A STRONG finish from Port Macquarie teenager Miren Davies enabled her to claim her first-ever state track medal in Sydney on Saturday.
Davies' bronze-medal performance made her the first Port Macquarie Cycle Club product since Lauren Kitchen to finish on the podium at the NSW under-19 track points race championship in 10 years.
"It was exciting because Lauren is a bit of an inspiration and was part of the reason I started to do track cycling," Davies said.
Usually at home on the road, the 16-year-old was introduced to the track circuit only 18 months ago mainly to "try something different."
She rounded out the top three with Illawarra Cycle Club's Tahlia Dole securing gold while St George Cycle Club's Georgia Wiltshire won silver.
"I held on; I won one sprint and then the other girl won one sprint so we kept going back and forwards between third and fourth," she said.
"I kept my cool and the last sprint was the decider so going into it I tried to be pretty calm.
"I knew she'd have a bit of help out there; she had some other club mates in the race so I kept an eye on them, saw an opportunity and took it."
The performance is made even more impressive without the added bonus of training on a local velodrome with the closest one located at Coffs Harbour.
"I go up to Coffs during the summer once every three weeks and in the holidays it was once or twice a week to train," Davies said.
"But I've got a really good coach who gives me specific sets that target and replicate a points race, but it's out on the road without a velodrome which is really good."
Davies said it was difficult to replicate a velodrome atmosphere, but she welcomed the challenge.
"In a couple of those training rides we ride at threshold then break and then get up to a sprint," she said.
"I get used to how I'll feel in a points race sprinting on sore legs and by doing lots of bunch rides (as well) I get used to having people around me.
"I didn't think I was going to medal at state, but I was going down there for the experience.
"I felt good and warming up I was ready to go so decided to give it everything."
The bronze medal result was a perfect way for Davies to wrap up her second season on the track with her focus now switching to the road.
"It's pretty much the end of my track season so it's another big step up going from juniors to under-19 and elite because you do a lot of racing with the open women," she said.
"The distances get longer so I'll keep training and see how I can go through road season."
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