Australian Cycling Champion Annette Edmondson joins Challenge in the Tropics.
Mater Smiling for Smiddy is proud to announce former professional cyclist and UCI World Track Cycling Champion, Annette Edmondson, will be joining the Smiddy Peloton in Tropical North Queensland, taking on Challenge in the Tropics. Annette or 'Nettie' as she is known recently called time on a stellar cycling career enjoying success on the track and road in a career spanning over 10 years.
Annette claimed nine World Championship medals across the Omnium, Team Pursuit, Individual Pursuit and Team Timetrial from 2013-2015, finally reaching the top in both Team Pursuit and Omnium at the 2015 UCI Track World Championships in France. She won her third world title in the Team Pursuit at the 2019 Track World Championships in Poland and won gold and silver medals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, along with gold and bronze medals at Brisbane 2018.
Annette took some time out to answer a few questions about her career, her connection to charity and offer some timely tips to the riders taking on Challenge in the Tropics.
Q: What is the top highlight of your career as a professional cyclist?
Annette: I have three on the bike highlights. The first one was winning an Olympic medal for Australia in 2012 and standing on the dais for my country. I think that was just so special because I’d been pushing so hard to get there and I kind of defied the odds and made a late transition from sprinting to endurance and a lot of people didn’t believe in me and I felt like I was trying to prove them wrong. That was really what ignited the fire in the belly and encouraged me to keep on going and keep chasing that feeling.
Winning the track world championships in the team pursuit in 2015. Standing on that podium with your teammates who you’ve been trying year in and year out for that result after coming so close in the past. To finally stand on the top step with your team mates was just so special.
My third would be winning the Omnium championship a few days later. That race was for me! It was an individual world title and I had been chasing it for so long and I feel like I can really be satisfied with my career because I'd finally done it for myself.
But the part that sticks out the most is the people who I’ve met along the way—people from across the globe and the places I’ve been, trump all of those results. It’s been a nice period for me in reflection and I honestly believe that the experiences I had are worth far more than any result.
Q: What has been your favourite event to participate in and why?
Annette: That’s really hard. I think the Olympics in 2012 was huge. It was my first Olympics, I was young. It was eye opening. The great thing was my event was halfway through so I could celebrate afterwards and see the other sports and let my hair down.
I raced the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées in front of these amazing crowds before the men arrived at the end of their three weeks. It was unreal! I’d have to say that was one of my favourite races. The history, the crowds, the most famous avenue in the world! I've watched the Tour so much on TV and to finally get a chance to race it and bring this opportunity for womens racing was amazing—even if it wasn’t a full tour—which it will be this year, it was an incredible experience and gave me goosebumps.
Q: You have had a strong connection to charity throughout your cycling career and have recently joined the Smiling for Smiddy team. Could you tell us a bit about your connection to this cause and raising funds for cancer research?
Annette: I have always been interested in charity and giving back. As a kid one of my favourite quotes was, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." If everybody does something, the world will be a better place. It’s hard to make a huge change, but we all do something small, we will create change. I want to use my profile for good, so having this opportunity is wonderful.
I’ve heard about the work that Mater Smiling for Smiddy has done, raising so much for cancer research. It’s so nice to be able to join like minded people who want to give back and are in a position to do so. Even if it’s just raising awareness if they can’t financially or being part of the challenge and raising awareness for those in need – I think that’s really special.
I get way more from charities than I give, I think. When you go to these charity events and meet these amazing people, it’s so inspiring. And also, when you actually meet people who are involved directly with the charity, that really puts things in perspective. I mean we might think that being an athlete is quite challenging, but so many others do it tougher dealing with cancer. I am absolutely stoked to be asked to join Mater Smiling for Smiddy and looking forward to a few days of cycling challenge.
Q: What do you love about cycling and how do you keep the passion alive for the sport now that you’ve retired from professional cycling?
Annette: I actually over did it, cycling became a job rather than just a passion. Since retiring on the 5th of December, I’ve only rode five times! I've been able to have a really good break.
Right now, I feel like I’ve had some time off the bike and I’m now looking at it as a form of exercise and fun and a chance to clear the mind. I do enjoy riding down the beach with some good quality people. It's a great type of networking activity. You can ride and talk and socialise with friends and I enjoy that side of it and looking forward to spending a bit of time for fun, rather than just seeing it as a job.
Q: As someone who has ridden many multi-day tours, what are some key tips you can provide to others to help them during CITT?
Annette: Multi-day tours, I think it comes down to fuelling your body. You need to fuel, it’s a simple as that. If you’re going to be doing big days in the saddle, you need to make sure you’re on top of your nutrition. If you’re hungry or thirsty on the bike then you’ve waited too long. Fuelling the day before the ride, fuelling on the day with a big breakfast, fuelling throughout the ride and eat as much as you can every time you stop on the bike and then having some protein at the end.
Then organisation, making sure you’ve got everything you need, whether you need extra food in your pockets or an asthma puffer, or if you need something else, make sure you’ve got it.
UCI Track World Champoinships
- 1st 2015 Yvelines Team Pursuit
- 1st 2015 Yvelines Omnium
- 1st 2019 Pruzkow Team Pursuit
- 2nd 2012 Melbourne Omnium
- 2nd 2012 Melbourne Team Pursuit
- 2nd 2013 Minsk Team Pursuit
- 3rd 2013 Minsk Individual Pursuit
- 3rd 2013 Minsk Omnium
- 3rd 2014 Cali Team Pursuit
- 3rd 2014 Cali Omnium
- 3rd Omnium
- 4th Team Pursuit
- 5th Team Pursuit
- 8th 2016 Rio Omnium
- 5th Team Pursuit
- 7th Madison
- 12th Omnium
- 1st 2014 Glasgow Scratch Race
- 1st 2018 Gold Coast Team Pursuit
- 2nd 2014 Glasgow Individual Pursuit
- 3rd 2018 Gold Coast Individual Pursuit
Road World Championships
- 2nd 2014 Ponferrada Team Time Trial
- 3rd 2013 Tuscany Team Time Trial
- 4th 2015 Richmond Team Time Trial
- 4th 2018 Innsbruck Team Time Trial
Australian National Championships
- 17x Track National Champion (2012-present)
- 1x Criterium National Champion (2021)