Taihape’s Sarah Elwin is almost always smiling whenever she can ride her Yamaha YZ250F, but those smiles have certainly become wider in recent months as her form reaches new highs.
The 20-year-old former national women’s motocross champion reckons she’s been ‘out of sorts’ in recent weeks, perhaps being her own harshest critic as she is unhappy to accept anything less than race wins.
Elwin settled for third overall at the big annual Whakatane Summercross, just after Christmas, finishing the day behind Tauranga sisters and fellow Yamaha riders Jessie and Casey Waterhouse.
But the wins are now happening again for Elwin and so her confidence has been rekindled.
Elwin has been recovering from injuries but she won the day in the women’s class at the annual Valley Championships at Patetonga just over a week ago and says it shows her rehabilitation is starting to show promise.
“I want to get out on the bike as much as I can. I feel a lot more comfortable on the bike now and I have the suspension well sorted,” she said.
“Last year I was racing the Yamaha YZ125, but I don’t think I was set up properly and my results suffered a bit.
“I will be racing at the King of the Mountain Motocross in Taranaki this weekend (January 24) and then getting ready for the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville (on January 30-31).
“The focus of my training has changed. Instead of being a bit random and just running or lifting weights, I’ve sculptured my work-outs to more accurately reflect the work my body does when I’m racing.
“When doing squats, I’m on my toes; when lifting weights, my hands are in the same position they’d be on the bike’s handlebars, for example.
“So the focus on my gym work reflects more what I do on the bike when I’m racing.
“I only finished third at Woodville last year, so I want to do better than that. Plus, this time around, I will be racing in the MX3 class against the men. I want to make things tougher on myself. I will be moving to race the MX2 class against the men too later in the year.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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