Get to Know Carlee TaylorMon 28 Oct 2013
The story of Carlee Taylor, one of eight Australians on the ORICA-AIS squad, mirrors that of many of her compatriots on the team. Her early years were spent racing in Europe with the AIS. After gaining some valuable experience overseas, she branched off to continue her progression as a member of US and European based trade teams. Having shown considerable growth and maturation as a rider in 2013, Carlee comes back to her roots as she joins the top ranked women’s team in the world for 2014.
“I am incredibly excited about being in an Australian team,” says Taylor. “I’m looking forward to being part of this program for several reasons. It’s well-supported, run very professionally and I will be reuniting with the people that I met through the AIS years ago. We have a good group next year – both riders and staff. I’m looking forward to being part of the GreenEDGE family and ORICA-AIS.”
The 24-year-old has big ambitions as a cyclist. Joining ORICA-AIS has major advantages for this former two-time U23 national champion. She sees the Australian outfit affording her the best possible path to continue her growth.
“My ultimate goal is to be one of the best cyclists in the world,” adds Taylor. “I think learning from the best cyclists in the world and being on the best team in the world gives me the perfect opportunity to further develop myself.”
In the coming year, Taylor has several big aspirations. Her first major objective is to pull on the green and gold jersey as national champion in Ballarat in a few months time. Taylor also hopes to don her country’s colours as a member of the Australian national team in Scotland and Spain later in the year.
“Our national championships are always important for Australians, and I know it’s important for my new team,” says Taylor. “It’s on a circuit that suits me, so I’ll be aiming to be fit for that. Beyond having a consistently good season, I would like to make the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships teams. The course in Spain is hilly again, and I’d like to think that it’s my type of course.”
The hills are where Taylor excels. Her role as support rider for her Lotto-Belisol teammate, Ashleigh Moolman, throughout the 2013 season and for her Australian compatriot, Tiffany Cromwell, at the recent World Championships in Italy are evidence that she’s at home in the mountains.
“My job at Worlds was to support Tiff at the end of the race, but my job came earlier when the peloton split the first time up the climb,” explains Taylor. “I was one of few Aussies left and I gave everything I had to help Tiff and make sure we were in every move. I felt really good and worked hard until I had nothing left. Tiff had a massive go in the end and finished in the top ten.”
Taylor also showed promise as a strong tour rider when she finished third overall at last year’s Route de France. It was the first time the young rider stepped onto the podium for GC in a 2.1 tour.
During this off season, Taylor won’t only ride her bike for personal gain. She is an ambassador for Gear Up Girl SA – an event in Adelaide that aims to get women on their bikes for fun and fitness. In a few weeks time, Taylor and 1000 other women will be enjoying a day out on bicycles.
“This ride is not about how fast you go or how far you go, but it’s about enjoying cycling,” says Taylor. “I think it’s great that SA is focusing on women’s cycling. Eight out of the ten people who ride a bike in SA are men and SA wants to help women. It’s a good thing they’re doing. The funds raised from the ride benefit a breast cancer organization in South Australia. I hope it’s a successful event.”