Grafton cyclist crowned best of the best
CYCLING: Just when Grafton-based performance cyclist Laurelea Moss thought her year couldn't get any better, it did.
The four-time world track cycling champion was awarded the Oakshield Developments' Masters Cyclist of the Year at the Jayco Cycling Australia Awards gala dinner.
The accolade tops a stellar year, which has seen Moss pocket three national titles, take four golds and a bronze away from the Masters World Championships, and break two world records.
She also took out the Female Masters Track Cyclist of the Year at the awards ceremony, and was recently named QLD Female Track Cyclist of the Year.
Closer to home, she was awarded the Senior Sportsperson of the Year gong at the recent Clarence Valley Sports Awards.
Moss said the past few weeks had been a bit of a whirlwind, and it was only now she was back home that the true significance of her achievements had sunk in.
"With legends and achievers of the sport like Danny Clarke and Gary Mandy also in the running (for the cyclist of the year title), it's starting to sink in what a wonderful accolade it is," she said.
"I didn't even know it was there to win so that was a very great surprise, and considering the other category winners it's a 'wow' type of thing.
"This year's been pretty good - certainly the best to date."
It is even more amazing considering the 37-year-old has only been riding competitively for less than five years, and never dreamed of competing at a high level before that.
"I thought I was the most normal person, but when I'm winning these things against ex-Olympians it makes me think if I started earlier I could have been the Olympian," she said.
"I would love for kids to realise these Olympians are ordinary people who get the idea that they can, and then they get the right support.
"So often we get fed that we're not good enough, and to just do the best you can. No one said to me 'hey, you could'. But the kids can."
Moss said she believed one of the secrets to her success this year was breaking her goals down into the elements she needed to focus on.
"I go into these competitions and I know what I want from myself but I don't focus on a gold, I focus on the elements that will get me there," she said.
"And then I don't really think about the goal any more. I'm just really busy getting all the elements right and then the results happen. If you don't think about the process it truly doesn't come together."
It is a tough balance for the single mother who has to juggle life with a nine-year-old daughter as well as competing all across the country and the world.
"My daughter, who is nine, has had to have her mum go away so often," Moss said. "So when she sees me in the paper or at these sorts of things she becomes really proud of me and it's a way for her to understand how important it is as well."
With competition cycling on both the road and track now largely finished for 2016, Moss said she was looking forward to what could be achieved next year.
"This is the first time in the last four years I haven't had the next goal firmly in my mind," she said.
"In my mind I can't really do better than this without going elite or doing the double (by winning both the masters' track and road cycling championships)."