Former Kerang resident, Tessa Fabry has continued her rise in cycling, finishing fourth in the women’s road race at the National Championships in Buninyong on Saturday. The 26-year old from Melbourne finished over a minute down on the winner, fellow Victorian Peta Mullens. For Fabry it was a huge surprise to finish just outside the podium after having recovered from a knee injury last year.

“I really had no idea what to expect going into the race. Being my first road race after coming back from a knee injury I didn’t have much of an idea of what my form was like so I was very happy and it was also a huge relief to know that my form has come back after the injury.”

“Not knowing what my form was like, it was hard to know what would be a realistic goal for the race. However, I like to go into every race thinking about how I could possibly win, that way even if the chances of that happening are very slim, I’m more likely to take a risk and give myself the best opportunity. Even though I missed the winning move this time, I’m happy knowing that I gave it a shot and I’m not wondering what could’ve been.”

With Kendelle Hodges (5th) and Sam de Riter (7th) three girls of the new High5 Dream Team finished in the top 10 in the National Road Race Championship. Riding for the Victorian Institute of Sports at Nationals, the team seems to go into the new NRS season with some good form. But what is the secret to that early success?

We place a lot of emphasis on racing hard but smart, maintaining good position and conversing energy as much as possible. This is particularly important with such a tough course where using too much energy earlier in the race can really take it’s toll later on. “

The High5 Dream Team will start the NRS season this weekend in the Santos Women’s Tour in Adelaide without Fabry. Going into the Tour with Australian Criterium Champion Kimberley Wells, Kendelle Hodges, Rebecca Wiasak, Jessica Mundy and Georgia Baker the team of manager Rochelle Gilmore and sports-director Donna Rae-Szalinski has definitely one of the stronger teams in the race. Despite Fabry is not riding in Adelaide the 26-year old thinks the team has a good chance to win a stage.

Tessa Fabry

“With two criteriums and two flatter road races, I think the team has some great opportunities for stage wins with Kimberley in such great form if it comes down to a bunch sprint. I’m sure it will be an aggressive race and know that there are riders on the team who will be able to read the race and make the most of opportunities as they present.”

One week after the Santos Women’s Tour the second event of the NRS series the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will take place around Melbourne. Fabry who is selected for this race is eager to have a good result. When asked which of the NRS races she would like to win she pointed this one in particular. But why?

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this race and I think it’s a great opportunity to perform well against a very strong field. I think we showed at Nationals in both the Road Race and the Criterium that we are able to match with teams like Orica-AIS and Wiggle Down Under. Being from Melbourne I will be able to train on the course before the race, I think will be a huge advantage to get to know the run into the finish, which is quite hilly and also quite technical.”

The High5 Dream Team for the Cadel’s Great Ocean Road Race will be: Tessa Fabry, Ellen Skerritt, Sam de Riter, Jessica Mundy and Kendelle Hodges.