The Kiwi invasion is coming to the Odyssey in the form of Samara Sheppard. Sheppard suffered a series of injuries as a runner which led her to move into cycling as an alternative.
Now she's riding fresh from an Australian title, the elite women's section of the AMB National Series, in 2018.
We caught up with Samara before she tackles the women's race on Saturday morning in Forrest for the first time.
Thanks for chatting Samara and good luck on Saturday ????
1. How many times have you done the Odyssey/GOGG? This will be my first time for both!
2. What’s your most memorable moment? So far, when I decided to bring my dual suspension, S-Works Epic to race on for both the Odyseey and GOGG. And also when I worked out how many race gels / bars I’ll likely consume on the weekend - 18!
3. What do you love about the Odyssey the most? I’ve heard many great things about the Odyssey, particularly how good the trails are in Forrest. I’m looking forward racing on them and exploring a part of Australia that I’ve never seen.
4. What are your top training tips for the Odyssey ? Yet to be tested :-) but looks like we’re in for two big days including the Gravel Grind. Consistently clocking up some solid rides, back-to-back and mixed in with a bit of trail practice would be good!
5. What are your favourite locations to ride? I grew up riding the trails in Wellington NZ, I love the diverse and expansive network there, particularly the raw terrain like on Rata Ridge. I’ve ridden many cool places but this is still my favourite.
As far as Gravel rides go, it’s hard to beat riding to my Grandma’s house - from off the Ferry in Picton (NZ), through the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, arriving at her house which is pretty off the grid. It’s a beautifully scenic ride and extra exciting knowing that I’ll see Grandma at the end of it!