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Elvin shifts up to the pros, and sets her sights on a dream win

Date

David Polkinghorne

Transition

Gracie Elvin.

Gracie Elvin. Photo: Gary Schafer

Gracie Elvin must love the start of summer. Almost exactly a year after getting an AIS scholarship, the reformed mountain biker has signed with her first professional road cycling team and will join Orica-AIS for the 2013 season.

Her first official duties will be the Bay Cycling Classic, which starts in Geelong on New Year's Day. Then she will head to the national road cycling championships in Ballarat before heading overseas.

The 24-year-old has already had a taste of professional life, spending the second half of this year with the Faren Honda team. Signed on just a one-year deal, Elvin will have to work hard to keep her dream alive.

''There's going to be a bit more pressure there [with Orica compared with at the AIS] just because of its nature as a professional team and they want to make sure they're getting the results,'' Elvin said.

''But in terms of the environment it will still be very positive and a good place to grow as a rider.''

At first Elvin wants to establish her place among the pro ranks but she also harbours dreams of winning the Giro d'Italia Femminile - the most prestigious race on the female tour.

''That would be a goal later in my career if I continue riding for a few years but at the moment I'm just trying to get strong and learn a lot from the other girls,'' she said. ''I'll play that supportive role in a lot of races for the more experienced girls and I'm sure I'll get a few opportunities throughout the year to try and get a result.''

She joins fellow Canberran Jessie MacLean on the 10-woman squad.

Rogers may make move

Michael Rogers has been linked with a move away from Team Sky to join Alberto Contador at Team Saxo-Tinkoff for the 2013 season. Rogers is coming off a stellar year. The 32-year-old Canberran finished second behind Sky's team leader Bradley Wiggins in the Criterium du Dauphine, fourth in the Tour Down Under and fifth in the Tour de Romandie, as well as playing a crucial role helping Wiggins win the Tour de France.

Stromlo trails revamp

Mt Stromlo's mountain bike trails are undergoing a $200,000 upgrade, which will be complete mid next year. Some trails will be closed over the next few months as the work is undertaken. There will also be new links with some ''exciting new descent options''. Updates will be available on Stromlo Forest Park's website and Twitter account.

Hall takes the spoils

Ainslie's Andrew Hall won the 6+6 hour solo classification at the JetBlack 24 Hour mountain bike endurance race at Mount Annan. Canberra team Pedal4Pierce Onya Bike completed the most laps, with Lewy Cressy clocking the fastest lap times during both the day and night. The father of Pedal4Pierce founder Christopher Jefferys, Nigel, competed on the back of an 800-kilometre ride to raise funds for muscular dystrophy. Canberra's Clayton Locke won the solo male master 40+ category.

Transition is a new column for multisport such as triathlon, cycling, swimming, running, orienteering and adventure racing. To submit tips, email sport@canberratimes.

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