Peloton Watch
  Shannon Malseed ready to step up in 2015 after under 23 National Championship double  
  January 16th 2015  
  A successful National Championships sees Shannon Malseed ready to step up further in 2015. The former triathlete was the dominant figure at the recent Australian National Championships in the under 23 ranks. On the opening day of the National Championships Malseed sprinted to sixth in the women's and as the top under 23 rider claimed her first national title.

The 20 year old went in to the road race full of confidence but with realistic expectations. Despite hoping to be part of the early action it wasn't to be as Malseed sat patiently in the bunch. Despite being dropped with two laps to go she clawed her way back only to again be off the back coming in to the closing kilometres. A last ditch effort saw Malseed bridge across to the main bunch and finish 11th, again the top under 23 rider.

Having taken the criterium and road race double, Malseed has followed in the footsteps of Emily Roper who had done the double the previous two years. After two years in a support role at Holden Women's Cycling Team, one of the top domestic teams we can expect to see Malseed continue to improve and take advantage of opportunities that arise.

PelotonWatch: You started out in triathlon. What made you switch to focus on cycling?

Shannon Malseed: I came from a swimming background before I started triathlon. As a triathlete, cycling was my strongest leg. I could never really run.

I used to do a few cycling races here and there and I got noticed by the Holden team, a few months later they asked me to come on board for 2013. I said yes because I thought it was an amazing offer that I couldn't pass up. I had previously thought about switching to cycling, so the offer from Julien Knuppel (Manager of Holden Women's Cycling Team) just made my decision to switch easier.

PW: Who has been your biggest influence?

SM: Probably would have to be a tie between my dad (my number 1 fan) Jules (coach and manager) and my boyfriend Dylan Lindsey who is also a cyclist and my number one training partner.

PW: How would you describe yourself as a rider?

SM: I am a hard worker and I love working for the team. In future I think I will be a bit of an all rounder.

PW: You raced for Holden Women's Cycling Team last year along side NRS overall winner Ruth Corset. What did you learn from her?

SM: The most valuable lesson I learned from Ruth last year was the true hard work and dedication it takes to become a world class cyclist. Ruth is one of the most dedicated people I know.

PW: How would you describe your 2014 season?

SM: 2014 was a successful year for me and the team. I enjoyed working for Ruth and other team mates. Although I didn't get many significant results, I improved a lot and learned a lot.

PW: Heading in to the National Championships what were you expecting?

SM: I thought I had a good chance at taking the under 23 criterium title as I got so close last year but then crashed in the final 100m. So I was determined to do well this year and I'm stoked with my result in both the under 23 and elite.

In the time trial I wanted to podium but realistically I don't have the power to weight yet to get over the hills fast enough, but it was a great indication of where I am at. The road race was totally surprising, I didn't expect to win the under 23 title but everything happened right on the day. I am so overwhelmed and so happy that I got the title. I thought the course wouldn't suit me as it is a climbers course but I felt really good on the day!

PW: You took the under 23 criterium title on the opening day. What did it mean to you?

SM: It meant that all the work I had done had paid off and I finally got a reward for it, anything could have happened in the race, I crashed and that could have been the end of my race, but this year it seemed to be my turn to win under 23. It means a lot.

PW: How much confidence were you able to take from the win heading in to the road race?

SM: I was confident that I had good form, but I knew the other girls like Ellen and Jenelle are really good climbers so they would be hard to beat, along with the other under 23ís who could possibly out climb me. I didn't know what was going to happen but I hoped to get into an early break and see how than panned out. I didn't get in any breaks but it turned out I didn't need to.

PW: In the road race with two laps to go you were dropped but you fought your way back only to be off the back again heading in to the final kilometre. With at least one under 23 rider [Ellen Skerritt] in the main bunch was there a point where you thought ok I am racing for silver?

SM: Jenelle was also in the main bunch, I was in a bunch with Alex Nichols and I thought we would be racing for third under 23 rider. I would have been happy with third but in the last few kilometres I thought I had to try to win it and I didn't care if I lost it trying, I wouldn't have been satisfied knowing I didn't give it everything. So I attacked and caught the main bunch just in time for the sprint finish! It was the best feeling I've ever had.

PW: What does winning the under 23 National road title mean to you?

SM: I still can't really believe it has happened. Never say never, anything is possible. I know I have a long way to go in the sport but this result means I'm on the right track.

PW: Did doing the criterium and road race double give you a bigger sense of accomplishment?

SM: I definitely feel more satisfied having both titles rather than only one, wouldn't everyone feel the same? It's a great confidence booster coming into the new 2015 season, I can't wait for the NRS!

PW: As well as the under 23 title you finished 11th in the women's field beating out a number of experienced professionals. What can you take away from that?

SM: It's just icing on the cake, I raced a really good race and I'm proud of myself and thankful for all the support from my coach, family and team mates. As I said, I have a long way to go but I'm confident that I'm getting there.

PW: You have re-signed with Holden for 2015. What are you hoping to achieve this year?

SM: I just hope to keep improving and working with the team to succeed at the NRS level.

PW: Next month you are off to New Zealand for the Women's Tour of New Zealand, your first International UCI race. What are you most looking forward to about the experience?

SM: I'm looking forward to learning new things and gaining experience racing against a higher level of riders. The experience will be valuable no matter what result I get. The stages are long and really tough so I don't expect too much of myself, I hope I can hang in there.

PW: Looking ahead where are you hoping your career will take you?

SM: I hope to become a world class cyclist.

2015 Under 23 Criterium Podium: L-R Rebecca Mackey, Shannon Malseed and Tayla Evans
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