Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Aussie pro cyclist Chloe Hosking over the phone. Chloe has returned home to Canberra for the summer season where her training program continues, as well as her university studies in communication.
Chloe has just completed two pretty successful years with Norwegian team Hitec. Her 2014 season began with a stage victory at the Mitchelton Bay Crits, and continued with impressive results in Europe including the EPZ Omloop van Borsele and a stage of the Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour.
But despite her successes Hitec told her that they wouldn’t be renewing her contract for 2015. Chloe wasn’t too disappointed because she says she was ready to move but when discussions with Orica-AIS fell over at the final hurdle she was feeling a little anxious about her future. She made contact with a number of teams and found a great fit with Wiggle Honda where she’s signed up for the 2015 season. There she’ll be reunited with her friends Elisa Longo Borghini and Audrey Cordon and will enjoy racing again with Emilia Fahlin.
She’s also excited at the prospect of racing in the same team as Georgia Bronzini who is known for her great leadership out on the road. As well as her new team mates she’ll still be keeping in regular contact with her mentor and former teammate Ina-Yoko Teutenberg.
One thing I’ve admired about Chloe is her outspokenness. She famously called the then UCI President Pat McQuaid ‘a dick’ in January 2012 in reference to his comments, when he said that women’s cycling has “not developed enough” to warrant a minimum wage. As I’m a former media advisor to some of Australia’s largest companies I suppose I should be suggesting to Chloe that she needs to sanitise her comments in future, but I actually admire what she’s achieved. As Chloe said it was the first time she remembers women’s sport of any kind hogging the number one spot of the SMH’s sports page.
Chloe attributes her outspoken nature to the Australian habit of being somewhat blunt. She works on the theory that she speaks to others the way she’d like them to speak to her, and sometimes that backfires, but mostly it serves her well. I know I enjoyed reading her blog post about the Commonwealth Games and dealing with disappointment. She really wears her heart on her sleeve.
In 2015 Chloe will begin her year at the Bay Crits in her new Wiggle Honda colours. The Bay Crits is a race she enjoys and she won Stage 2 there earlier this year. This will be followed shortly by the National Road Championships in Victoria but it’s not a race she enjoys, or is suited for (she has to race it in order to be considered for selection in any national teams). But she is looking forward to her first major hit-out of the year with the Tour of Qatar in February.
This year Chloe spent 10 months away from Australia and when in Europe she’s based in Girona in Spain. So it’s really her home rather than Canberra, and there’s a huge community of cyclists living there too, so she’s got plenty of training buddies.
I asked Chloe my favourite question which I like to pose to professional cyclists – ‘How can we increase the profile of women’s cycling?’. She said that all riders have the potential to use social media to promote their own sport and many do it well by blogging and utilising social media like Twitter and Instagram. She suggests that teams could be doing more by sending more regular media releases, thus providing ready-made content for time-poor journos.
In her spare time, not that she has much of that, Chloe is studying towards her Bachelor in Communication (majoring in journalism) which she hopes to finish in February next year. She’d like to use her pro cycling experience and studies to pursue a career in sports management in the future.
Good luck in 2015. Women Who Cycle will follow your progress.