July 2015 – Where am I at?

October 27, 2015

I’ve been asked to write monthly blogs for the Australian Olympic Committee in the lead up to *hopefully* making the Rio Olympic Games in August, 2016.

 – so why not fill my website viewers in at the same time!

Blog number one. Where to start? Well firstly, let me introduce myself. I’m Annette Edmondson, a 23 year old cyclist from the Hills of Adelaide, South Australia. 13 year old me would never have imagined describing my 23-year-old self as a cyclist, however once the South Australian Sports Institute ‘discovered’ me through their “Talent Identification” program, I swapped the soccer boots for a helmet, and off I went.

It wasn’t completely smooth sailing however, but then again, what generally is? I gave track sprinting a go throughout the junior ranks but soon found my niche in track endurance cycling. I raced the team pursuit and omnium disciplines at my first track world cup in November 2011, the World Championships in March 2012, and then sure enough, found myself named in the Australian team for the 2012 London Olympics.

20-year old me didn’t know what I’d signed myself up for. The final 10 months of the Olympic journey had all happened so quickly that I barely had time to let it sink in. I had just scraped through each Olympic Team ‘cut’ as I transitioned from sprinter to endurance athlete, so I never had time to get used to the idea that I may actually make it. Perhaps that’s what helped? I didn’t have time to think, I could only ‘do’. Needless to say, it was such an honour to have the privilege to try and squeeze into the coveted green and gold skinsuit and line up for not just myself, nor just my family and friends, but for Australia, on the largest stage there is.

Unfortunately our team pursuit team of Melissa Hoskins, Josie Tomic and I missed out on the ride for gold by .001 of a second. We then went on to miss out on Bronze by 0.01 of a second. Despite silver at the World Championships just four months prior, we had finished in 4th. This was heartbreaking. Whilst I was hurting for my teammates, I was lucky to have a second event, the Omnium, starting two days later. An event based on the best average score from the results of six different races, the Omnium is a gruelling event, but this time I managed to come out with a Bronze medal. I am a perfectionist, as most elite athletes are, so of course I was after the gold medal, but after experiencing what fourth felt like, to be able to stand on the podium and see the Australian flag rise for my country was absolutely incredible. It was such a process to get to that point; so much time, effort, pain, tears, stress, nervousness and excitement. For it to finally be over was completely overwhelming, but it was one of the proudest moments of my life..

..and that’s why I want to do it all again.

But this time I’m hungrier. I know a lot more about what to expect. Not just myself, but my team do too. We are much more experienced on the world stage and we are more prepared. This year was the first year since 2010 that Australia won the Women’s Team Pursuit at the World Championships. I joined Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins and together we didn’t just win, we smashed the World Record by three seconds. Our women’s track endurance squad had results across the board, with Rebecca Wiasak winning the Individual Pursuit, Amy Cure second in the scratch and I also *finally* won the Omnium. I know this was just a stepping stone towards the ultimate goal (next year), however we know that we are now back on track.

So that was a pretty good February. Since then I had a short break in Australia before heading back to Europe to focus on the road season – yes, I’m one of those strange (or greedy) people who attempt to do both track and road disciplines within the year. As of 2015, I’ve been racing for the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team and am competing in races which compliment my track program – so far so good! It’s my third year riding on the road in Europe and each year I’m finding it slightly easier. My main focus this road season will be the Team Time Trial (TTT) at the Road World Championships which will be held in America in September, but to qualify I will need to perform at the Swedish TTT World Cup help on the 20th of August. Hopefully by the time I write my next blog I’ll have some positive news to report!

Wish me luck!

Bio

Annette Edmondson (born 12 December, 1991 in Adelaide) is an Australian cyclist who races for the Australian Track Cycling Team.

Annette is a three-time World Champion, Olympic medallist and dual Commonwealth Games Champion.

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