Well known Gold Coast cyclist, Loren Rowney, winner of the 2011 Hybrid Honda Women’s Tour, has scored a major victory in the United States, taking out Stage 4 of the recent SRAM Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico.
Rowney, who originally heralds from Guteng in South Africa, is a member of the highly prominent Specialized Lulemon cycling team, but was on loan to the FCS/Rouse p/b Mr Restore outfit for the Gila event.
The popular Australian rider currently resides in Menlo Park, California.
Rowney gave a masterly display in the aggressive Pro Women’s Criterium, outsprinting tough challengers, Carmen Small (Optum p/b LKelly Benefit Strategies) and Christina Gokey-Smith (NOW and Novartis for MS).
CSN caught up with Loren Rowney after her great win and posed the following questions:
CSN: Did the Stage win in the Tour of the Gila come as a surprize to you?
LR: I knew going into the crit that I had a pretty good chance of winning. I felt I had the strongest kick in the field, and if I positioned myself well going into the last turn, I would have a good shot. Ideally, you needed to be second wheel, but I came back from 6th to take the win.
CSN: How did the race pan out for you?
LR: I knew there would a lot of attacking from the NOW team, and that Optum would cover everything. I had a feeling it would come down to a bunch kick, but made sure I put myself in any threatening moves ie an Optum, NOW and Exergy rider in a break.
CSN: How was the Tour on the whole?
LR: Gila is a tough tour, its q climbers tour and its at altitude so for me it was always going to be really tough. In saying that I loved it, its a hard race and great preparation for the Idaho exergy tour at the end of the month. CSN: How have you settled into your new team?
LR: I love this team, and every time I race with the girls, I feel so privileged to ride alongside side them. You couldn't ask for a greater team, the riders and staff are just such an incredible bunch of people, I'm very lucky.
CSN: What are your goals for the rest of 2012?
LR: Goals for the rest of the year are to continue with the team’s successes here in the States. I'm most looking forward to the Exergy Tour and would love a good result at Nature Valley in June. And then, of course, the big goal for me would be to make Worlds selection. CSN: How have you found the racing scene for women in the US?
LR: Racing in the US is definitely harder and more aggressive than Australia. I think it’s a great stepping stone to Europe. CSN: How would you describe your strengths, and how do these fit in with the other girls on the team?
LR: Obviously I've got a good kick on me, I climb decent enough on the shorter climbs. I think I'd be a great support rider and lead out for a sprinter like Chloe Hoskings. I'm still figuring out my strengths and weaknesses. This year is definitely a learning curve for me. CSN: How long do you see yourself racing in the US?
LR: I'll be in the US till the middle of July, then off to Europe till late August. If I make Worlds I'll stay on till the end of September, if not, I'll probably travel a bit and head home mid September. CSN: What's your next outing?
LR: Next event is the Tour of California time trial. I've been entered in it for experience, so I'm going to give my absolute best shot and hopefully have the TT of my life (haha!). A little nerve racking, but what a great opportunity!