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Garfoot crushes cycling time trial rivals

AAP logoAAP 4/01/2017 Roger Vaughan

Katrin Garfoot's command performance at the Australian road cycling championships doubled as a frustrated request to officials for more funding support.

The 35-year-old gave top Australian team Orica-Scott their third gold medal at the championships from as many senior events when she dominated the women's time trial.

Garfoot successfully defended her title, catching four-time champion Shara Gillow and beating her by a whopping one minute and 55 seconds over the 29.3km course at Buninyong.

Gillow clocked 43 minutes and five seconds, with Kate Perry three minutes and 14 seconds adrift for third place.

Asked what the win meant to her, Garfoot admitted she had wanted to send a message to Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission.

Garfoot finished ninth in the time trial at the Rio Olympics, having fallen ill before the Games, and then third at the world titles.

But she said her worlds bronze had not meant a boost to her funding support.

"How political can I get here? It does mean a lot to me after the Olympics, where I couldn't get the result I wanted," she said.

"Then getting third at the worlds, it was good, but just a few seconds off first.

"And in the overall scheme, my third doesn't count for anything towards my funding, which I'm pretty frustrated about.

"So it's good to show them that I'm actually worth it and I hope that maybe somewhere down the line, someone will acknowledge that again."

Garfoot added she had struggled for motivation since her world championships bronze medal.

The time trial specialist might try to expand her horizon this year by aiming for an overall result at the women's Giro d'Italia.

"We'll try - why not? Something different," she said.

"I think I have the experience now that I could pull it off."

Garfoot is also unsure whether she will try to continue as an elite cyclist through the Tokyo Olympics, but she is keen to aim for the Commonwealth Games next year in her home state.

"At my age, I'm ancient and you wonder why you're doing this," she said.

"You wonder, should you not get screaming children and settle down.

"How much can I ask my husband to support me?"

But Garfoot was rapt with Thursday's performance, particularly given it came after a short preparation and she miscalculated her early pace.

"I definitely left it all out there," she said.

"The pressure was on, even though I try to not let it get to me, it's just there..

"I fell off the bike at the end, which I normally don't do, so that's a good sign.

"I'm definitely happy with my performance."

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