A BORDER physio and a Benalla fire planner are out to take down the country’s top cyclists at this week’s National Road Championships in Ballarat.
Albury climber Lisa Barry and her teammate — time trial specialist Felicity Wardlaw — will ride for new Albury team Bicycle Superstore.
Both work but it hasn’t stopped them from plotting the downfall of their professional opponents.
Last year Barry, 36, finished 24th from 78 in the road race while Wardlaw, 35, will take strong time trial form into her first national championships.
“I’d like to do better,” Barry said.
“The course is slightly different but everything says I should be stronger, too.
“I’ve got a few more people in my corner helping me out compared to last year and I’m got another year of experience.”
After finishing top five at last month’s Tour of Bright, Barry is primed for a good result.
So too is Wardlaw.
The former rower and mountain biker has taken the sport by storm since jumping into the saddle last year.
She can list her past races on one hand but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in strength and results.
Wardlaw took victory at the National Masters Championships in Goulburn before smashing the time trial record in the Tour of Bright.
“You don’t have to worry about a lot of the tactics with time trials and I think that’s why I thrive,” Wardlaw said.
“Time trialling is just you, the bike and the clock. And I guess having that power is a big advantage because that’s what you need ... I know what I’m capable of.”
Just having the team compete is a win for Bicycle Superstore’s sporting director and store manager Grant Norton.
The former professional cyclist became involved with the team in July, largely due to his tactical nous.
“Having a team like this is just great for women’s cycling,” he said.
“In 2012-13 female cyclists have tripled in the area.”
Wardlaw will compete in the 29-kilometre time trial from noon tomorrow while Barry will start the 106-kilometre road race on Saturday.