Auckland motorcycle racer Avalon Biddle feels as if she has a target on her back.
But that’s okay with her, just something that comes with the territory when she is the best in her chosen field.
The 23-year-old from Orewa won the FIM European Women’s Cup section of the European Junior Cup competition earlier this year, beating the elite female racers from throughout Europe and gaining recognition in New Zealand too when she was this month named on the short-list for the prestigious Halberg Awards.
That ranks her among the top 10 high performance sportswomen in New Zealand, alongside swimmers Kimberley Chambers and Lauren Boyle, canoeist Lisa Carrington, golfer Lydia Ko and BMX rider Sarah Walker, to name just a few.
Ten trophies are to be presented at the 53rd Halberg Awards which will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2016, at the Vector Arena in Auckland and televised live, although, whether Biddle makes the final cut or not, she won’t be in the country for that ceremony.
She will already have returned to her base near Dusseldorf, in Germany, where she will be preparing to defend her European Women’s Cup title.
“The European Women’s Cup is raced within the European Junior Cup, with the female riders scored separately, and this is what I won. It’s a great competition. All the riders are on identical Honda CBR650F bikes and everything is taken care of … the bikes are transported to the venues and all I have to do is turn up with my mechanic and ride.
“I’m actually still looking for a mechanic for 2016. So if you know of anyone who wants to live the dream, get their feet in the door in Europe and make a name for themselves on the race scene, please get in touch. Hopefully we’ll find someone who is prepared to work for food and rent,” she laughed.
“It’s an amazing competition because, now that there is no European Stock 600 class, this is the last step before the 600cc world championships and so it’s pretty intense. It’s expensive too. I need to find $60,000 out of my own pocket to fund the season.
“I know I’ve got a target on my back for the women’s crown but that doesn’t bother me. I’m familiar with the various tracks and know my rivals now. I feel a lot more confident than before.
“The main difference this coming season is that I will be pushing a lot harder. I held back a little bit this year, not taking too many big risks, because I wanted to protect my position within the women’s title chase and avoid the carnage.
“But I’m determined to get better results overall, against the men within the European Junior Cup proper. That means I might have to brace for a bit of carnage this time.”
She agrees that the Halberg Award nomination is a huge honour and one that caps off her 2015 season.
“It’s repayment for all the hard work I guess. I have been focussed on racing week-to-week in various parts of Europe and not really thinking about how it might have been seen back in New Zealand. So this is very nice to be recognised at home.”
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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