New facility the difference - Cottam
New Plymouth cyclist Maxyna Cottam bagged five bronze medals at the recent elite and under-19 track nationals in Invercargill.
The 16-year-old credits the new velodrome at Bell Block for her results.
"Without the facility at my doorstep, I wouldn't have been able to do the training I've done or achieve the results I have," Cottam said. "I'm also thankful for the [help] from my new coach, Grant Wilson, and the older cycling hands from New Plymouth who have taken the time to show me the tricks and race against me to build my strength up."
Cottam was referring to riders such as Wayne Silby and Craig Peters.
The talented teen has spent between two and four hours a day since November at the new Bell Block facility.
She said it was fantastic to have it in the province.
"In previous years, I've had to travel to Whanganui to train, which involved four hours in the car, so I only went once a week," Cottam said.
"I made the decision late last year that I wanted to concentrate on being a track cyclist and while I'm still doing my training on the road, my focus is now towards the track," she said.
Cottam's medal haul includes bronze in the sprints, points race, and individual pursuit, with two other riders - Waimate's Holly Edmondston and Southland's Laura Heywood - meeting the qualifying time for junior worlds.
Cottam said she was absolutely rapt with her pursuit time and believed she could shave more off it.
Cottam then teamed up with Whanganui's Cassie Cameron (last year's junior world representative) and Gemma Dudley in the elite women's team pursuit to claim bronze.
She also combined with Palmerston North's Ruby Perry to finish third in the team sprint.
Cottam will line up at the omnium championships, which are held in conjunction with the age- group track nationals, at the end of the month.
The West Coast North Island have a team of 25 riders to take to the championships.
Cottam's goal is to secure a place at the junior world championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in August.
Taranaki Daily News