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  Amy Cure has eye on 2018 Commonwealth Games after history making 2016-2017 track season  
 
  June 1st 2017  
   
  Amy Cure after winning one of three Australian titles in 2017. Photo: John Veage  
     
  After putting Rio Olympic disappointment aside Amy Cure had one of the most successful track seasons of her career. From 19 events across World Cups, Australian, Oceania and World Championships the 24-year-old claimed 15 medals including nine gold.

In a season that started in December with three Oceania titles and continued with three national titles and three World Cup gold, Cure had high hopes of adding another world title to her name at the World Championships with a new focus on the omnium and Madison.

While adding a seventh rainbow jersey to her collection didn't eventuate it wasn't through lack of effort on her part. Cure narrowly missed gold in the team pursuit with the Australian team in a hotly contested battle with the United States before adding bronze in the omnium and Madison.

The bronze medals in the omnium and Madison initially left Cure disappointed but that quickly turned around when she learned she had become the first rider in history to win world championship medals in six events.

Her busy schedule caught up with here in the points race where the 2014 world champion wrapped up her season with 11th. Never one to make excuses though Cure battled illness at the World Championships, spending the second half of competition on antibiotics.

A post Worlds break included a seven-day Ride As One charity ride raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. Before jetting off to the United States for the Tour of California, where a knee injury forced her to withdraw on the opening stage.

Back in her European home of Belgium, Cure is looking forward to the rest of the road season before turning her attention back to the track and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Started your track season at the Oceania Championships in December winning gold medals in the team pursuit, omnium and Madison. Post Rio did it give you confidence and a base to build on for the rest of the season?

I really was unsure how I was going to preform after quite a big post Rio break. But I was very happy as well as surprised with my performances at the Oceania Championships. I believe they were a great build up for the season ahead.

Heading in to Worlds after a busy and successful track season what were your goals?

I really wanted to win another World Championship title. I was targeting more the omnium and the Madison. To not come away with a rainbow jersey was a bit disappointing for myself. I always put such I high expectation on my goals, so when I don't achieve them I do get disappointed. In saying this I was very proud of my overall performances in becoming the only person to ever medal in all six track endurance events.

The team pursuit final between Australia and the United States was one of the most exciting races did you know just how close it was over the final kilometre?

For me I knew we were very close but I didn't know we were as close as we were. I was just giving it my everything I could for the team. We had not been doing very much teams pursuit training leading into the World Championships. We all wanted to focus on individual events more, so we did not know what we were going to expect coming into the team pursuit. It was very exciting after the race was finished, we all had that slight look of being disappointed on our faces. Disappointed that we were so close and just missed it, but we were all really happy for what we had achieved. Over all the rounds we have raced way better than we have before as far as times go. So we were all really happy as a team.

Raced the omnium at Worlds for the second time in your career. The change of format has created a lot of controversy though with all bunch racing it is one that suits you. What is your opinion of it?

For me the new format suits me a lot better than the old format. It is a lot of different racing to what we are used to, each individual event is raced differently depending on where all the other competitors are sitting. I think it's nice having different events on the schedule, but I believe I have a lot more room for improvements within all events.

The tempo race in particular has been unpopular with a lot of riders, coaches and fans do you think the tempo needs to be reconsidered or even replaced?

It's a very difficult question. Every tempo race is completely different. I have raced it before and it can be a very negative race, and other times it's been a very aggressive race. It's always hard to say so early on and the UCI are trying different rules to improve it all the time. So I'll leave that ones up to the experts to decide.

Had first year elite riders Michaela Drummond and Elisa Balsamo who just stepped up from juniors put in strong rides at Worlds what did you think of their performances?

It's always great to see the juniors step up into the seniors. It is always nice to race against different faces and they always keep us more experienced ones on our toes. It's always great for the sport to see so many new talented girls coming through.

The depth in women's endurance on the track seems to be as strong as ever how important do you see that for the sport?

It's great to see so many women coming through the sport. Especially now we have new events like the Madison now for women. It is great that the UCI are giving us the chance to race this event. It makes it a much more spectacular event when you have a lot of teams going head to head apposed to having five or six.

A number of nations including Australia have had a women's Madison national championship for a number of years though 2017 was the first time has been at the World Championships. You and Alex Manly were a bit unlucky with crashes what was the racing like and what did winning a medal mean to you?

I think its great that Australia has got behind such an amazing event now for quite a few years. Its such a fun race to be apart of and for sure is my favourite event. Yes we had a bit of bad luck with crashes during the World Championships but it was great to be apart of history making day in our sport. It wasn't the result we had hoped for but it meant so much to be able to stand on that podium with the others girls.

Your bronze medals in the omnium and Madison gave you medals in all six endurance events and the first person to win medals in six events. Did you know at the time what you had accomplished? To have won medals in six events is a true sign of your all round talent what does it mean to you?

Actually I did not know this at all at the time and I had no idea about it at all. It was not until I came home and I was a bit upset about my results and I was on twitter and I read a tweet by someone saying this, so it was really nice to read and it really completely changed my disappointment into a real sense of achievement. So no, I really didn't have any idea until later on that night.


Amy Cure with Alex Manly after winning Madison bronze at the 2017 World Championships. Photo: Casey B Gibson/Cycling Australia

Had a very busy schedule at Worlds with three rounds of the TP, omnium, Madison and points race how did you find the workload?

For me I always find it hard to choose what events I want to target, I am an all rounder and I do love every race and I have the potential to preform in every race. However I think with the omnium and the new event added with the Madison I believe it was an event too much. I really noticed it in my last event the points race I really had nothing. In saying this I also got sick during the middle of my racing and was on antibiotics, which also did not help doing so many events, my body found it very hard to recover.

19 races in the 2016/17 season across World Cups, Oceania, Australia and World Championships and won 15 medals including nine gold. An incredible season for you have you had a chance to reflect on it? What does it mean to you?

It sounds really weird when you put it like that. For me I don't really look at what I have done too much or keep a tally of the medals, I like to focus more on what I have coming up. I focus on the type of competition and take each event as it comes. I'm alway proud of how I race and I always give it my best shot. I learn a lot from every race. I am always proud of myself. I'm proud of my victories, and my defeats because they all define who I am as an athlete and they all teach me valuable lessons along the way.

2018 Commonwealth Games less than a year away after winning silver and bronze medals in 2014 is it a big focus for you?

The commonwealth Gams are a huge focus for me now. In fact they are my next major stepping-stone towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is super exciting to have them in Australia next year so I'm really looking forward to having more people support me than normal.

Turning to the Olympics you said after missing a ride in London you wanted a ride in Rio and you got it unfortunately a big crash in training just days out and fell just short of the medals. Some unfinished business and already looking to Tokyo?

For sure, I really have some unfinished business, especially that this Olympic cycle will most probably be my last Olympics, before starting a family and that next chapter of my life so I'm really motivated more than ever to make it a great Olympics to finish my career with.

On to the road now and didn't have the perfect start at the Tour of California with a knee injury. What are your goals on the road for 2017?

I was really upset with getting a knee injury, it was not what I had planned and this year I have been very motivated for a great road season. I did a lot of training leading up to California straight after a break from the World Championships maybe a bit too much training causing my injury. But that is sport I am always learning how far I can push my body. I am just trying to get my knee 100% first and then I will start to plan the rest of my road season. First thing is first, getting it better and then building up fitness again.
 
 
       
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