Lauren Kitchen focused on strong year at Europe instead of Commonwealth Games selection

Bigger picture: Lauren Kitchen will focus on Europe and not the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Bigger picture: Lauren Kitchen will focus on Europe and not the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

IT was a discussion with the national coach that steered Lauren Kitchen away from pursuing selection at the Commonwealth Games.

Instead of going for gold on the Gold Coast in the green and gold, the Port Macquarie cyclist will be challenging herself against the best riders in the world on the other side of the world.

“It was more a case of me not fully meeting the criteria based on last years results,” Kitchen said.

“Therefore I couldn’t really be considered unless the High Performance director stepped in.

“We did go down that path briefly but I think with the role and opportunity I would have played, it was best for me not to go and to stay in Europe and focus on the classics with my team.”

The 27-year-old is currently guided by the national coach who was previously her personal coach.

He believed she was best to chase success in Europe.

“I would have liked to have gone but ultimately this is better for me, so I wasn’t in consideration for the selection,” Kitchen said.

“Ultimately the Comm Games is a small race in the cycling world because not many countries compete.”

Kitchen said the decision to put the Commonwealth Games race at 7.30am of a morning was “a joke”, but had helped her to prepare better for the season ahead.

“It’s easier now; it’s like each season for me and I’m glad I had a good start in Australia,” she said.

Kitchen started the European season with a podium finish at the end of February and admitted to being surprised by the result after being sick for the two races leading up to it.

Ultimately, the lure of world tour races this year proved too big.

“They are a lot harder, faster and the best girls are there,” she said.

“To run results in these races means more points meaning more value to myself and the team whereas Comm Games (races) carries no points at all.”

Success in Europe will be more valuable to Kitchen in the long-term.

“I hope to land some solid top ten results in that period and increase my value to my team and hopefully extend my contract for a few years,” she said.


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