Aiming high for World Champs

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Nicole Shields has cycled her way to the Junior World Track Cycling Championships.
The Dunstan High School pupil will head to the championships in Aigle, Switzerland next month to compete in the team pursuit.
Nicole said she had high hopes heading into the team pursuit, as last year’s team won and broke the world record.
‘‘We are aiming just as high this year . . .this is my first world champs. However, I have competed in Australia for the under-17 development team on the road in 2014 and 2015 and at the Oceanias for the under-19 team in October last year.’’
Shields is teaming up with Ellesse Andrews, formerly of Wanaka and now living in Cambridge, Michaela Drummond and Emily Shearman, both of Palmerston North, Emma Cumming, of Invercargill, and Kate Smith, of Christchurch.
Six men from New Zealand will also compete in the championships. The 16-year-old is also aiming to compete in the individual pursuit, but riders will not find out if they are competing until closer to the event.
‘‘I have a good shot because I won the national title in February. I will be aiming for a PB [personal best] in this event,’’ she said. Nicole had a successful 2015, winning the national individual pursuit under-19 and coming second in the omnium and points race. She also competed in the Oceania Track Championships in October and earlier this year finished third in the National Road Championships that were held in Alexandra.
‘‘I’ve had a good last year,’’ she said.
Her goal for this year had been to make the team for the Junior World Track Cycling Championships, which she had accomplished, so had shifted her focus to a new personal best in her individual events.
She also aimed ‘‘to get experience for next year where I am still eligible to compete in under-19’’, Nicole said.
Training had remained the same for the championships, but she was focusing on the quality of her training, not the quantity.
She had been fundraising for the event for the past couple of months and was running her last scratchy board at the district club. – A fundraising quiz night is also being held tonight at Monteiths, with team tickets available from Mike Shields on 027 387-7863 at $10 per person.
Teams can have two to six competitors.