Georgia Williams: ‘My year in the jersey’

Mon 12 Nov 2018

For riders the national championships only come around once every 12months, but the reward for getting it right lasts a lot longer. 

Nine attempts, eight top-ten finishes, five podiums. For years, it was a tale of ‘so close yet so far’ for New Zealand’s Georgia Williams. That was until she pulled off the prestigious double in January 2018. 

A season in the coveted New Zealand champion’s jersey and a special edition SCOTT Foil Disc shortly followed. This is Williams’ year in the jersey. 

Getting it right:
In her 10th and 11th attempts to win a time trial or road race championship, Williams got it all right with a 14-second victory in the time trial and a dominant solo performance in the road race the very next day. 

Having joined the Mitchelton-SCOTT team almost 12months prior, the 25-year-old had a target on her back, but she was up for the challenge.

I’ll always be really proud of my 2018 Nationals,” Williams declared. “After being on the podium a few times in the TT and after three second-places in the road race it was such a good feeling to finally be on the top step in both events. “In a way it was a relief. I was really excited to represent New Zealand in the European peloton.

The coveted black and white jersey:
A major highlight of national championship success is the honour of wearing your national jersey for the duration of the following year, representing your country whilst riding for your trade team on the international stage. 

I was handed a bag of my national champs kit when I arrived in Australia and was on the drive to the hotel from the airport, Williams recalled. I was in the car with a couple of the girls and it was so exciting going through it all. I was so happy with how Giordana had designed it. I think the girls were just as excited for me which was cool.

It was such a proud feeling racing in my jersey every race I did and even everyday wearing it when I headed out training. It was a reminder of the hard work I put in to get that jersey and a bit of extra motivation.

I would definitely get a lot more recognition in my national champs jersey in the peloton and in the media. Being in a different jersey to your teammates really stands out. 

A slick SCOTT Foil Disc
Completing the look for 2018, Williams was presented with a stunning New Zealand champion designed SCOTT Foil Disc. 

It was really cool that SCOTT made me a special-edition bike to match my national champs kit. Not many bike sponsors do this for the athletes so it was really special and such an honour. They designed it really well by adding extra kiwi touches such as the silver fern, Maori patters and a little kiwi bird. 

Not all smooth sailing:
After a dream start to the season, that also included a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, a serious crash kept her out of the team’s winning Giro Rosa line up and affected the final half of her season.

I feel like my highs were really high and the lows really low but that’s all part of the sport and I feel it will make me stronger for the 2019 season,” Williams reflected.

“My highs were winning the TT and RR at the national champs then following up with a silver in the Commonwealth Games Road Race. I was also happy with my 4th place GC position in Bira in May.

My lows were my crash at the end of June, fracturing my pubis, hip and sacrum. This also forced me out of the Giro which was pretty hard as I was excited to race there and play a key supportive role.

I feel like I managed to finish the season with a high as I surprised myself to finish just out of the top 10 in the ITT at Worlds. A couple weeks before the race I wasn’t even planning on racing as I didn’t think I was in good enough form after my mid-season injury. So it was a real roller coaster.

Looking ahead:
With another contract with Mitchelton-SCOTT for 2019, a team she finds a great dynamic with, Williams already has her sights set on glory for next season.

I feel so comfortable and happy in the team, everyone works hard but also likes to have fun. The team is supportive in helping me achieve my goals as well as the support I got off the bike this year when I was injured. I think this is a really important balance and is a key to our success this year. I’m excited for an even better 2019!

I would love to win both national titles again and it will be a focus for me. It will be a lot tougher this year and I will have a huge target on my back but I will give it my best shot. The rest of January will also be important for me targeting all of the racing in Australia.

Georgia Williams
Date of Birth: 25 August 1993 (25)
Nationality: New Zealand
Place of Birth: Auckland
Turned Pro: 2013 
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2017-2019

2018 top results:
-     1st National Championships New Zealand - Road Race 
-     1st National Championships New Zealand - Time Trial
-     2nd Commonwealth Games - Road Race