Hurtling around an Olympic cycling track at close to 60km per hour without brakes is typical sport for Georgia Wiltshire.
The Year 12 student at Aquinas Catholic College Menai will compete in five events at the 2019 National U19 Elite Track Championships in Brisbane from 3 – 6 April, after medalling at the NSW level competition in March.
Georgia began cycling competitively at age 10 and trains for about 12 hours per week at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bass Hill with the NSW development squad.
She has trained with the squad since August last year, when coaches picked a few people they thought could make the team to prepare for the national championships. The team was then selected based cyclists’ performance at the NSW U19 Elite Track Championships.
At nationals, the racing is at a whole other level.
Georgia competed for St George Cycling Club at the event over three days from 8 March. She competed in the three track endurance events – the scratch race, points race and individual pursuit – and achieved a silver medal in the 80-lap points race. She also won a bronze medal in the 2km individual pursuit with a personal best time of 2 minutes and 37 seconds.
At nationals, she will compete in the same endurance events along with the team pursuit and madison.
“I love catching up with friends from other states at nationals and the racing is at a whole other level,” she said. “I love the competition and people I’ve met through cycling. I’ve made some really good friendships. It’s also given me discipline, and the routine of it works really well with school.”
Georgia has balanced the demands of competitive cycling and HSC studies over the past six months. After nationals, she will scale back her cycling commitments for a few months to focus on exam preparation.
“I do try to make the most of the free periods I have, or wake up earlier and do some work before school if I know I am going to be training all afternoon,” she said of getting the balance right.
“Sometimes after school if I’m feeling overwhelmed it’s great to get out and go for an hour ride and clear my head. Going for a ride or racing on weekend, is a good way to catch up with friends. It’s really good for socialising and physical activity as well.”