Dowdle’s impressive ride against international elite
When Rockhampton's Lillian Dowdle dismounted her bike, her legs began to shake as she looked for the nearest chair.
She had just put everything she had into the Capricorn Cup handicap women's race at the Kenrick Tucker Velodrome.
The Capricorn cup was one of two feature races for the 2020 Rockhampton Cup on Wheels over the weekend.
The 15-year-old showed prowess far beyond her years as she crossed the line only centimetres behind Canadian export Lizanne Fox, who has spent years at the top of international cycling circuits over several forms.
The race had the best of the under 17, under 19 and elite (open) divisions all going up against each other for a shot at the cup.
Riding in the under 17s, Dowdle had held off the entire field, the majority of whom her seniors, to secure the second spot on the podium.
"It was a struggle," she said trying to catch her breath.
"I've come along way since I began getting second is good considering I'm under 17 and some of these other riders are elite."
She said Fox was by far the most formidable opponent she had ever met on the track and was glad to have such a defiant ride against her.
"This is the first time I have ridden against anyone this competitive before, so it's good to be riding with someone that has been so far."
"It gives me courage knowing that I can keep up with her."
Dowdle will no time to rest her legs before heading to States U17s in Brisbane next week.
But with this weekend's confidence injection, she is looking to enter the competition as a favourite.
"This has been great to get my confidence and strength up for that," Dowdle said.
"I'm excited to see how I go down there."
There will be one familiar face in the crowd with Emma Stevens from Darling Downs in the field who also competed in the Capricornia Cup.
The cup winner Fox's now has another acelade to add to her already stacked trophy cabinet.
The Canadian expat, now living in St George, New South Wales has held the title of top Canadian Keirin racer, a number of international velodrome appearances and podium finishes around the world, and even an Australian title in penny-farthing racing.