Peloton Watch
  Amanda Jamieson starts 2017 season with under 23 New Zealand title  
  January 13th 2017  
  With the under 23 New Zealand national title to her name in 2017, Amanda Jamieson is looking to continue her early season form at the opening UCI women's stage race of 2017, the Santos Women's Tour.

The 19-year-old has been racing for over 10 years, and now in her second year in the elite ranks, Jamieson is looking to make her mark on the international peloton. With some good training in her legs Jamieson has returned to Adelaide for the second edition of the Santos Women's Tour and is hoping the back luck from the 2016 race doesn't follow her.

The rising New Zealand talent has signed with the Dutch squad Maaslandster Veris CCN for the upcoming season, where she will head following January's racing in Australia. While specific targets for the year are not set in stone her ambition is to spark the attention of a number of professional teams ahead of the 2018 season.

How did you first start cycling and how old were you?

When I was quite young I had a really keen interest in triathlon, and started competing at the age of 8. Over the years I found that I excelled in the cycling discipline and completed my first junior tour when I was 12 years old. I made the full time switch to being a cyclist at the age of 15.

Claimed the under 23 national title what does it mean to you?

It means a lot. I've trained the hardest I ever have to make sure I was ready and in contention to win the Road Race, so I guess the title is recognition of all that hard work.

How did the race play out for you? There was a group of four including another contender for the under 23 title Michaela Drummond up the road. With the group working well together did you ever think you were racing for silver?

The race was quite tactical. When the four went up the road I was reasonably comfortable letting them go as I was with a good group that I knew could work well together. The break also went quite early in the town circuits, and from experience last year, I knew it can take its toll, so I just hoped I'd played my cards right and stayed back in the main group. I did start to get a little worried as the race wore on and thought I'd end up racing for silver. Michaela rode excellently to be with them for that amount of time, but it was definitely a welcome sight seeing and catching her on our final lap.

To start the season with a national title does that give you a bit of confidence heading in to the Santos Women's Tour?

I've been in a good mindset recently, which definitely helps with my confidence going into the Santos Women's Tour. However I know that the racing in Australia will be very demanding and I'll have to bring my A game if I want to make my mark on the race

Raced last year but had some bad luck what happened?

About 12kms into the first stage I had a huge back tire blow out on a fast descent, I was extremely lucky to stay upright. I carried on to finish the stage only after having two more mechanical problems. The second stage I was caught behind a large crash and then on the third stage I punctured again. Unfortunately it happened when I was nearing the top of the KOM at the front of the peloton. My team car and neutral service were a long way back and by the time I got going again the back of the convoy had passed. My chance of finishing the tour was over as I could not regain contact with the peloton. Funnily enough, these were my first ever punctures during a race, so I guess the Aussie roads weren't a fan of me being there!

Hoping to turn that around this year? What are your goals for the race?

I'm not setting my sights too high for this race, as there are plenty of high calibre riders. My main goal is to finish the tour strongly, with a particular focus on the young rider classification.

Signed with Maaslandster Veris CCN in the Netherlands for 2017. What are you most looking forward to and what do you think will be the biggest challenge?

I'm really looking forward to tackling my first full European season and competing in more UCI races. Having experienced the racing last year, I am prepared on that front, I think my biggest challenges however are going to be managing the amount of racing I will be doing with the team. Another small hurdle will be the language barrier, but I'm sure I will pick it up quickly living in the country and around Dutch riders in my team.

Spent time racing in Europe last year how much of a benefit do you think this will be?

From my experience, I got a very good insight into what the European racing scene is like and where I need to be as a rider in order to be a proper contender for the races and to get quality results. It's benefited me in that I now know what I am going to encounter and what to expect when I join my team for the 2017 season.

Looking further ahead what are your goals for the rest of 2017?

I haven't really thought deeply about my 2017 goals. I'm leaving it fairly open at this point, with just focussing on performing well in as many races I can, and getting some top results. I'm sure when I finalise my race schedule with the team, I'll be able to determine races that are suited to me and that I can aim for throughout the season. All going well I'll be looking at making a strong name for myself on the racing scene, which will hopefully open up some doors with a UCI professional team.
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