Copyright Ernesto Arriagada

The Autumn block of racing in the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) is just three weeks away, with Louisa Lobigs (Holden Racing) focused on ensuring the leader’s jersey remains on her shoulders.

Lobigs, 26, claimed the overall honours in February’s opening round of (NRS) the Tour of East Gippsland ahead of team mate Shannon Malseed (VIC), with Holden also celebrating the team’s win.

“It’s always nice to get a win, but for me the most exciting thing about the Gippsland victory was the way Holden rode to keep me first on GC,” said the Victorian. “It was a team effort and I am really excited to watch the team grow this year, with hopefully more victories to come.”

As expected, Lobigs and her Holden Cycling Team mates are keen on staying on top of the standings, with the team currently in a training camp ahead of the season’s second event, the Battle on the Border, which begins on from April 28.

“I will be fighting to stay in the NRS leaders jersey!,” remarked Lobigs.

“It would also be great to get a GC victory at Battle this year as I was second overall two years ago but the change of the program this year, with a TTT, may mix things up.

“Although I am fairly confident Holden will have a strong TTT.”

The 2016 Battle on the Border was unfortunately washed out with just one stage contested.  And with tropical cyclone Debbie causing devastating destruction to the area last week, the event is currently working hard to ensure the event still goes ahead in 2017.

“I’m sure the women’s peloton is keen to race the full event this year,” said Lobigs, who is excited with the new stages on offer at the Tour.

“It is exciting to see the inclusion of a Teams Time Trial this year as we don’t often get to race TTT’s in the women’s NRS, and I predict it will be a key stage in this years tour.”

Lobigs, the 2016 Amy Gillett Scholarship holder who spent time in Europe racing with the Australian Development Team in 2016, is excited as her third season with the team starts to ramp into gear.

“This year our (Holden Team) manager and DS, Julien Knuppel, has worked his magic and has created a really great team dynamic. He is working really hard with us to fine tune our race skills as a team,” Lobigs explained.

“Our team season’s goal will be to maintain our number one position in the teams classification and of course the NRS leaders jersey is what every team wants.

“But our major focus is also to develop our team work, and team tactics and produce some really exciting racing in the years NRS.

“We have a mix of experience in the team, some of us have been racing overseas and we also have some younger development riders, I cant wait to see how Holden grows this year.

“We hope to create some fire works in this years NRS series!”

Lobigs revealed there has been no time for a rest since her win in Gippsland, despite the women’s peloton having a 10-week hiatus between the first two events,

“I can’t say I have had much of a break since Tour of East Gippsland,” laughed Lobigs, who has been busy racing and training, in addition to completing her studies on biomarker and blood volume variations in relation to the anti-doping tool, the Athlete’s Biological Passport.

“I had a little bit of time off after Oceanias to regain some composure after a bit of a roller coaster summer.

“At the moment I’m working hard on preparing my research to be published so I can hand in a completed PhD thesis by the end of the year.

“The remaining time is spent getting some quality training done to prepare myself for the next racing block,” added Lobigs, who has more than just cycling goals at the team’s training camp.

“I’ve also been working on my push-ups, we have Team Camp in two weeks and Kimberly Wells thinks she can do the most out of the whole team!”