I'm in awe of 17-year-old Georgia Baker. Not because she's one of the few 2011 Junior World Champions on the track but because she went down in a criterium and knocked out five teeth. All this about six weeks before the World Championships. She then made it to the World Championships to win the Teams Pursuit and Silver in the Scratch.
Georgia's got strength and character that you don't see in many women let alone 17-year-old girls!
Most of the 17-year-old girls that I know would have been horrified at the thought, I myself considered the prospect of that happening to me and took up training for triathlon almost immediately; Georgia Baker is the completed opposite. When asked about loosing her teeth, her answer showed the commitment of a true athlete, she was more concerned with the time at the dentist eating into her training schedule. Georgia was able to keep two of those teeth that were knocked out and now has a plate for the other three, she doesn't seem to consider it any great loss.
Tasmania is where Georgia comes from, she rides for Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling and if you haven't been then you really should, it's a small place with many good people and there seems to be something in the air that requires Tasmanian's to 'make-it'. They all have this need to prove that they can do it on a bigger stage than anyone ever imagines, Georgia is clear that she is following in Amy Cure's footsteps and that Amy is a strong and positive role model for her to look up to.
When it comes to balancing school, training and friends its important to have a good support network, Georgia attends a local college that is supportive and works with her to achieve what she needs to achieve to get through the school year, especially when it means making up a month of missed classes. Training well and racing well are priorities, but so is her education and this young women is very aware of her future.
I wanted to know where Georgia stood on women's grades in Tasmania, there are currently none and she'd welcome it if there where enough to make a good race of it. Georgia is also very aware that the training and racing with the boys is a big part of the reason on why she's stronger and doing so well.
Georgia was a vital player and team-mate in Belinda Goss's first place at the Launceston Criterium on Saturday 26th November this past weekend, Georgia spent two pain staking laps on the front of the chase group to bring back the break-a-way. The result was an all Tasmanian podium with Belinda Goss taking first and Juniors Lauren Perry and Macey Stewart 2nd and 3rd respectively!
Georgia is heading for a busy season, she will be competing in the 2011 National Omnium Championships in Melbourne this summer, the track National Championships and many carnivals where she is bound to do well.
Picture's from Craig Blowfield