The Regional Academy of Cycling Excellence (RACE) is in its third year of supporting path ways for cyclists that could well be lost between the gaps. In most elite sports there can be a quantum leap to get into the VIS and AIS and not many have the momentum to make that leap on their own.
RACE is a stepping stone and much more in recognising potential in excellence with the purpose statement of helping athletes to be the best they can possible be in all aspects of their life. Such a success story recently is that of Chloe McConville who has made the quantum leap and been accepted as a fully sponsored VIS athlete.
Chloe’s start in cycling was at 20 years of age after coming home from overseas competing in cross country skiing for a bit of cross training entered a criterium and won. Deb Fagg at the time challenged Chloe to make cycling her sport. Chloe was not unfamiliar with hard work and dedication and knew that without a coach athletes plateau and may not reach their full potential.
Kim Howard brought a balance to Chloe in a well paced program recognising that the recovery sessions are as important as the hard work outs and was able to better plan and time Chloe in making sure her peak performance was at the right events.
Being a member of RACE has brought a team aspect into Chloe’ cycling career, that, not many women cyclists are able to be exposed to. The camaraderie on and off the road develops the wider view of the sport and life with like minded athletes.
Kim also bought the finesse of goal setting and program specific training that elevated Chloe’s performance. Chloe was fortunate that in her first years of her time with RACE to be the domestique for Jenny Macpherson a past AIS cyclist with great depth and breadth of experience for Chloe to gleam from.
Although women’s cycling is certainly growing in Australia, it is still lacking the financial support that men’s cycling receives. Chloe works 30 hours a week as a physiotherapist and then tries to train around her work which compromises getting adequate recovery. It would be much easier to be successful if Chloe was getting paid to ride but this just isn’t possible in Australia, even internationally the women barely make ends meet so they really just ride for the love of the sport!
RACE works with a mega budget and would hope as their success continues to grow sponsor will gain the same momentum for both their men’s and women’s program alike. Chloe has unfulfilled aspirations of reaching AIS and world championship level and has the enthusiasm and commitment to make this a reality and is thankful for the massive input Kim Howard and RACE has made to get her to this threshold of seeing beyond club racing.
In the short term Chloe will attend the National Road Series Tour of Canberra at the start of July with the VIS and then her main aim will be doing well at the state titles held on home soil in Geelong in mid August.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing