Steph Mckenzie left Paris earlier this year with mixed emotions as to how her track season had gone. The World Championships brought to an end a very busy period of racing, and now she and the track sprinters are knuckling down to focus on building up the points necessary to gain qualification for the next set of major championships. She took the time out to chat with RoadCycling.
Steph in action during the individual sprint at the World Championships this year, photo Guy Swarbrick/Cycling New Zealand
While cycling on the road has been trucking along for a few months now, the track season for Steph is really only just getting going. Looking back on last season, Steph’s major highlight came in the Avantidrome after her break from World Cup action. “I was really happy with my performances at the 2015 national championships winning 4 nationals titles gave me a spot in the 2015 World Championships squad,” Steph told RoadCycling. That run of form in Cambridge began in the 500m time trial and continued into the individual sprint, keirin and finally the team sprint with fellow Southlander Natasha Hansen.
Having secured her spot on the team for the world championships, Steph made the trip over with the squad to her first experience of track cycling’s premier annual event. “Personally I wasn’t happy with my overall performances in Paris, but considering it was my first World Championships I was just ecstatic to even be there,” Steph said. “Gaining that top 10 finish only just in the team sprint alongside Katie was a sign that we are moving forward, though it was not the result we were hoping for. We can now reassess what my real strengths and weaknesses are, and build as a whole female sprint program.”