Peloton Watch
  Georgia Catterick storms to under 23 Oceania time trial title  
  March 11th 2016  
  Georgia Catterick on her way to under 23 Oceania time trial title. © Con Chronis  
  Having only stepped out of the junior ranks at the end of 2015 Georgia Catterick has started her time in the elite category on a strong note claiming the under 23 Oceania time trial title.

After competing at the Junior World Championships last September finishing 24th in the time trial Catterick stepped up to the elite category at the Tour of Bright last December finishing ninth overall.

The 19 year old who is coached by former world and Commonwealth Games champion Greg Henderson, continued her strong start to her elite career with a fourth place finish in the time trial at the New Zealand Championships. Catterick was left wondering what might have been after being forced to restart after being lead the wrong way.

A week later Catterick lined up at the Santos Women's Tour in what would be her first ever UCI race. While a mechanical on the opening day took her out of contention for the young riders jersey, Catterick understands the experience will prove more valuable in the long term.

The busy block of racing across Australia in New Zealand in December and January just out of junior left Catterick tired and lacking motivation ahead of the Oceania Championships. While held together with the elite the under 23 category gave Catterick something to target.

Catterick's season has temporarily been put on hold with a broken clavicle following a training crash this week. "I'm hoping to still be able to race the Mersey Valley tour as I enjoyed this tour last year," Catterick said on a potential return date.

"For the rest of 2016 I want to get some good results in the NRS races, hopefully get starts in a couple more UCI tours, and get as much racing experience as I can."

Raced at the World Championships last year in the junior time trial and road race what was the experience like?

It was the best/mind blowing experience I've had. Fair to say I had very little idea of what the world level was like. We found out around a week before leaving that the Road Race was shortened to 60 km, so there wasn't a moment where I felt like the paced eased off. I had never been exposed to such fast/hard racing before apart from racing a couple NRS Tours but a tour is different to a 60k Road Race. I'd say now I've experienced worlds it has given me a different/ more determined mindset to train harder than I have before. I didn't get the results at worlds that I wanted but it was the best experience I could of asked for and has helped the transition from junior to senior that bit easier.

Riding for Roxsolt Ladies team in 2016 what made you join the team?

When Kelvin Rundle told me about developing the Roxsolt team for both Australians and Kiwi's, racing the NRS and seeking invites for a couple UCI tours I jumped at the opportunity as I thought it would be the next big thing for me to get some more racing under my belt. Roxsolt Ladies has an awesome atmosphere/ feeling about it, the team all gets on really well. We have a lot of fun while developing as a team and I couldn't ask for better organisation.

Started the 2015 season and your first in elite category with fourth in the time trial at the New Zealand Championships. 23 seconds off the podium happy with your performance?

I was gutted to be so close to third after being lead the wrong way, and needing a restart. A medal would of been nice but I can't complain with my performance and was very happy to be the fastest under 23 rider.

Followed that up with ninth in the road race part of the main chase group behind the three podium finishes how did you find racing with the elites?

It was a tough race, I had done the training but I had gone into nationals focusing on the time trial so I was a little nervous on how things would go. Racing mainly elite races as a junior definitely made things easier to have an understanding on how the race might unfold.

A week later you lined up at the Santos Women's Tour your first UCI race what were your goals heading in?

Having Elite Nationals under my belt helped calm the nerves. I didn't have huge expectations on myself. I just knew I wanted to race to my full potential and to challenge myself against some big names/teams. I did want to have a crack at the under 23 jersey but losing five minutes after a mechanical in the first stage made it pretty hard to do so. It was my first elite UCI tour, I didn't really know how I'd go.

Unlucky with a mechanical on the opening day but put in a big attack on the final day how did the race go for you and what did you learn?

It was an amazing experience. The pace was constantly fast and I honestly loved it. I had to learn fast how to stay up the front, even just simple things like getting a bottle from the car (had never done it before) who to follow, got to know more about team tactics. I had never experience racing in heat up to 44 degrees. It was a shock to the system. I felt comfortable in the bunch all tour, I tried to get in a couple breaks but nothing that would stick so in the last stage I knew I couldn't win a sprint a finish so I'd thought Id give it a crack to see how long I could stay out front for, it was cool to be leading a race like that.

Then competed at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race how did the race go for you?

It was another learning experience in the side winds, and teams putting everyone in the gutter. I learnt the importance of staying close to the front in the side winds, as I was too far back and got shelled. I was proud of my teammate Ruby Livingstone that day, as she had a great race, finishing 14th in a tough field.

After a busy start to the year what were your ambitions for the Oceania Championships?

Due to work commitments I was tired going into the Oceania champs, and lost a bit of motivation because of it. When I heard there was an under 23 category, it made me think I had something to go for and I wanted to win that. I also wanted to see how I went against the elite riders.

Claimed the under 23 Oceania time trial title how did you find the course and what does it mean to be the under 23 Oceania Champion?

The length of it was daunting, coming from junior time trials. Also I found it to be a hard course, as there was little flat, and no places where you could rest.

It's a real confidence booster, and makes me determined to do well in the elite ranks. I really hope they bring in under 23s at the world level, as it is a huge step up from juniors to elite.

Followed that up with bronze in the under 23 road race good way to finish off the championships with another medal?

Yes - after missing the break, I did the best I could do, and was stoked to get another medal.

Stepping up to elite from juniors can often be difficult how have you found it so far and what has been the biggest challenge?

I am really thankful to have Greg Henderson coaching me, as he has made the transition a lot easier by giving me guidance for each race. Stepping up the training has helped me a lot to be able to handle the harder racing. Every race I am trying to learn as much as what I can. Also the Roxsolt team has made the transition easier by giving me constant support as has Jason Christie who has giving me encouragement during my hard training days.
 © 2016