Top rider had wob­bly start

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAUREN PRIESTLEY

Holly White has quickly pro­gressed from train­ing wheels to the track.

The 16-year-old Green­lane ath­lete has taken the sec­ondary school cy­cling world by storm and has high hopes for a fu­ture on two wheels. It’s a turn­around for some­one who just a few years ago wasn’t so keen on rid­ing bikes.

‘‘I couldn’t ride a bike at pri­mary school and had to use train­ing wheels. I was too em­bar­rassed to take them to school so I just didn’t,’’ she says.

White started cy­cling com­pet­i­tively when she got to St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege and says she fell in love with the sport.

Her per­sonal best at this year’s 16 kilo­me­tre Auck­land Water­front Time Tri­als was 23 min­utes 7 sec­onds, mak­ing her the fastest school­girl yet and the quick­est adult fe­male for 2013.

She also took out the UCI Ocea­nia Track Cy­cling un­der-19 2000 me­tre pur­suit ti­tle in In­ver­cargill on Novem­ber 20.

White has now been se­lected for the GMC De­vel­op­ment Team, coached by Com­mon­wealth Games medal­list Gor­don McCauley, and will start train­ing with the squad in the new year.

‘‘It’s about de­vel­op­ing us to be­come in­ter­na­tional rid­ers and get out there on the world stage on the road as well as track,’’ she says.

At the New Zealand Sec­ondary School In­di­vid­ual Cy­cling Champs White broke the un­der-17 4000m time trial record by 11 sec­onds.

She now has 64 re­gional and na­tional medals for road rac­ing, track cy­cling and mul­ti­sport events.

The wins mean her hard work has paid off, White says.

‘‘All of a sud­den all those early win­ter morn­ings are worth it. You do get ner­vous but I re­ally en­joy just go­ing out there.’’

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