King Valley this weekend and she’ll be pushing herself to new limits in the search for gold.
The Mackillop College student is making the jump from under 19s where the legal distance limit is 80 kilometres, to the open age level that poses huge new challenges.
The New South Wales under 19 women’s road cycling champion kicked off the tour in the individual time trial and criterium events.
It only gets harder, with Thomas now looking to tackle the infamous Strade Nero climb in a 115 kilometre road race on Saturday and back it up with another 100km ride on Sunday.
“I’ve ridden 100km before but I’ve never raced 115km at this level before. It will be quite good, and a good experience to have,” Thomas said.
“[I’m] nervous but I’m feeling pretty prepared. I did the Canberra tour at A-grade earlier in the year and I did alright in that.
“I’ve done quite a bit of training over the school holidays, getting quite a few kilometres in. I’m feeling quite fresh, me and my coach have been working closely together leading up to this event.”
Thomas is the youngest in Phoenix Cycling Collective’s women’s team gearing up to compete at the third women’s NRS race of 2017.
She’s among a group featuring previous Tour of King Valley Stage winner Laura Darlington Meadley, Belinda Chamberlain, Kate Vandenberg and Phoebe Chadwick.
“I haven’t been cycling too long,” Thomas said.
“I’ve been on the bike for a few years, doing a bit of mountain biking and stuff, but I only really started getting really competitive in the road races as a second year under 17s.
“I was doing a bit during first year of under 17s but not much. I really started to get into it as a second year under 17 and now as an under 19.
“I’ve done pretty well over the last few years. I got third in the under 17 Australian national time trial and I’m currently the under 19 New South Wales road champion for this year.”
Phoenix is being represented by a men’s team with Sam Hill, Nathan Booth, Toby Stewart, William Barker, Kelsey Boreham, Andrew McCosker and guest rider Sam Munday from USA development team Novo Nordisk.