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Cyclist of year joins AYOF team

2 December 2008

It has been an outstanding year for one 16-year-old cyclist from Dubbo NSW. She has been crowned Junior World Champion three times and named Australian Junior Track cyclist of the year, yet Megan Dunn will not be resting over the summer holidays.

Dunn is one of 20 riders selected to compete at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), taking place in Sydney from 14 – 18 January, where she hopes to challenge her biggest competitors and claim a few medals a long the way.

“The competition will be stiff, with strong teams coming from Chinese Taipei and New Zealand,” she said.

“The Poms are also flying at the moment, but we have some fantastic juniors, like Amy Cure. Let’s just say the Aussies are coming back.”

“My goals are to win the team pursuit, the point score and hopefully the scratch race,” she said.

Dunn is no stranger to the AYOF, having competed in the road and track disciplines in 2007, where she won silver in the points race and bronze in the criterium.

“It was a great experience,” she said. “I went to an Opening Ceremony and was exposed to international competition. I also got into the spirit to rally around my teammates. It was a great atmosphere.”

The 16-year-old hopes to use her experience at the Festival as well as at this year’s Junior World Championships to benefit her teammates.

Dunn was the star of the Australian team at this year’s Junior Worlds, winning the Women’s Scratch Race and Team Pursuit, before backing up to win gold in the Women’s 20km Points Race.

“It was a satisfying feeling after eight months of hard work – it all paid off,” she said. Her efforts are not surprising as the winning ways have been 13 years in the making.

“I was three-years-old when I first starting riding a bike,” she said.

“I have an older brother and I used to copy whatever he did, so when he went down to the local bike track, I followed.”

“I wasn’t on my training wheels for long before I moved from the dinky bike I was riding at the time to a race bike.”

Dunn now rides with the Dubbo Cycle Club and enjoys the serenity of her training sessions.

“We have a training route outside of Dubbo which goes through the country,” she said. “It is really peaceful and there are no cars.”

Over the next few years Dunn is looking to continue her rise to the top with consistent riding in both the State and National Championships. She can see London on the horizon.

“London is a long term goal,” she said. “If I make it to the 2012 Olympics I would like to compete in the Point Score and Road Race, but there are so many things I want to achieve before then.”

The fifth Australian Youth Olympic Festival takes place in Olympic venues across Sydney from January 14 – 18. Entry to all sporting events are free.

2009 AYOF Australian Cycling Team

Men - Aaron Box HIGHTON VIC 3216; Alex Carver HINCHINBROOK NSW 2168; Aaron Donnelly KIAMA NSW 2533; Luke Durbridge BASSENDEAN WA 6054; Matthew Glaetzer PARADISE SA 5075; James Glasspool FAIRVIEW PARK SA 5126; Maddison Hammond WHITTLESEA VIC 3757; Michael Hepburn BROOKFIELD QLD 4069; Jordan Kerby HERVEY BAY QLD 4655; Scott Law BALGOWNIE NSW 2519; Peter Loft WEST LAUNCESTON TAS 7250; Luke Ockerby ULVERSTONE TAS 7315; Dale Parker NAIRNE SA 5252; Tom Richards SILKSTONE QLD 4304.

WOMEN - Michaela Anderson BALLAJURA WA 6062; Amy Cure PENGUIN TAS 7316; Megan Dunn DUBBO NSW 2830; Annette Edmondson STIRLING SA 5152; Melissa Hoskins LESMURDIE WA 6076; Holly Williams INGEWOOD WA 6052.

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