Tennille stoked at cycle success
TENNILLE Falappi has done everything in her power to book her ticket to Glasgow but she knows better than to start packing her bags just yet.The 17-year-old is forging a name for herself on the velodrome; her two golds and a silver at the weekend's under-19 Australian Track Cycling Championships in Sydney evidence that she is one of the country's most promising talents on two wheels.
Next step, potentially, is Australian selection for the UCI World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Glasgow, with the team to be announced in the next month.
But even given her standing as the form under-19 rider in Sydney Falappi is not counting her chickens yet.
"I've done everything I can, but you never really know," she said.
"They select the team based on a number of tournaments, so hopefully I've done enough."
The Cairns product, who will spend the next three weeks in recovery mode at home after a hectic schedule to start the season, won the sprint and keirin and picked up silver in the time trial at the nationals.
Her coach Sean Eadie, himself a sprint world champion in 2002, is happy with her efforts and that is some comfort for the strategically-strong teenager.
"He seemed really happy with how I performed," she said.
"I cornered him at one point, sat him down and asked him to talk me through every bit of the sprint race.
"I knew if he told me what to do, I could do it because I'm good at that."
Sydney's titles were her first foray into the world of under-19 and elite competition.
While intimidated by the size and power of the top-level riders, Falappi is confident she will hold her own when she has to start racing the very best next year.
"I just felt really little looking at them," she said.
"But everyone has to go through that phase and I'm excited to see how I can compete with them."
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Glasgow on her mind: Tennille Falappi on a roll. Picture: TOM LEE