Road Nationals

during the 2023 Federation University Road National Championships Elite Women and U23 Time Trial on January 10, 2023, at Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Josh Chadwick)

‘I’ve idolised these girls for years’: Isabelle Carnes wins Women’s U23 Individual Time Trial National Championship

Isabelle Carnes has wasted little time adjusting to the senior ranks, winning the U23 Women’s Individual Time Trial National Championship at her first attempt, and finishing seventh among the elite women.

The 18-year-old was one of three teenagers on the U23 podium, joined by her first-year U23 teammate Lucinda Stewart and 19-year-old Haylee Fuller.

Carnes, who finished eighth in the UCI Road World Championships Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial in Wollongong last September, said the toughest aspect of the jump up in category was the extra lap.

The 2023 Women’s U23 Individual Time Trial National Championship podium. (Photo by Josh Chadwick/AusCycling)

“It’s a very big step up but I’m super excited,” Carnes said.

“It was definitely tough having to do two laps of that course compared to just the one last year.

“It added such a different element and I was really big on trying to pace it correctly knowing the kind of rider I am and I felt I did that really and am really stoked to come away with the win in the end.

“The biggest thing for me was just trying to get in with the elites and see where I fit in with the mix.”

Isabelle Carnes during the Elite and U23 Women’s Individual Time Trial. (Photo by Josh Chadwick/AusCycling)

The rising star from Brisbane said she wanted to match it with her elite heroes as best she could while soaking in the moment of her first year alongside them.

“I’ve idolised these girls for years … watching Grace Brown finish there, and I knew Georgie Howe would be a weapon,” Carnes said.

“So, I was looking at their times from previous years trying to work out what kind of pacing I should do and where I could fit in and was really stoked to be somewhere … not quite close but still there.”

Carnes’ focus now turns to what she has described as an “incredible” calendar for the ARA Skip Capital women, starting this Saturday at the Santos Tour Down Under.

Isabelle Carnes during the Elite and U23 Women’s Individual Time Trial. (Photo by Josh Chadwick/AusCycling)

“The team has a great program for the year ahead. We have a ride potentially at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race too,” Carnes said.

“And then we’ll head over to Europe, where we’ve been invited to some really big races over there, which you guys will see soon.

“The team has just got such an incredible calendar that I’m looking forward to race to get more exposure.”

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