Promising Southland representative cyclist Nicole Shields has an eye on the future when she competes at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland starting on Wednesday.
The 16-year-old Central Otago rider is in her first year competing at the under-19 level UCI world event and is looking to gain valuable experience at the five-day event.
The Dunstan High School student is unsure of what to expect in her world champs debut where she will ride in the team pursuit, while she hopes to also be in the saddle for the individual pursuit, once the start lists are finalised.
"Being the first time I have competed at a world champs level, I don't have any expectations on myself results-wise," she said.
"I just want to come away knowing I have put my best performance out on the day, and take away every bit of experience I can for the future."
The Alexandra cyclist is excited at the prospect of testing herself against the world's best junior riders.
"I am looking forward to seeing where I stand on a world stage, and gaining all the experience I can for the future."
Shields has enjoyed the recent preparation for the event which saw her claim the junior women's 2000m at a Melbourne track meet, while she has also competed in road cycling events in Australia earlier this year.
She is hoping that her training will hold her in good stead when the meeting begins.
"I have been happy with the training leading up to the worlds, and being in camp with the team over the past three weeks has been hugely motivating," she said.
"Going through each day, completing every session to the best of my ability each time I go out there has been a huge thing for me, and hopefully something that will help me when the pressure comes on in the competition."
The teenager is one of five Southland representative cyclists competing at the junior world champs which starts on July 20 at Aigle in Swtizerland.
Article and photo courtesy Stuff