Libby Arbuckle – 2017 World Track Cycling Champs – Montichiari, Italy

Our main build up for Junior Worlds began mid July in Melbourne where we competed in a week long International Track Series. We competed in numerous races throughout the week.
My highlights from these races were placing 3rd in the Scratch and Points Races and 4th in the Elite/U19 Womens Madison (a 2 person event where I partnered with past club member Emily Shearman). A crash took me out of the team events due to slight concussion and broken bike wheels. At the end of this week we flew back to Cambridge and began our training for Junior Worlds. Being away from home for so long throughout the year at smaller camps and now the last 3 week camp was hard at times but it helped the team become a tight unit that supported, trusted and respected each other.
On the 13th August we started our 40hr journey to Montichiari. The team stayed about 10kms from the velodrome, and spent some time adjusting to the 35+ degree heat and the track conditions. The track in Montichiari is steeper than usual (42 degree angle round the bends) with longer straights and tighter corners. Thankfully we had nearly a week to train and adjust to the boards. During the event we witnessed and dodged plenty of high speed accidents from riders who had not adjusted to the track.
42 countries attended the world champs. For the competition I was selected to race the Scratch race (5km’s) and the Omnium event – I was also the back-up rider for our team pursuit team. Over the four Omnium races I placed 6th, 8th, 7th and 5th. This placed me 7th overall in the final standings. In the Scratch race I placed 6th. Out of 42 teams that’s not too bad!

Libby ArbuckleLibby Arbuckle

We weren’t able to see much of Italy while we were there as we needed to stick to our processes and not eating too much pizza and pasta at the buffet. The parts of Italy we did get to see however while we were riding were beautiful and one day hopefully I’ll get to go back (for a holiday this time).
I am very proud of my achievements this year and the hard work I’ve put in - believe me you don’t get to a world championship without a lot of sweat and tears. I am very grateful for all the opportunities I have been given over the past year and for everyone who has helped and supporte me along the way.
Trying to balance both NCEA with my cycling training, gym work and racing definitely wasn’t an easy task. There were a lot of highs and of course the occasional low but all in all 2017 has proved to be a very successful year for me in both road and track cycling.
Once again, a massive thanks to Bike Manawatu for supporting my cycling development and helping me achieve my goals.

Libby Arbuckle