Mackenzie's on the road to success

GRAFTON cyclist Mackenzie Monkhouse's supreme abilities on two wheels have won her many races and plaudits, but not once has it ever got her into trouble.

Until now.

“She doesn't have too many girls her own age that she trains with,” Mackenzie's father, Wayne, said.

“So she has to ride with the adults races, which is good in one way, but sometimes it makes her swear like them.”

Mackenzie, 14, recently travelled to Queensland and Campbelltown in Sydney's west for various cycling camps, with the young star impressing officials.

Wayne said Mackenzie's cycling prowess had long been known on the North Coast and she was now being touted for wider recognition.

“The North Coast Academy of Sport wants her to try out for the Cycling Australia talent squad, which is designed for 17- to 27-year-olds,” Wayne said.

“Even if she is still too young they just want her to be ready and have the experience.”

Mackenzie took up competitive cycling three-and-a-half years ago and is the latest cyclist to join the Monkhouse peloton.

“My brother and dad were riding and then I saw some kids racing and I thought I might start,” Mackenzie said.

Wayne said the trip to Queensland was especially productive for Mackenzie, a road rider, because it allowed her to improve her 'track skills'.

However, Mackenzie said she preferred road racing.

“Track (Queensland) camp was pretty good, it was my first time riding track,” she said.

“Road is still better.”

Mackenzie said she trained five- to six-days-a-week and always wanted to ride at least 35 kilometres a session.

Wayne said Mackenzie was planning to compete in the the Glen Innes stage - a 70-kilometre stretch to the finish line - of the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, before moving onto the Crit Series and then the state titles.

“Her big aim this year is to compete at the nationals ... so we have been racing every Saturday,” he said.

“The other day we were riding home in a strong headwind and Mackenzie would not let any of us pass and take the lead.”

“Her big aim this year is to compete at the nationals ... so we have been racing every Saturday.”

Wayne Monkhouse


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