New Zealand riders McKenzie Milne (top left), Emily Paterson, Maddi Douglas, Sami Donnelly, Georgie Danford (bottom left), Rylee McMullen, Mya Anderson, Claudia Vanner will all be battling against each other in the women's madison at the CycleFest International.
New Zealand riders McKenzie Milne (top left), Emily Paterson, Maddi Douglas, Sami Donnelly, Georgie Danford (bottom left), Rylee McMullen, Mya Anderson, Claudia Vanner will all be battling against each other in the women's madison at the CycleFest International.

Friends turn into rivals as track action starts

CYCLING: They might be all from the same country, New Zealand, but when the CycleFest International starts today these eight girls will be battling against each other.

The Kiwis have once again sent out a strong squad for this year’s event, aiming to continue their dominance.

The men’s pairing of Corbin Strong and Jarrad Tremayne won the madison last year and now the women want the same success.

New Zealand has four pairings with McKenzie Milne and Emily Paterson pairing and Maddi Douglas and Sami Donnelly a combination too.

Mya Anderson and Claudia Vanner are also involved with Rylee McMullen and Georgie Danford back again after competing last year.

“We’re super excited, it’s most of the girls first time here so it’s a pretty big day for them (today),” McMullen said.

“Georgia and I have been here before, so it is exciting to be back.”

McMullen said off the track the girls are good friends and ride together.

On the track there will be plenty of action as everyone aims to win with the girls also put in prime time on Saturday night, racing in front of the biggest fans.

“The organisers have got a good bunch together,” she said. “It’s really important for women’s cycling, gives us an equal opportunity.”

McMullen said the track was special at Kevin Brogden Velodrome, which is why she and others have come back.

“It’s (the track) something different every day, lots of different types of riders,” she said. “It keeps it interesting. It makes the racing more exciting.”

McMullen added the track made racing different as well, saying not every race ends the same so you have to keep your options open when it comes to racing”.

“It’s going to pan out differently across the whole weekend, so you can’t rely on a sprint (to win),” she said.

“We’re (Georgia and I) two very different riders, so lots of options for us (in a race).

The racing starts today with qualifying before the main races held tomorrow and Saturday.

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