Fleta Page June 29, 2012
The arduous endurance work cyclist Chloe Hosking put in around the hills of Canberra last month is now paying dividends.
Hosking was this week named in the Australian cycling team bound for the London Olympic Games next month.
The Olympic road race features a stretch of hills, which threatened to cast a shadow on the selection of a specialist sprinter such as Hosking.
But the 21-year-old Canberran is in top form and currently posting her season's best results in training.
''I can feel it, I feel so strong on the flats and my climbing has definitely improved,'' she said.
''Spratty [Olympic road race teammate Amanda Spratt] even said to me that it's the best she's seen me climbing in a while.''
When the team was announced on Monday, Hosking was at the AIS European Training Centre in Varese, Italy with teammates Spratt and Shara Gillow.
The trio has raced once together at the world championships, while Gillow and Spratt ride regularly alongside each other on the Greenedge team.
''We're doing a camp just to get used to riding together, but also in preparation for the Giro,'' said Hosking, Australia's top-ranked road cyclist.
The Giro d'Italia is the major event on the women's road cycling tour, but Hosking is viewing next week's event as training for the 140km Olympic road race.
''Everything from now on you just look at as good base work and preparation for London,'' she explained. ''The Giro is such a tough race that, for me, it's just important to suffer through it, just to get as strong as possible and to get the maximum training benefit.
''But I'd still like to go for a stage win or two. I think there's a few more sprints in it this year than there has been in the past.''
The 12-month qualifying period for Olympic selection ended at the start of June, but Hosking had no racing on her schedule in the final month. She could only hope that she'd already done enough, and spend the time training.
''When I found out, I was over the moon - I mean, I'm going to the Olympics, how awesome,'' she said.
''I called my parents straight away and they were stoked. I skyped with them and they were both having a glass of wine to celebrate.''
But there were no wines for Hosking, who said the hard work was still to come.
''That's the first step and I've got to keep training hard and to get the best result in London.''