The X-TECH WHEELZ New Zealand skater Samantha Michael the younger Sister of World Champion & X-TECH International star Peter Michael has made the shift from Palmerston North down to Timaru.
Photo Samantha leading Nicole, Stephanie Challis obscured, Renee Nyman, Tegan Roffe, Livia Meier Switzerland & Junior Emily van der Heyden as the top 7 sort themselves out in the ” Tour of Timaru ”
She will be living with Nicole Begg to learn the ropes & reserect her International career, under the new age rules Samantha has still one year left as a Junior at Worlds.
Photo Samantha in action in flying 500 meters.
Nicole is determined to help lift the standard of the females in N.Z. & realizes she must play a big part in this, if she is ever to have a N.Z. team mate to race with at the World champs. After 9 years of Worlds & only once in 2009 in China did a New Zealand female compete at the Worlds with her in the same grade, but unfortunately returning from Injury & a lay off Emily Koot was not on the pace.
Now with the Junior age lifted to under 20 Nicole has a long wait before her proteges like Emily van der Heyden the new New Zealand Junior Road champion at 14 years old can compete with her at worlds.
With the change of environment & back up support in a small city, it is a good opportunity for Samantha to reach her full potential. Samantha has trained on the racing road cycle but never raced, so with short mid week races from 18 to 24 km at Waimate monday, Levels Wednesday & St Andrews Thursday, in either graded scratch races or Group handicaps amongst the men, its a good workout to supplement the skate training & tactical experience.
Samanthas into was back to the Levels course they done the N.Z. Marathon champs on on Sunday evening & her first race on a bike, she done well & finished 4th in C Grade, while Nicole was 4th in A grade, but Sam will be up to B grade very quickly.
Well Thursday it was a 5am start as Sam & Nicole took Peter Michael to the Christchurch airport for his 10 week training & racing stint in Cali. After the 4 hour return trip. there was a solid skate training session on the bank track at 4pm, then it was off to St.Andrews for a 24 km cycle race a Handicap Trophy race. Samantha was off the 4 min mark, but a stone jammed in her cleat, picked up just prior to the start, prevented her from getting her foot in properly, she could not sprint but finished the race. Nicole on the other hand nearly created a first, off 2nd break on 8 minutes, ( first break at 9 mins & scatch 9 1/2 minutes ) they worked smart as a group almost picking up the go markers, but got 2nd fastest time, only a wheel from her co marker Shane Brookland an experienced finisher.
So for Samantha its a quick introduction to the life & training of Nicole Begg, but she is showing the signs that she will step up & join the top International level.