Hosking lets bike do the talking Fleta Page
June 3, 2012
Chloe Hosking is hoping for selection in the road cycling team for the upcoming Olympics. Photo: Colleen Petch
CHLOE HOSKING is waiting patiently for some good news after a year which has provided some extreme highs and lows.
Hosking won her first race of 2012 on New Year's Day, but made headlines around the world for a comment she made afterwards - calling Pat McQuaid, the boss of the International Cycling Federation, ''a bit of a dick'' for not believing female cyclists deserved a minimum wage.
The cyclist from Campbell is hoping it's her results, not her remarks, which are taken into account when selectors this week choose three women from seven candidates to represent Australia in the road race at the Olympic Games.
Advertisement: Story continues below ''I think I would be someone who would make up the strongest team, but I think stranger things have happened when teams have been selected, so I'm trying to keep a level head about it,'' Hosking said.
''It's not like swimming where a 50-metres pool is a 50m pool - every course is different and they have to try and take the strongest team for the course in London.''
The sprinter has done plenty to claim her place on the team. At No.12 in the world she's Australia's top-ranked road cyclist. She finished sixth last September at the world road championships, third overall at the Jayco Bay Classic criterium series in January and fifth in the Tour of Qatar in February.
Then in March she won her first race on the European tour, the Drentse 8 race in the Netherlands, riding for Specialized-lululemon.
''That was a good one to win. I beat the world champion [Giorgia Bronzini] and Marianne Vos, who is pretty amazing. She's ranked No.1 in the world, so I was on cloud nine for a while there.''
But when filling out her Olympic nomination form, Hosking hit what could be seen as a potential bump in the road.
It asked whether she had done anything which could be regarded to bring her or the sport into disrepute and Hosking had no choice but to declare her misdeed.
The McQuaid saga had ended with Hosking found guilty of bringing herself and the sport into disrepute, but the punishment was a token suspended $200 fine.
The fine took into account the fact female cyclists don't earn much, if anything, from the sport.
''It's a view I still hold, but I regret voicing it how I did,'' the 21-year-old said of the ordeal.
''I learnt a lot during the two-week period that was happening.
''It's something I try to put behind me … I hope I've moved on and haven't brought the sport or myself into disrepute any further.''
Hosking has been distracting herself from the nervous wait by putting in ''a lot of hours on the bike''.
She would normally be at her base in the northern Spanish town of Girona at this time of year, but with a month-long break between races, she has spent the last few weeks at home with her family, celebrating her sister's engagement, training in the hills of Stromlo, and hoping she has done enough to gain selection for London.
Being home has highlighted how unusual her Spanish routine is, where she has embraced the local lifestyle and the siesta. ''When I'm in Girona I don't realise that waking up at 10 and going riding at 11 and then having lunch at five isn't the normal routine,'' she said.
''When I come home and my mum and dad and my sister are going to work at like 8.30, 9am and I'm just waking up, it's like, 'what's happening? This isn't normal, what I do?'''
Hosking's routine has been all about cycling, and training for the 140-kilometre London course, which has one hilly area, the sprinters' enemy. She's been putting in around five hours a day on the bike, much of it in Canberra's hills.
''I think [the selectors] are concerned that I won't get over Box Hill, so I'm trying to prove to them that I can,'' she said.
However, which riders race in London is ultimately at the discretion of the selectors.
''I've ridden the course … I think I can get to the end of the race and get Australia a result, but it comes down to how the selectors think the race will play out,'' Hosking said.