By Lawrence Machado
Four talented girls from Neo Cycling Club landed the 2022 NSW Under 15 Junior Team Trial gold medal, with three moving up a grade to ride in this age group.
Bella Vista sisters Charlotte and Hannah Hussein, Kellyville’s Erin Prince, and Charlotte O’Shaughnessy from Glenwood completed the 11.5km road race collectively in the fastest time at the Cycling NSW Team Time Trial Championships in Nabiac recently.
The dedicated foursome will also qualify for the same age category next year, providing them with a rare opportunity of defending their title. Charlotte O’Shaughnessy, 11 and Charlotte Hussein, 13, attend William Clarke College, Kellyville, her sister Hannah, 11, is at Norwest Christian College, Riverstone, while Erin Prince, 11, studies at Our Lady of the Rosary, Kellyville.
They train under Neo Cycling Club head coach Gay Watson on Wednesday evenings at Lidcombe Oval.
Neo CC has 250 members with strong female representation in junior and open women’s grades racing. The girls race at Lansdowne Reserve on most Sunday afternoons during winter.
“While a few of the girls don’t have individual titles, having a title is not necessary to perform well in a team time trial,” Neo Cycling Club co-founder Stelio Pappas said. “It is more about working as a team to get over the line together.”
The girls compete at Neo’s racing most Sunday afternoons with the next rounds scheduled for June 26, July 10 and 17. In July they have an opportunity to compete at the NSW Metropolitan Championships.
The club is trying to break down hurdles for beginners who are entering the sport as well as experienced riders who have never raced before. “We have riders from age four through to 74 riding and training with us,” Stelio said. “Riders don’t need to wait for the start of a season to take up the sport – they can join at any time.”
“While what we offer is very low cost for all kids and adults, we do have an initiative that makes it half price for women and girls at the moment. We’ve maintained a healthy core of riders and are beginning to see an increase in participation again. The team time trial, as well as a few other junior tours have been part of the re-opening of our sport since the lifting of restrictions.”
To join or find out more email Stelio at [email protected]