Champion Queenstown mountain biker Kate Fluker’s on track with her bid for selection for next year’s Olympics.
Fluker leaves today to race in North America, having recently spent seven weeks in Europe.
After crashing out in her first World Cup race in the Czech Republic, she finished 20th in Germany, then 19th early this month in Switzerland - the best result a female Kiwi’s ever achieved in a European World Cup cross country event.
The 27-year-old lies 27th but she’s confident of an overall top-20 finish after three more World Cup races next month in Canada, the United States and Italy.
Fluker - who defended her New Zealand cross country title early this year - says she’s about three minutes closer to the winners than she was last year and is `”rapt” with her results.
She also podiumed twice in Austria between her second and third World Cups, finishing second in a demanding
four-day event and winning a hillclimb.
Both results earned her prize money and gave her vital points, moving her several places up the start-line for World Cup races.
The first race - her first ever stage race - also gave her some confidence: “If I don’t have a good start, I can work through the race because I’ve got good endurance apparently”.
After these next World Cups, where she’ll be accompanied by her partner, downhill mountain biker Reon Boe,
Fluker will compete in the world champs in Andorra in early September.
In October she’ll fly to Brazil for a practice race on the course that will be used for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Fluker says she mightn’t know whether she’ll be selected till early next year, “but it’s looking promising”.