Kimberley Wells. Photo: Graham Tidy
KIMBERLEY WELLS is hoping she caught the eye of overseas scouts with her ''amazing start to the year,'' winning the first race of the Australian cycling season and finishing third overall at the Bay Criteriums in Geelong.
Riding for Specialized Securitor, Wells beat a number of international racers on New Year's Day, outsprinting defending series champion Melissa Hoskins and three-time ''Bay Crits'' winner Rochelle Gilmore to claim the first stage.
The achievement is all the more impressive when you consider the 27-year-old doctor is riding in only her second national road series after being picked up by a pro-team after winning Canberra's Tour de Femme in 2011 - a race she won again two months ago.
''It's the second time I've raced the Bay Crits, and you know, at the start of last year I guess I set myself the goal of wanting a podium [finish] at Bay Crits, which is quite prestigious in itself, and I was hoping to finish in the top 10 [overall],'' she said. ''It's the best results to date, such a strong competition and just a really big win for me and for the team as well.''
The results will go a long way to achieving her bigger goal of riding for an international professional team, after only starting to take cycling seriously since moving to the capital from far north Queensland and joining the Canberra Cycling Club.
''In 2013, I'm really keen to get overseas racing, whether it's in Europe or America - I'd be pretty keen to find the right team fit for me and style of racing and that kind of thing, so what's just happened at the Bay Crits is taking a big step towards achieving that.''
Wells balances her training with locum work as a doctor ''to keep my hand in'' as well as a masters degree in Public Health and Tropical Medicine - an interest sparked during her time living in the tropics.
''I think it's important to keep your brain switched on,'' she said.
''It's tricky when you're passionate about a few different things. I mean at this stage I'm just going to continue locum work,'' she said.
''If you get a ride overseas, you go over for a few months, but outside of that you can still work.''
Wells is in Ballarat preparing for the road national championships which start with time trials on Wednesday, but she won't race until the Criterium on Thursday.