CYCLING: Canadian cyclist Meika Ellis will join the mix at the Rockhampton Cup on Wheels this weekend when the Kenrick Tucker Velodrome heats up with track racing action.
While adding some international flavour to this year's event, Ellis will hit the track hopeful of stealing Capricornia Cup glory from local star rider Taylah Jennings.
Hailing from Edmonton, Canada, Ellis works as the general manager at Argyll Velodrome in Edmonton, and although she only started to race seriously about a year ago she has a strong background in the sport.
"My father was a national-level track cyclist and his partner was on the Canadian national road and track team. They introduced me to track riding," Ellis said.
The 22-year-old had only been in the country for a month before she started stirring up the local cycling scene with some solid performances at recent Rocky Cycling Club racing.
Ellis said she expected Australia to stay true to it's reputation as a cycling force and provide some tough competition when she made her debut appearance at the Rocky Cup event this weekend.
"I am absolutely looking forward to the Rocky Cup. I am psyched for the weekend," she said.
It's around -25degrees Celsius back home with a snow-covered track, you just don't get this kind of event in February in Canada.
"I believe I will do all the events open to women and most importantly though, the Capricornia Wheel Race.
"Having been here for only one month I have no rivals, to my knowledge, but I hear Taylah Jennings will be back to race."
Ellis said since her arrival in Australia she has been training hard with some solid session on the road and track while preparing for the Cup.
"Racing has been going well. My competition keeps it hard but each night feels stronger than the last," she said.
"My goal for the Rocky Cup is to gain experience, keep the rubber side down, and yes, like all true competitors, to come out with a few good placements.
"The highlight of my cycling career so far is showing up to the Dunc Gray Velodrome for a 15-minute ride and being unexpectedly registered to race as a guest, for the first time on a 250-metre indoor wood track, the last day of the Sydney Christmas Carnival."