Georgia Williams kick started her 2018 season in style by claiming her first ever elite national title today, with convincing win in the New Zealand National Time Trial Championships in Napier, bringing the New Zealand champion’s jersey to Mitchelton-SCOTT for the first time.
On an undulating course in windy conditions, Williams started with a furious pace, setting the fastest half-way split time and managed to hold on into a strong finishing head-wind to complete the 20kilometre event 14seconds faster than her nearest rival Rushlee Buchanan (UHC).
Williams has been around the mark on numerous occasions at the national championships, having finished runner-up in the road race three times and in the time trial event finishing in a close second place last year and third place in 2013. Now as the new 2018 champion, the 24-year-old feels relieved to finally claim her first elite title.
“I feel relieved more than anything and just so happy to take the win. At the half-way point I thought maybe I had gone out too hard as I knew there was a headwind straight coming up but I managed to hold on until the finish.”
“It is really cool to take the jersey and be able to represent New Zealand while racing in Europe, I should have quite a few time trial events during stage races where I will get to wear the national skinsuit.”
Eyeing the double
With no time to celebrate, Williams will be back in action tomorrow for the 114kilometre women’s road race where she has some unfinished business to try and turn her previous silver medals into gold.
“I’m really happy to win the time trial jersey today but I still really want to win the road jersey tomorrow.”
“It takes a little bit of the pressure and stress off having won the event today because now I have a title to my name, but I’m definitely motivated to go after the other one now.”