2016 was an incredible year for Rebecca Wiasak, who defended her Individual Pursuit World Championship rainbows, pushed the Australian Team Pursuit squad all the way to Rio, then came home to pick up a host of National Road Series stage and tour victories.
She recaps 2016 with us here.
Q. What was your personal highlight of 2016?
A. Winning the Amy’s Otway Tour, including the Amy’s Criterium in a solo breakaway and the Amy’s Otway Classic on the Sunday. It was a hilly and long road race which does not suit my strengths but I was pretty motivated coming back to Australia after training with the Olympic Team in Los Angeles in July. My stage win at Tour of the King Valley was also very special to me. I got quite emotional as I had been intensely focused on the track all year and it was nice to come straight back into the National Road Series and get a win in one of the hardest classic stages of the calendar.
Q. What was your team highlight of 2016?
A. Our teamwork has contributed to many personal wins and team wins this year, but the highlight would have to be the National Capital Tour when three of our four riders had stage wins. We also shared the yellow jersey around, won the sprinter’s jersey, and teams classification. It was also nice to finish the National Road Series as the number-one team for the second year.
Q. What is your favourite High5 product?
A. On race day I love the IsoGels – they’re a great consistency and so easy to take down quickly on the bike. I also always travel with a tube of Zero tabs. I start having these a couple of days before competition and always during flights to stay hydrated.
Q. What’s the biggest thing you learnt about yourself this season?
A. My resilience was tested again but I was proud that I was able to focus my energy into something productive and stay positive.
Q. What’s one cool fact you learnt about a High5 Dream Team teammate?
A. I learnt that Kendelle can cook a killer risotto. Of course, the team all contribute – we each have our roles. It is so tasty. We won after eating her risotto so it has become a tradition at every race. I just hope we can remember the recipe for next season when she moves onto her pro team in America!
Q. What was the best thing about riding for the High5 Dream Team in 2016?
A. Coming back to Australia after the disappointment of missing the Olympic Games and being able to slot straight back into the High5 Dream Team and race the second half of the National Road Series. It was a challenging time for me personally but the team was so supportive. It was great to put my form to use and have some personal success while supporting my teammates to their own wins.
Q. What are you most excited about heading into 2017?
A. I am so excited to return to the High5 Dream Team for my third year and help support our new young signings – they are some of the most exciting emerging talent in Australian cycling and I’ll be proud to call them my teammates and have a role in their development.