Sydney Uni Velo Racing’s Lauren Fitzgerald claimed her maiden Subaru National Road Series stage win in stage two of the National Capital Tour on Saturday, September 19.
In just her second event, Fitzgerald gave a spectacular performance beating Lucy Bechtel (Bicycle Superstore) and Justine Barrow (Building Champions Squad) in a sprint finish.
Former basketballer and triathlete vindicated her decision to take up cycling staying with a large break and powering to the finish at Corin Forest with the leader’s time.
“My background is basketball, and then I switched to triathlon about 10 years ago. The bike was always my strongest leg, I did some climbing while on holidays in Europe earlier this year, and just decided that I would turn my attention to racing,” Fitzgerald told Cycling Australia.
“I have never felt like this before,” exclaimed Fitzgerald post-race.
A week earlier, Fitzgerald and fellow SUVelo squad members competed in Amy’s Otway Classic.
At 110km in length, the race is one of the biggest, well attended races in the Women’s NRS Calendar and SUVelo was well represented.
Resolute to support and protect Fitzgerald, teammates Givanna Haryono and Abby Sneddon attempted to stay at the front of the bunch at the start, and keep their elbows out to defend their positions.
Remembering key advice from Race Team Leader Marissa Madden, Lauren managed to stay in the first half of the bunch, weaving and defending her position with exceptional skill.
The major climb of this race was testing for SUVelo riders, with Lauren and Abby staying with the lead bunch and Givanna conceding 17 minutes with the high pace and level of skill. This was Givanna’s and Lauren’s first NRS races and they gave fantastic efforts.