An Australian Cycling Team debutant bagged Australia’s first medal at the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships overnight in France after only stepping foot in a velodrome for the first time back in February.
Her name is Erin Rowell and her path to bronze at Vélodrome National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines is a new frontier for AusCycling.
First day in @AusCyclingAus green and gold and first @UCI_paracycling Track World Championships medal for Erin Rowell! 🥉✨— AusCyclingTeam (@AusCyclingTeam) October 21, 2022
Rowell stopped the clock at 37.564 seconds in the Women's C5 500m Time Trial to win a debut bronze at #SQY2022.#AusCyclingTeam pic.twitter.com/AfuP6bL3rM
That itself was a feat to be proud of for Rowell, but she has wasted no time in vindicating the trust in her talent.
“It’s been a rewarding experience so far,” Rowell said of the AusCycling Paralympic Fast Track Program prior to departing for Europe.
“Track cycling is a sport I never thought I’d have a chance to do.
“So, I’ve really enjoyed testing myself and learning a new sport, as well as meeting new people.”
Rowell was identified at the Federation University Road National Championships earlier this year, where she placed second in both the WC5 time trial and road race.
In the six months that followed her identification, the 39-year-old threw everything at the Fast Track opportunity to maximise results.
Rowell’s coach and AusCycling Paralympic Fast Track Manager Nick Owen has been amazed by her progress.
“The Fast Track program has provided Erin an opportunity to train like an elite athlete,” Owen said.
“It’s access to elite coaches, equipment and resources and now Erin is pushing times of 37 seconds in the 500-metre time trial.”
Before finding her love for cycling, Rowell was a professional motorcycle racer in the United States and was the first woman to qualify for a Men’s AMA Supermoto Championship event.
Rowell continues her Australian Cycling Team debut at the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships tonight with the 3000m individual pursuit.