Insider with: Jenelle CrooksMon 26 Sep 2016
One of the younger riders on the ORICA-AIS team, 21-year-old Jenelle Crooks joined the Australian outfit mid-way through the 2016 season and has quickly settled into elite European racing.
The current U23 Australian champion, originally from Perth, displayed her high potential last year when she won the youth classification in two challenging tours, Thuringen Rundfahrt and Route de France.
Crooks has continued to develop at a rapid rate this year working well within the ORICA-AIS set up. Here you can get to know a little more about one of the newest riders on the team:
Which race was your best this season?
“The best race for me would be La Flèche Wallonne, it was the most amazing atmosphere and nothing can beat climbing the Mur de Huy in front of such a huge crowd.”
What is the worst thing that has happened in a race this year?
“When I crashed out of the WorldTour race Plouay. I felt really good on the climbs but ended up down a ditch and really hurt my back.”
Do you have any weird facts about yourself?
“I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and I have a fear of being late for anything.”
What is the funniest thing that's happens this year?
“There isn't really one that I can think of. We have a lot of really funny things most of them are "you had to be there" moments and when we are over-tired we think everything is hilarious.”
Which race were you most nervous about this season?
“The WorldTour race La course by Le Tour because two years ago I had a horrible crash there that took quite a lot of time for me to come back from.”
What is your favourite meal?
“Anything that contains dark chocolate or that is dairy free.”
Who influences or helps you the most when you're at races?
“All my teammates and Gene Bates, they're all much more experienced than me. They always have great advice and feedback which really helps and I have learnt a lot from them this season.”
What are your goals for next year?
“My goal for next year is to learn as much as I can from every bike race and from my teammates to become a better all round rider.”
What is the first thing you will do after your final race this season?
“Go home to Australia and relax with my friends and family.”
Finally, if you weren't a cyclist what would you be?
“I’d most likely be a paediatric nurse or a midwife.”
We wish Crooks success with her training and preperation in the build up to the Australian summer of racing.