A CLIMBING specialist, Bicton cyclist Emily Mascaro has made a habit of conquering hills, which should stand her in good stead for the mountain of challenges ahead of her this year.
Recently unveiled as one of just two girls that will cycle for Australia at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas in August, Emily is also just four weeks away from National Championships, where she is hoping to lock in her spot at the Junior World Championships in Norway in September.
After taking up competitive cycling just two years ago, Emily has fast established a reputation as one of the sport’s rising stars.
She joined Arbitrage Racing in March last year and quickly rewarded the organisation with under-17 State championships in both the time trial and road race events.
Emily was also named the best under-19 rider at the Tour of Margaret River and capped off 2016 with CycleSport WA’s Junior Road Racer of the Year award.
Training six days a week, including a 4am wake-up call for a 120km group ride every Saturday, Emily is determined to forge a career as a professional cyclist.
“I don’t resent the training or early starts at all. I know it’s all making me better and I enjoy the freedom of being outdoors and being able to travel the world competing,” she said. “I love being in the moment on race day when all the training pays off.”
Competing as an under-19 for the first time this season, 16-year-old Emily has already logged a third-place finish at the Oceania Championships in March and a second at the Mersey Valley Tour in Tasmania earlier this month.
But she knows her work is only just beginning if she hopes to finish on the podium at the Youth Commonwealth Games and Junior World Championships.
“When it’s painful, I just think about the fact that it’s all worth it in the end,” she said. “One of the sayings that goes around is that pain is only temporary but glory lasts forever; you just have to keep pushing yourself.”
Emily’s passion for cycling was ignited while watching Cadel Evans win the Tour de France in 2011 and she remains hopeful that one day she too will have an opportunity to tackle the Pyrenees and the Alps.
“My goal is to make it on to the women’s world tour race in a professional team and I think every female cyclist is hopeful that the Tour de France rules will be changed to allow us to compete,” she said.