Maddi Lowry. Photo supplied.Hard work and dedication to the bike has paid off for Ashburton teen Maddi Lowry. Donning the red and black for Canterbury, the track cycling star in the making has recently earned a slew of medals including a national title. Adam Burns spoke to the AshColl pupil about what it takes to bag the rewards.
Training between six to seven times a week, Maddi Lowry has undeniably dug it in for the spoils on the bike.
The 15-year-old track cyclist has enjoyed a slew of top-notch results in recent times, capped off by a superb all-round showing at the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill last month.
Representing Canterbury, Lowry returned from the four-day event with gold, silver and bronze medals completing a profitable weekend of results for the Ashburton College pupil.
“I just wanted to do the best that I could do. I just really wanted to perform,” she said.
The milestones began when she triumphed in the under-17 girls’ points race final as she completed a 10-point haul across the 7500m distance to win gold.
The newly minted national champion added to this achievement by securing silver in the team pursuit as part of a Canterbury quartet which were unlucky to be pipped by a national record-breaking display by their Auckland counterparts.
“Winning the gold was great but being in the team environment with all the Canterbury girls and all of the Canterbury team was really good,” she said.
Also on the final day, Lowry clinched a bronze medal alongside Samantha Walker in the uber-technical under-17 girls’ madison event, which was the highlight for father Doug Lowry.
“They rode out of their skins,” he said.
Lowry added the madison format always required thinking on your feet.
“You really have to be thinking when you’re racing because it’s against the rules to go under someone when they’re slinging, you always have to go around.
“We thought about everything.”
But it does not come easy.
Lowry was put to the test with a stringent training schedule, helmed by coach Christchurch’s Terry Gyde who has mentored the likes of Sarah Ulmer, Greg Henderson and Darren Shea.
The young Mid Canterbury talent could be in worse hands.
A hectic training programme during the month leading up to the March 5-8 nationals included numerous trips to Christchurch and regular speedwork and motor pacing and expanded to two training sessions a day.
As a result it instilled confidence in Lowry as she gunned for success at the nationals championships.
With 6am breakfasts, monitoring her nutrition and eating well was also key, Lowry said.
“I just had to keep healthy, make sure I had enough energy.”
It comes to the finer details when you are taking on the best around the country.
Although she was now donning the red and black of Canterbury and making waves on the track, Lowry first started on the road at the Tinwald Cycling Club about five years ago.
Although she had proven to be a dynamo within the velodrome, she is also a proven star on the road.
Two years ago, she won the Cycling NZ Schools Under-15 South Island Road Championships.
Road cycling now serves as preparation for the track season which is scheduled to kick off in October.
Moving forward, being integrated into the Cycling NZ High Performance Hub remained an aspiration to foster her abilities.
Following the nationals, Lowry has spent three weeks off the bike.
Of course with winter cycling dates facing postponements or possible cancellations due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Lowry’s winter, like everyone else’s, is up in the air.
In the interim, she is focusing on her fitness at home.
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 2 April 2020