Peloton Watch
  Nina Wollaston sets new PB in individual pursuit plus two medal haul at 2016 National Championships  
  February 16th 2016  
  Photo: Nina Wollaston after claiming bronze in the scratch race. Nina Wollaston
  Nina Wollaston's second year in the elite ranks continued on a successful note at the New Zealand Track National Championships last week.

Following her World Cup debut in Hong Kong in January, where she finished fifth in the team pursuit as part of a young New Zealand squad Wollaston was eager to continue her development at the National Championships.

"I was lucky that when we came back from Hong Kong we still had a good three weeks before racing to get back in to training," said Wollaston on her preparation.

"Going away I think helped me as it was a lot of track work, which got my system used to the high intensity work before racing!

"When we came back we had a couple of days off before a pretty solid week and a half of intensive training then tapered to race."

Ahead of the National Championships, Wollaston had placed a big emphasis on the individual pursuit and improving her personal best time of 3mins 46.480secs set at the 2016 Waikato Bay of Plenty Track Championships in December.

With a time of 3mins 43.657secs Wollaston not only improved but smashed her personal best by almost three seconds. "I still get a huge grin on my face reading that!," Wollaston said with a smile. "The pursuit really just went to plan and I was trying to stay relaxed heading in to it as I was keen to get a good PB.

"I'm definitely happy with the time I did and it gave me a confidence boost for the rest of the racing."

The penultimate day of racing saw Wollaston claim her biggest success in the elite ranks to date with a bronze medal in the scratch race.

"The race was a bit faster than I was expecting, a few people had a go at getting away but everything was shut down pretty quickly, I had planned to sit in most of the race and watch for good wheels.

"Because I didn't do much work during the race I was feeling confident in my ability to sprint. I sat on Racquel [Sheath] and Kirstie [James] leading in to the last couple of laps because I knew they would be going for it," revealed Wollaston.

"Unfortunately I wasn't quite able to sit on Racquel when she zipped through to the finish, so I got passed but finished third.

"It was my first individual elite medal so that was still a huge personal achievement and a good reminder that I was doing something right with my build up!

The Championships were Wollaston's second as an elite rider and came off the back of a challenging 2015. "I'm really proud of my achievements over the course of the year, especially when I compare this nationals to last nationals I can see how much I have improved," explained Wollaston.

The final day of racing saw Wollaston combine with Helen Baillie-Strong, Holly White and junior Madeleine Park to claim silver in the team pursuit. Equalling her team pursuit result from 2015.

With two medals to her name including her first individual, improved times and results across the board it shows Wollaston continues to develop in to a force in the New Zealand track team.

"I improved not only in timed events but on my skills and confidence while racing," explained Wollaston on her strong showing across five events. "That is key in this stage of my career as I still developing so any improvements are good indicators on how I'm tracking."

With a busy 12 months that has seen her compete in Australia, the United States and Hong Kong as well as her native New Zealand, Wollaston is enjoying a short break from racing before setting new goals. "I'm super excited to be a on a little break right now!

"This gives me time to reset, get stuck back in to uni and catch up with my family and friends.

"Over the next week I will be developing my new performance plan for the year which will be exciting; setting new goals and targets for the upcoming season."
 © 2016