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The Amy Gillett scholarship has been awarded to Grace Brown, who made a powerful impression in the past year with a strong debut into the National Road Series and podium performances among the influx of professional riders during Australia’s summer of racing.
In previous years the cornerstone of the scholarship, which is awarded to an up and coming Australian rider, has been a guaranteed block of European racing with the Australian High5 National Development team. However, with Cycling Australia pulling its support of the development squad this year the question was how would the scholarship holder get that valuable overseas experience?
To make sure the development opportunity remained for the Australian rider who received the scholarship, Wiggle High5 owner Rochelle Gilmore stepped into the void, just as she did when initial plans were announced to cut the development team in 2015.
The scholarship provides the opportunity to live, train and compete internationally with the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling Team with support from Cycling Australia.
Brown, who rides with Holden Team Gusto, staked a clear claim for the scholarship when she took third in the Australian National Road Championships, taking to the podium in a field packed with the nation’s top professional riders. Then she took another gritty third place in the international field at the hilly and hard fought Stage 3 of the UCI 2.1 ranked Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
“This scholarship is a legacy to Amy’s life and ambitions,and Grace has shown similar dedication and determination in her sport,” said Amy Gillett Foundation patron Simon Gillett. “Like all Amy Gillett Foundation Cycling Scholars, Grace has the potential to become a pro-athlete, and we are keen to see the passion she will bring to her role as a Foundation Ambassador.”
To find out more about the 25 year old runner turned cyclist, see the video interview below that we recorded with her last year:
The Amy Gillett Foundation was formed in memory of the Australian cyclist struck while training with the national team. Their mission is to create a safer cycling environment in Australia and the minimum passing distance campaign, a metre matters, has seen legislative change introduced across most of the state’s of Australia.
“I will do my utmost to honour Amy’s legacy and to work closely with the Amy Gillett Foundation to
continue its tireless work towards making cycling safe for everyone,” Brown said.
Last year’s scholarship holder was Lucy Kennedy, who when she set off overseas with the national team took victory at the 2.2 classified Tour de l’Ardèche. The climber with a strong time-trial was then signed up to Australia’s only UCI registered team, Mitchelton-Scott, where she instantly became a valued worker for the team when the road turned upwards.
Former scholarship recipients:
Lucy Kennedy (2017)
Louisa Lobigs (2016)
Kimberley Wells (2015)
Lizzie Williams (2014)
Jessica Mundy (2013)
Jessica Allen (2012)
Jo Hogan (2011)
Rachel Neylan (2010)
Amber Halliday (2009)
Carlee Taylor (2008)
Carla Ryan (2007)
Jessie MacLean (2006)