Peloton Watch
  Madeleine Fasnacht focused on enjoying riding her bike as she continues development  
  June 25th 2017  
  Madeleine Fasnacht after winning the 2017 under 19 Australian road race title. Photo: Con Chronis  
  In just two short years since she took up cycling in 2015 switching from triathlon and long distance running Madeleine Fasnacht has quickly established herself as a name to watch.

The now 17-year-old claimed the under 19 Australian road title in 2016 before earning a top 10 finish at the World Championships in the time trial. In just her second full season on the bike she claimed the 2017 Oceania road race title before doing the time trial and road race double a the Australian Championships.

It is not just at junior level where success has come with five top 10 finishes in Cycling Australia's Subaru National Road Series in five events in 2016 and 2017 against elite competition.

July will see Fasnacht represent Australia at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas. Despite her early success Fasnacht remains focused on one thing – enjoying riding her bike and taking the experience and results as they come.

You come from a triathlon and athletics background how did the switch to cycling happen?

After initially being involved in triathlon and long distance running I unfortunately had to stop due to medical reasons a few years ago which led me to giving cycling a real go and have just loved it!

Obviously with triathlon you had some experience on the bike what did you find the biggest challenge moving to cycling full time?

As a triathlete I thought I understood bike racing, but becoming a cyclist has highlighted how little I knew about the sport. Riding in a straight line is one thing, competing in a peloton, with teams and race tactics adds a whole other dimension to the sport which has been both a challenge, but a lot of fun getting used to!

Won the Australian Under 19 road title in 2016 just over a year after taking up the sport what did it mean to you?

The 2016 National Road Championships was pretty surprising to me, I didn't really know what to expect, but the end results meant a great deal to me.

Represented Australia at the UCI Road World Championships last year and finished top 10 in the time trial what was the experience like?

The World Championships held in Doha was an awesome opportunity and something that still seems a bit surreal. It was such a special and invaluable experience competing in Qatar, I was quite nervous, but so, so excited!! It was all new to me, but I was so fortunate to experience it with my teammates Jaime Gunning and Chloe Moran who made it such a fun trip!

After such a strong season so far what were your goals heading in to Nationals?

I didn't know what to expect heading into the Championships this year, I was just hoping to do my best because in the end that's all you can do and overall I was stoked with how it all went.

Took dominant wins the time trial and road race at the National Championships how did the races play out for you? Happy with the results?

The time trial had a little bit of everything, it had a climb, a technical descent, some speed bumps and a flat stretch of road which made it a very interesting time trial and certainly a bit of a challenge! I was unsure of how I would go on the course, but tried to just keep my mind open and to not worry too much. I was so happy to come away with the result that I did and to have my Tassie teammates Anya Louw and Renee Dykstra do so well too was awesome!

The road race also had a bit of climbing and descending, which mixed things up a bit. The start of the women's race was pretty slow to get going, but at about 40km the pace lifted up one of the more decisive climbs and Sarah Gigante and I were able to break away. Up one of the later climbs I was able to ride away and cross the line ahead of Sarah and the chasing girls. I was really happy with the result and had a pretty big smile spread across my face as I finished.

Five top 10 overall finishes in the NRS over the last two seasons how important it is gaining experience and results against some of Australia's top elite riders?

Racing in the National Women's Road Series provides juniors with an unmatched opportunity to compete with some of the best in Australia. The racing not only has a significantly bigger field when compared to junior racing, but involves teams as well, which results in much more aggressive, fast and fun racing! It's such a good platform to develop confidence, learn race tactics and to challenge yourself against the women.

Been selected for the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July looking forward to it what are your goals?

I'm pretty excited for the Youth Commonwealth Games, I'm not really sure what to expect, but I'm hoping to gain some experience from the games and to just make the most of the opportunity and have fun!!

Tasmania has had riders like Amy Cure, Macey Stewart and Georgia Baker come through in recent years. While they have focused a lot on the track does it help having those riders to look up to?

The girls from Tassie such as Georgia, Amy and Macey are a pretty big influence, its pretty cool seeing what they have achieved and the pathway that they took! Having Mace in the TIS Women's Racing Team is great, she has no much experience to share with us, is so much fun and really is the ultimate team captain!

Two years after taking up the sport is it hard to believe the success you have had?

Things have gone pretty quickly and I've been so fortunate to have had so many memorable opportunities and experiences, which have all been a bit unexpected.

2017 is your final year as a junior looking further ahead where do you hope to be heading in to 2018 and beyond?

I hope to just keep enjoying riding my bike and to just see what unfolds taking each day as it comes, it'd be so cool to become a professional female cyclist though.
 © 2016