Wagga cyclist Alice Debney is flying high after claiming third place in her category at the Tour of America’s Dairyland in the United States.
Fresh from a strong showing during this year’s Tour de Riverina, Debney packed her bags for Wisconsin last month and jetted across the Pacific for an 11-day race across the northern state.
The CSU agribusiness student made waves in her debut tour, riding in 10 of the 11 stages and clinching overall bronze for the women’s category three event despite having just one other team mate in her division.
“It was tough sometimes with having just the one other rider but I tried to learn from the good cyclists and see how they controlled the race,” Debney said.
“It was really good to see how they operated because the first couple of days I struggled with positioning but by the end of the series, I was mimicking the good cyclists and using corners to move ahead.”
Sweltering heat and unfamiliar territory did little to stop Debney, who relished the short-course format.
“It got so hot at once stage that we put stocking full of ice down our backs to cool down,” Debney said.
“Also, some of the courses had corners that would turn right back on themselves, not quite as bad as hairpins but really sharp turns.
“But I think my favourite course would have been out at Grafton. There were a bunch of small hills and a final hill near the end where you could get some really good speed.”
It wasn’t all hills and thrills on tour with illness laying the Wagga cyclist low at one point.
“I got really sick and had to take day four off after getting a bug from one of my team mates who got sick on the plane,” Debney said.
“But aside from that I managed to get through all the races.”
However, the major highlight for Debney was the “incredible” reception cyclists were granted on tour by passers-by and town residents.
“We were so well received in Wisconsin and people would cheer from their cars and houses or buy us coffee just because we were cyclists,” she said.
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