“My next big goal is to win a rainbow jersey in every discipline”

Posted on: January 2nd, 2016

Gold for Susie Mitchell at the World Masters Track Championships

Susie Mitchell celebrates winning gold in the points race at the Worlds Masters Track Championships back in October.

 

Susie Mitchell’s name might not be as well know as the Irish stars of track and road, but the Carlow rider’s Masters track title triumph in October deserves its place among the highlights of the season.

That she’s only cycling since 2011 makes the achievement more remarkable and the Sundrive Track Team stalwart has set her sights on more success in 2016.

Of that magnificent points race triumph in the 40-44 years category in Manchester, Mitchell remarked: “The first thing I felt was a wave of relief.

“I was beginning to think I’d never win another championship (after winning in 2012). Every year the competition is getting harder and the standards are going up.

“The relief was quickly followed by elation and delight and I felt very emotional on the podium.

“I was just so grateful to everyone who had made it possible for me to get the chance to compete and succeed this year.”

Her favoured event is the 500m TT and she took bronze in that as well as a pair of silvers in the 2k Individual Pursuit and Open Team Pursuit also.

Amazingly, a bronze in the Scratch Race brought her medal haul to five for the campaign and it was little surprise to see Cycling Ireland present her with a special achievement award last month.

“Everything I did this year was focussed on the Masters,” she said.

“I even trained right through the track nationals this year (winning the omnium) which I normally taper for as I wanted to peak at the right time and leave nothing to chance.”

 

Eye of the tiger: Mitchell looking focussed on the boards (Photo by Dave Urquhart)

 

Being a mother and a full-time vet, Mitchell’s time for work, family and training is a balancing act – but training is training and has to be done.

“I travel all over the country visiting fish farms and aquariums but I try not to miss a session or my coach Hugh Byrne will kill me!

“So I frequently bring the rollers and the bike in the car and set them up wherever I’m staying and get a session in.

“I’ve had some strange looks going in and out of hotels with the oversize luggage but it’s all been worthwhile.”

And with 2016 looming, she’s already eager to get back into the swing of things – with a 1-0day camp in Lanzarote on the agenda.

“My next big goal has to be to win a rainbow jersey in every discipline at the Masters. But that might take a bit longer than 2016!

“I’m actually hoping to focus a bit more on the 500m TT this year and try and improve my time in that and see can I move up the podium.

“I’m also going to give the road a crack next season and see where that takes me.”

 

 

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