Chloe Hosking has decided to focus on the world championships over the Olympics next year. Photo: Melissa Adams Canberra cyclist Chloe Hosking will bypass a chance at Olympic redemption to focus on world championship glory as she continues her return from a serious hand injury.
Hosking finished outside the allowable time limit in the road race in horrendous conditions at London in 2012, but the sprinter won’t seek Rio selection as she believes the hilly course will not suit.
She will instead target a rainbow jersey at Qatar in October, a goal she believes is realistic after a strong season for Belgian outfit Wiggle High5, whom she has re-signed with for next year.
The 25-year-old’s season was cut short in late July when she suffered tendon and nerve damage after putting her hand on a broken glass. It ended her hopes of selection for the world championships at Richmond, US in September.
After a few months of rehab she returned to action in October and the defending champion will only ride in two criterium legs of the Mitchelton Bay Classic, which begins on New Year’s Day.
Hosking has finished second overall twice as well as a third at the Ladies Tour of Qatar in the past three years.
That successful track record has convinced her the world championships is a wiser option than the Olympics.
Hosking finished sixth in her only world championships appearance in 2011 at Copenhagen.
“Rio is not on my radar,” Hosking said. “It’s super hilly and I would rather go to Qatar and have a realistic chance of bring home the rainbows, then go to Rio and get dropped [by the field].
“It [Qatar] is going to be flat and windy and that’s right up my alley.
“I’ve proven I can do really well there and I think Australia has, after the Dutch, some of the best cross wind riders in the world.
“I have to get selected first, but unless we go over bridges there’s not going to be any hills that crop up anywhere.
“I know everyone is focused on Rio but I’m focused on the world championships.”
Hosking is yet to regain full feeling in her hand but insisted it isn’t having any impact on her riding.
She credited the Australian Institute of Sport for helping accelerate her recovery and her next goal is the national road championships at Ballarat from January 6.
“I had micro surgery in Paris and had three months of really intense rehab, I still have to do a lot of exercises for at least two months,” she said. “It was a bummer because I was definitely gunning to be selected for the Richmond team, but as an athlete you need to roll with the punches.
“I know they’re really happy with my rehab and the range of movement I’ve got back in my hand, I don’t feel impeded or anything by it.
“I was lucky I got a lot of help from the AIS, without their support I wouldn’t have been able to get back as quickly, or get as much strength and movement as I have.”
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