Peloton Watch
  Ashlee Ankudinoff Interview Oceania Track Championships  
  October 6th 2014  
  Only three people from outside Great Britain have ever won a rainbow jersey in the women's team pursuit. Ashlee Ankudinoff is the only one of three still riding. Part of the team with the now retired Josie Tomic and Sarah Kent, Ankudinoff claimed gold in Denmark in 2010 by half a second over Great Britain.

A two time Junior World Champion in the individual and team pursuit in 2008 and since then Ankudinoff has claimed the Oceania Championship in all five endurance events; omnium, points race, scratch race, individual pursuit and team pursuit.

Ahead of her return to the Oceania Championships Ankudinoff talks her decision to end her road season early, racing BikeNZ Classic and Cup and 2014/15 track season goals.

PelotonWatch: You ended your European road season after two races to come home and prepare for track season. Was it a difficult decision to make?

Ashlee Ankudinoff: At the time it was a difficult decision as I never like to let an opportunity of racing as apart of the national team in Europe go, but it was definitely in the best interest for the team as well as for me to return home and start rebuilding for the domestic road season.

PW: After several months away from racing you returned at the Tour of the Murray River where you took a stage. A perfect way to mark your return?

AA: I was happy that my hard work over winter plus coming home early from Europe was paying off at this early stage, and that I had made the podium.

PW: Your first track event of the season was the BikeNZ Cup and Classic last month. Winning the four races you started including a dominant performance in the omnium. A strong way to start track season?

AA: It was certainly a strong way to start my season. I will use those results as a confidence booster, keep training hard and hopefully more good results will come my way.

PW: How much confidence can you take from your performances in New Zealand?

AA: It was certainly a good way to start my track season after such a disappointing season last year. I was happy with the times I posted given how early it is in the season and I know there is a lot of room for improvement, but as I said I am going to continue to train hard to bring those times down.

PW: What are your goals for the 2014/15 track season?

AA: My main goal would be to get back in the top 4 for the team pursuit with the main aim being making the worlds team. Racing against the best in Paris would be awesome.

PW: Favourite thing about track cycling?

AA: I really like how the weather has no bearing on the result, nor the training. Training goes ahead whether it's rain, hail or shine and there is no wind! You can feel and hear the crowd when they cheer, the rush of the speed off the banking is a pretty cool feeling too.

PW: If someone had never watched track cycling before what would you say to encourage them to come and check it out?

AA: I think if you have ever seen track cycling on tv you just don't really understand how steep the banking is that we ride on. Its not until you are inside a velodrome you see the angle of the bends and the gradient of the track that you realise the skill involved in riding track cycling.

Also the variety of events on offer at a track meet, from sprinting to bunch racing, riding behind a motorbike, the frenzy of the madison and the solo race against the clock of the pursuit.
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