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Consistency is rewarded for Emily Collins in USA
Jul 3rd, 12. Five podium placings and never a result outside the Top 10 saw Kiwi International Emily Collins place 2nd in two related but separate events this last week.
From Jun 21st to Jul 1st , the Team Vanderkitten Focus Kiwi raced the omnium style 11 day Tour of America's Dairyland (ToAD) event around the US state of Wisconsin.
While she contested all eleven days, some riders came and went, making her result even more impressive.
"It was tough at times when 'fresh' riders would come in part way through or just for a few races," she told RoadCycling.co.nz
"It was also really hard for the final four days as even though it was still the ToAD it was also a separate National Criterium Competition (NCC) competition so a few big teams rolled in - including Optum and Tibco - who hadn't done the previous seven days of racing.
"I ended up coming in 2nd in ToAD and 2nd in the NCC series which was cool as by the time the NCC rolled around I was pretty knackered! Eria Allar was 3rd and Laura Van Gilder 1st (they're both leading the NCC)."
Of the 11 days of racing, nine were criteriums and the others 100km road races. The 21 year old is a speedster as well as a good climber, but her climbing strengths did not come into play much as the road races were more punchy than hilly.
"I'm sprinting well at the moment so that was cool and as the week went by I definitely learnt a lot tactically. Quite a few of the crit courses were technical and several had hills in them so that made things interesting too," she explained.
Although she was disappointed to never get to the top step of the podium, Collins did manage to beat flying USA rider Laura van Gilder in a sprint in yesterday's final race - unfortunately it was the day a break had already taken the winning place. Collins won the bunch sprint for 4th.
In her second year with Team Vanderkitten Focus, Collins enjoys the mix of racing, both stage races and criteriums and she has been having success across both style of races.
After winning Best Young Rider at Tulsa Tough, a stage podium place in the prestigious Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race and this last week's success, Collins says she is very happy with her last few months of racing.
"It's hard to focus on just the road calendar or just the crit calendar as I think it's cool to have a balance and do a bit of both! It's been fun doing the big stage races as well as a number of top crits. We still have some big events coming up so would really like to pull of a win If I can!!" she said.
Next up for Collins is the Boisee Twilight NCC criterium and then another stage race, the Cascade Classic in Oregon. If her form continues, Collins would love to represent New Zealand at the UCI World Road Championships later in the year.
"I'd love to race the World Road Championships if the opportunity was given to me. I think it would be fantastic to have a full New Zealand womens team there to support Linda Villumsen! I think anyone who wins needs a team to support them."
Collins' team's main sponsor is women's clothing brand Vanderkitten. They are very focused on women's athletics and creating equality. Collins' great Vanderkitten 2012 racing kit is available for sale on the internet, and yes they ship to New Zealand.
Proceeds from all Vanderkitten apparel support the Vanderkitten Athletics Program and the Vanderkitten Focus Team.
"It's a pretty cool environment to be in - very relaxed but competitive and growing at the same time. The team's ultimate goal is to head over to Europe and become a UCI team which will hopefully happen with the support we have been getting this year. Fingers crossed!"
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