15 March 2024

Canberra cyclist Lauren Bates is unstoppable

| Tim Gavel
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Lauren Bates

Cycling champion Lauren Bates. Photo: Supplied.

Lauren Bates has hardly trained on the track since winning three gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games last year.

But for a bit of fun, Lauren got back on the track at the National titles at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.

She walked away with five gold medals in the under-19s.

Lauren Bates. Photo: Supplied.

Lauren Bates on the velodrome. Photo: Supplied.

But according to Lauren, road cycling has her complete attention.

“I’m focusing on road cycling at the moment. I haven’t done track for a long time now. I didn’t train for it; I just showed up. Track nationals was for fun and it was so much fun.”

That was Lauren a couple of days after returning home to Canberra.

Judging by her comments immediately after winning the Junior Women’s Points Race, involving five days of gruelling competition, it looked like the schedule was starting to take a toll as she battled severe cramps.

“I was just holding on for dear life. I was contemplating pulling out at one point,” she told journalists after the race.

Her schedule for 2024 reflects the way she competes.

To start with, there are the upcoming Oceania Road titles in Brisbane. She’ll compete in the under-19s, and then she’ll head to Europe with the Australian under-19 development team for the Nations Cup in France and the Netherlands.

three female cyclists on a podium

Lauren Bates won five gold medals in the under-19s at the National Track Cycling Titles in Brisbane. Photo: Supplied.

While she is riding in the under-19s at the moment, Lauren has set her eyes firmly on competing in the newly established women’s under-23 division in 2025.

“Honestly, I want to get my road career up and running,’ says Lauren.

“The transition from under-19s to under-23s won’t be easy. The racing is a lot more intense. I’ll be up against cyclists competing at the Olympics.”

In the meantime, she is leaving nothing to chance, training under the guidance of experienced coach Glenn Doney, who heads up the ACTAS Endurance Program.

Wherever she is going, she can’t wait to get there.

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