Famous last words: Lauren Kitchen

The 22-year-old Aussie rode for Marianne Vos at Rabobank last year. Now she’s with Giorgia Bronzini at Wiggle-Honda, where she’s also making her own mark

I’d like to be considered more an all-round rider because in women’s cycling you have to be dynamic. You can’t be super-focused on being a sprinter, for example. You look at the top riders – Marianne [Vos] can do every type of race. I think you have to aspire to be like that. If you focus too specifically, it’s quite narrow in women’s cycling.

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I really enjoy riding with Giorgia [Bronzini]. After riding with Marianne last season, it’s different to ride with Giorgia, but it’s also really exciting. Every rider is different in terms of what they want, what they need. It’s cool to see when something you do really helps her win. You really see that more with Giorgia.

The thing was, riding with Marianne, she can always win! Sometimes she really needs help to be able to do things but she doesn’t speak out as much [as Bronzini]. It’s more on feel, and the girls on that team know what she needs and when she needs it.

Marianne also likes to help the other girls in the team to get their own results. She wins a lot so she really gets a lot of joy out of helping someone else win – more than when she wins sometimes. Giorgia, I guess she wins maybe a little bit less often, so when it’s a sprint it’s all about being a very drilled train to guide her into the finish. It took a few times but now she’s relying on me for that and we have a few more girls that have experience.

I live with family in Holland, in a household environment. Part of my family is Dutch. I think it’s important to establish a home in Europe in your head. If you start going, “I want to go home,” it’s so long and you’re in Australia for maybe two months and half that time you’re on training camp or away anyway. You’re actually at home more in Europe than in Australia.

I understand Dutch. I’m working on the speaking bit! The problem is it’s so difficult because they all speak English so well. I go on a bunch ride in Holland and they all speak in English because they know I’m there. I can’t learn!

I’d like to be selected for the team time trial World Championships. There are 10 girls that can ride. That’s a lot of girls to pick from so I don’t envy staff. It also means we’ll be riding faster because we all want those spots.

Wiggle-Honda is a lot more varied [than Rabobank]. It’s a British-based team, but we have a lot of different nationalities. At Rabobank, it was nearly all Dutch. Here we have Germans, Kiwis, Australians and the British, of course. It’s not as established as Rabobank but I think that’s a really good thing because we can make a name for the team ourselves.

I’m trying to make the next step. This season it’s about managing recovery and form. Last season it was trying to take everything in. I’ve learned a lot more about how to manage myself and I’m there more at the finish for myself.

Rabobank was great but it was very structured. It had been established 
that way so it was good for learning. Wiggle-Honda is good for developing.

This article was first published in the July 18 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!