Holly is rid­ing high

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT -

When it comes to bike rid­ing, Holly White is a self­con­fessed late bloomer.

The St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege stu­dent learnt to ride a bike when she was 11.

Now at 16 she is a world cy­cling cham­pion.

‘‘I always had a bike when I was younger, but it had train­ing wheels and that never re­ally in­spired me to ride,’’ White says.

But af­ter not be­ing able to com­pete in a triathlon, she felt ‘‘hu­mil­i­ated’’ at her lack of skill and ded­i­cated the sum­mer to learn­ing be­fore start­ing at St Cuth­bert’s.

When she ar­rived in year 7 the col­lege’s cy­cling team was re­cruit­ing mem­bers and she de­cided to give it a go.

‘‘I just fell in love with it,’’ she says.

White has just re­turned from the Ju­nior World Track Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships in South Korea, where she re­ceived a bronze medal in the 4000 me­tre team pur­suit and was ranked eighth in the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit.

This tops off a fan­tas­tic year for the Green­lane res­i­dent, who has won one Ocea­nia ti­tle, three Auck­land ti­tles and one na­tional ti­tle.

In June she was se­lected for the Path­way to Podium pro­gramme, which iden­ti­fies her as a con­tender for the 2020 or 2024 Olympics.

White is train­ing on her bike for 11⁄ hours ev­ery morn­ing and also has an erg ses­sion at the end of the school day with coach Si­mon Fin­nel.

She was also cho­sen to at­tend BikeNZ train­ing camps at the Avan­tidrome in Cam­bridge.

Cy­cling nat­u­ral: Holly White was a late bloomer on the bike, only learn­ing to ride when she was 11.

Proud mo­ment: Holly White with the bronze medal she won at the Ju­nior World Track Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships in South Korea.

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