She has been on a bike since she was 13, and there is no doubt this girl from Tassie wants to dominate the next World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and 2012 Olympics.
Belinda Goss has won bronze three years in a row at the World Championships and at just the slightest mention of the Rainbow Jersey her face lights up. It’s easy to see her eyes are firmly fixed on the Rainbow Jersey and Goss is one girl who has the focus to follow through.
Those who’ve ridden with Goss speak highly of her. Those who’ve raced her on the track not only speak highly of Goss, but, silently admit defeat to themselves before the race has even started, she’s got the meanest legs on the track and is destined for amazing things.
Melbourne pulled out all stops with glorious blue skies for an afternoon discussion and photo session at the newly refurbished West Beach Bathers Pavilion in St Kilda. Rowena Scott chatted to Belina Goss for Bicycles Network Australia (BNA).
BNA: I understand you’re originally from Tasmania, how are you finding Melbourne?
Melbourne is great, there are so many more bike riders here, there’s always someone to go out riding with. I do miss Tasmania sometimes, because I’m still part of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS), it would be nicer to have them closer so we could work closer together. It can be hard to find the time to go down there, even though it’s not far.
BNA: You’re studying at Swinburne University; can you tell us what you’re studying and how it’s going for you?
I’m studying a Bachelor of Business Marketing through Open University. It is ok I’m near the end of my degree and I do all my studying via correspondence. After cycling and in the future it is something I would like to pursue. The field of study is very broad however, I may move towards media more, I’m not sure yet.
BNA: Do you find it difficult to balance a social life, cycling and study? How do you cope?
At times it’s difficult. I love what I do, I’m really lucky that cycling has become my social life, but I also like to have friends outside of cycling, so my whole world isn’t cycling and you do have time away from the sport. You just have to be committed and manage your time. I like having study as well as cycling, when we go away, you do your training and then you have a lot of time where you need to recover, it’s nice to have something else that you can do in that recovery time.
BNA: You are considered to be the next best competitor after Anna Meares in Australian Women’s Track Cycling, how do you feel about that?
I don’t know about that, I guess I’m just doing what I love, hoping to get out there and achieve half of what Anna (Anna Meares) has achieved would be quiet satisfying, I’m not going to be cycling forever, there are some girls in the peloton in their 40’s, personally I don’t see that being me, I really want to have a go and see what I can do now, I’ve been doing this since I was 13 and I’m 26 now.
BNA: The women’s events have increased from 3-5 in the name of gender parity, which consequently meant the scrapping of the Madison, individual pursuit and points race at the 2012 games. What are your thoughts on this?
Originally I was really disappointed with the decisions that they made for the Olympics, but having another look at it there are still opportunities there for me to try and make the team in the team pursuit, the Omnium, or the endurance. I can’t change what’s gone on so I just need to readjust my goals and my events a little bit to still make the games, which is my ultimate goal.
BNA: Do you think that these changes will cause future track cyclist to head towards road cycling?
There’s been a lot of talk about that, it will be interesting to see if it does happen, I think it will do a little bit, because there’s not so many opportunities now with track endurance cycling, track endurance is like if you can’t ride a team’s pursuit you don’t really get selected. It’s a priority event that you need to be able to ride well and if you can’t do that a lot of people would choose the road in that case.
BNA: You crashed with 7 laps to go at the World Championships, how did it feel to finish third, for the third time?
I was pretty disappointed when I crashed with 7 laps to go. I was caught up in the bigger crash and having come third for the last 2 years in a row I was really hoping to win the Rainbow Jersey. In the end it was a great result to make it to the podium.
BNA: How did you recover from last year’s crash?
It was difficult because when I broke my wrist I also broke my elbow, it wasn’t initially diagnosed, it took a lot longer than I would have like, it’s all healed up now and just needs routine maintenance.
BNA: Last season was an excellent season for you, what were some of your favorite moments?
My win in Manchester at the World Cup and my podium at the World Championships. Winning the Scrap Race and Points Race at the Nationals, which had been such a major goal for me was an excellent result
BNA: Do you have any aspirations to join the women’s pro cycling tour on the road?
Once upon a time that was a massive goal of mine, but at the moment I’m really focused on the track and if something was to work out where I could combine a road career with what I want to do on the track that would be awesome, but track is my number one focus.
BNA: What are your goals for the future?
The Rainbow Jersey. I’d like to win a world title, that’s definitely a big goal of mine and then moving forward to the 2012 London Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.
BNA: Training wise, how many hours are you on the track?
I’m not on the track at all at the moment, after the Worlds I had two weeks off the bike and since then I’ve just been doing some road training and maybe a few ergo’s between now and next month till we go to Adelaide, we have a camp on in Adelaide and I’ve been told that there might be a bit of track involved. We have quite a big amount of time away from the track, because the track season is so intense.
BNA: Can you tell us a bit about the camps?
It depends on what sort of camp it is, I think someone did mention that this one would be mainly road riding and a little bit of track. When we were doing the pre Worlds camp its track four or five days a week, those camps are pretty full on training, whereas this one is in the off season. We’ll also be setting up bikes and making sure that’s alright before we start.
BNA: What sort of bikes are you currently riding? Which one is your favorite?
BT Track bike and Bianchi Road Bike. There are great advantages to having both, it’s great to get out on the road on a nice sunny day and racing on the track for me provides a great adrenaline rush. On the track there is always something that you have to be aware of which is what I like, tactics are involved and a lot of thinking is required.
BNA: Do you have any other sports that you do in the off season?
Um no, once upon I time I went for a run, a few runs and that resulted in compartment syndrome in my shins, so I just try to keep it pretty main stream, bike specific.
BNA: What advice do you have for other female riders wanting to get into cycling?
Just enjoy it I think would be the main thing, it makes it so much easier if you just have fun doing it, join a local club and make some friends, makes training a lot more fun when you’ve got people to do it with.
BNA: Can you tell us about the Knicks you’re wearing?
I’m switch between Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Knicks which are Scody and Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) Knicks which are Santini. The Scody ones are women specific, to me I don’t find a huge difference between the men’s and the women’s cuts, Scody have done a great design with the AIS race kit this year, they’ve made it really specific with shorter arms and the jerseys are fitted more.
BNA: How did you get into cycling? Were you just given a bike and that was it?
Pretty much, a friend of the family had encouraged me for a few years to try cycling and I had always done gymnastics constantly so I didn’t have time to try the bike, but then I finished up gymnastics and I got the bike and all the gear and thought I better try it.
BNA: It seems to me you were winning from the beginning?
Things did come early on in my career I guess, I won a lot as a junior and took some time off between 19 and 20 just to work out what I actually wanted to do, I think that’s a very? I wouldn’t say hard, but the transition to seniors can be difficult, so you need to work out what you want to do with it.
BNA: You did the Hell Ride this morning, how was it?
It was this morning, I think the weather had a little bit of a part to play in that, it was a lot smaller group, when it’s a smaller group it is easier to control in the way of traffic and red lights and things like that. It was quite well behaved and civilized.
BNA: How fast is the Hell Ride?
It sort of varies, when its fast its 48km/h-50km/h, I think I looked down a couple of times at my Speedo this morning, that was in a tailwind of course, headwind home it was a lot slower.
The team at Bicycles Network Australia would like to thank Belinda for her time and wish her all the best. We look forward to seeing her in the Rainbow Jersey.
Thank you to photographer Stephen Brammer. Photos ? Stephen Brammer