Emily is a dream weaver
WHEN Emily Roper began competitive cycling five years ago, she never dreamed she would become the under-19 Australian pursuit champion.
But the 16-year-old Elanora girl is set for even greater accolades, having been selected to compete at the Junior Track World Championships in Moscow later this year.
“I never thought anything like this would happen. It is pretty exciting,” Roper said.
“Moscow should be exciting, especially racing there against all those different countries.”
Roper, who is coached by Mark Brady, has recorded times that would have placed her in the top 10 in her age group in the world, and she will take podium ambitions with her to the championships.
“I am first year in my age group, and you stay in each one for two years, so it will probably be pretty tough racing – hard, but good,” she said. “It would be good to place in the top three, but I will see how I go.”
She would like to be able to call herself a world champion.
“That would be awesome.”
She was selected in the 14-person Australia team for the world championships after her pursuit win earlier this month. She was also second in the omnium event but unfortunately crashed out of the 20km points race.
The busy Marymount College student manages to fit a 400km, seven-day-a-week training schedule around her senior studies and work at her parents’ newsagency at Banora Point.
“Sometimes I don’t feel like doing the training and would rather sleep in. But once I get out there and have a ride, I forget all that and I feel great afterwards,” she said.
It is all worth it as she chases Olympic dreams, possibly in 2016 in Brazil.
“Well, that is the goal of the long term. It would be great to go to the Olympics one day, but I will see how I go,” she said.
The scary thing is, Roper is more of a distance specialist and prefers road racing.
She is the under-17 Australian road racing champion and hopes to defend that title in the under-19 division later this year.