ELITE ATHLETE: Emily Parkes racing her mountain bike in the national series in Canberra earlier this year.
ELITE ATHLETE: Emily Parkes racing her mountain bike in the national series in Canberra earlier this year. Craig Smyth

On her bike yet again

HAVING only just returned to Coffs Harbour to spend time with family last week, elite mountain bike rider Emily Parkes is packing her bags for more international competition.

With her bike in perfect condition, Emily is now headed off to Europe for two important races.

Her first stop will be Val di Sole in northern Italy for the fifth and final round of the World Cup series.

With the overall cross country mountain bike titles on the line, the 19-year-old is expecting the racing there to be fast and furious.

Following this race she will then head to Andorra in Spain where she will compete in the UCI MTB World Championships.

Located in the high Pyrenees mountains on the French/Spanish border, Andorra is an amazing setting for the best in the world to compete for the world title.

The current top-ranked under-23 rider in the country has been training hard for the two events even though she broke her wrist earlier this year racing in New Zealand.

She is confident of showing the world how good the Australian girl is.

"I've had a couple of setbacks earlier in the season but have already raced in Europe as well as in New Zealand and feel I have prepared well for these two events," Emily said.

"I am feeling confident of a good result. Although unlikely to help me compete in the Olympics in Rio next year, this will be great experience and lead-in for the Commonwealth Games being held in 2018."

Emily's family, which has only just recovered from the late nights watching Tour De France, will be having more sleepless nights over the coming weeks as they watch their daughter's races on SBS and the internet.

It's support the 27th ranked cross country mountain biker in the world admits she'd be lost without.

"I am extremely grateful to my mum and dad, my sponsor Torq Nutrition, and to Mountain Biking Australia for a high performance grant," said the Australian elite female champion in the short course eliminator category.

"In the last month I was also lucky enough to be accepted for a scholarship with the ACT Academy of Sport which has placed me in a very special category of high performance athletes across the country."



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