By Mick Jensen
Ashburton cyclist Maddi Lowry has bagged five medals at the Canterbury Track Cycling Championships to earn herself a place on the Canterbury team heading to the age-group track nationals in early March.
The 15-year-old, a student at Ashburton College, picked up four silvers and a bronze in Under 17 races at the three-day championships at the Denton Park velodrome, Christchurch.
The up and coming cyclist was just a hair’s breath away from gold in both the scratch and individual pursuit races and also picked up silver in the keirin and sprints, all 2000m races.
Her bronze was won in the 500m time trial.
“I’m on a high at the moment and proud of myself,” she said. “Cycling is a huge commitment and such a lot of hard work, but my training is paying off and I’m really enjoying it.”
Maddi also represented Canterbury last year at the track nationals in the U17 age group and will use that experience when she competes in the 500m time trial, 2000m individual pursuit, 5km scratch race, 7.5km points race, 7.5km madison and team pursuit and sprint events.
The track nationals run from March 5-8 and will be held in Cycling Southland Velodrome in Invercargill.
Maddi is just one of six girls chosen in the Canterbury U17 team and favours the longer distance events, where she can use her endurance and stamina.
She started competitive riding as a 10-year-old at Tinwald Cycling Club and has been hooked ever since.
“I had to leave the club and move to Canterbury Track Cycling a couple of years ago because there was nobody else from the Mid and South Canterbury area racing in my age group.”
Maddi said she enjoyed both the individual and team racing aspects of the sport.
“I just love competing. There is a great atmosphere in the velodrome and lots of good people involved.”
Her father Doug will act as one of the handlers for the Canterbury team and will help set up bikes and support riders at the track nationals.
Maddi’s training will now crank up a level or two as she gears up for the track season finale. She will travel to Christchurch five times a week for team and individual training sessions, sometimes training twice a day.
“I just really want to do the best I can at the nationals, both individually and in team events.