After her first-ever taste of track cycling at the Stadium Southland Velodrome less that two years ago, Irish track cyclist Susie Mitchell has won gold medal in the 2000m individual pursuit at the World Masters Track Champs at the The National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
36-year-old Susie had never been on a track bike before let alone an indoor velodrome until she came to visit sister-in-law Kathryn Adam and her husband, Cycling Southland Executive member Alistair Adam, in Invercargill in January 2011.
Susie and husband Cormac are avid recreational mountain bikers and adventure racers and were thrilled to have their first go on a cycling track at the Invercargill Velodrome and attend the racing carnival in January last year.
"I had such a blast that first time riding on the Invercargill track and then seeing the riders at the Track Carnival totally motivated me to get into the sport once I got home." Susie said.
"Alistair got me started and then even sent over one of his track bikes to Dublin with some friends who were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup last year!" she added
Susie had caught the bug and on her return to Dublin sought out one of Dublin's track cycling clubs, Sundrive Track Team, where she set to training and learning the ropes of racing. She managed to get a place in the Irish team going to the 2011 World Masters and got a taste of where she would need to get to in order to be in with a chance of taking a title.
Undeterred by the birth of her 1st child in June, she wasted no time and got into training for the Irish National Champs in September where she won a bronze in the omnium event and confirmed her place in the Irish team heading over to Manchester
Susie was absolutely delighted with her gold and hopes that Invercargill will host the Masters event one day so she can come back and compete here where she started!