Stewart sets sights on conquering the world

Tasmanian cyclist Macey Stewart has set her sights firmly on representing Australia at both track and road world titles.
Tasmanian cyclist Macey Stewart has set her sights firmly on representing Australia at both track and road world titles.

HAVING conquered her country, Tasmanian cyclist Macey Stewart has set her sights on conquering the world.

A national junior champion on the road and track this year, the Devonport teenager remains optimistic she can also take on the world in both disciplines.

Stewart has already been selected for next month's junior world track titles in Korea, but having won last week's national road race is hoping to also make the Australian team for the junior road world championships in Spain.

"I would love the opportunity to represent Australia at both track and road world championships this year," she said.

"It is an honour to represent your country and I would like to do that at any opportunity.

"I have learnt in the past not to put too high of expectations on myself, as sometimes things just aren't meant to be. But I can't deny that heading into my last world track championships as an under- 19, I am very eager to bring home some world stripes."

After five medals from five events at this year's junior track nationals, including two golds, the 18-year-old told she went into last week's road equivalent without high expectations.

But on the same circuit where she suffered a sickening crash in 2012, Stewart landed the biggest result of her career by winning the road race and adding silvers in the criterium and time trial, to total eight medals for the year.

"Heading into road nationals my main focus was the time trial," she said.

"I was hoping to get first or second so I could be considered for the junior road world championships. I hadn't really thought about the road race or criterium beforehand, as I'm one to think on the spot and see how the race turns out rather than plan it.

"Knowing that I was racing girls who are as strong as Alex Manly and Anna Leeza Hull did have me worried and lacking a bit of confidence in the hills, but I'd hoped that if I protected myself enough I could stay with them over the climbs.

"I knew that after being beaten by such a substantial amount in the TT I had to pull out a pretty specky road race to stay in contention for junior road worlds selection.

"To come away with three medals from three events has boosted my confidence for the upcoming world track camp."

Stewart won national titles at under-15 and under-17 level before her 2012 crash which she now sees as a blessing in disguise.

"Although it caused me to miss road nationals and my first chance of wearing the Aussie colours on my back, I think it made me so much more motivated and when I was finally able to exercise again I was jumping out of my skin to get back on the bike and feel the pain!

"It also allowed my body to have a much needed rest. I think I grew about 5 centimetres."

Stewart also claimed a senior national team pursuit title this year alongside Launceston's junior world champion Lauren Perry, Perth's Georgia Baker and Amy Cure, of West Pine, and makes no secret of her desire to follow Cure's bike tracks to becoming an Olympian.

"Rio 2016 is a big goal of mine and I think I am on the right path at the moment, but I do realise it will be a huge challenge to make the team at such a young age.

"I'm definitely going to give it a shot though!"


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