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Australian ace Baker keen to say thanks at Six Day Brisbane

11 April 2019

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Six Day Brisbane is not just another race for Australian star Georgia Baker – it’s a chance to say thank you.

As a Six Day Series novice coming into this season, Baker had never known what it was like to embrace the bikes, beats and beers that the velodrome has to offer.

But having gotten a taste in London in October and then again in Melbourne a few months later, her appetite for more is certainly coming to the fore in Brisbane.

Not before offering up some gratitude, however.

With mum, Dearne, and grandma, Mal, following her around the world already this season, a chance to return to her home country comes at just the right time for the 24-year-old, offering a chance to give back to those who have felt triumph and torment in equal measure in her cycling career.

But the Baker family aren’t just in town to watch Georgia have some fun.

“They love coming along and supporting me. They were at Six Day London and had a really good time – they’ve followed the Series ever since then and will come down to Brisbane to watch this one,” said Georgia.

“They had heard about Six Day racing but had never really seen anything of it – they rocked off to London and loved it. They had tickets for all six days!

“I thought they may watch one or two but they loved it. They had so much fun and what was a massive party for them.

“They’ve got some family and friends coming with them to Brisbane. They’ve done Melbourne as well, so they’ve really got on board with the idea of Six Day.

“It means so much to be able to race in front of them, especially when you can put in good performances.

“The past couple of years have been tough, so going out there and riding for people who have been so supportive is a bit of a thank you.

“I’m very much a family person. Whenever I can, I look to see them and my friends, it’s something that matters a lot to me.”

A debut she may have had in London but Baker proved she was no slouch from the get-go, standing atop the general classification with the likes of Ash Ankudinoff and Kirsten Wild left in her trail.

Since then, her stock has risen even more, becoming a world champion in the team pursuit while also bagging Madison silver prior to Six Day Brisbane.

But while a rainbow jersey now sits proudly in her collection, Baker’s feet remain firmly on the ground.

After all, just getting back on the bike is something she feared may never have happened.

Having lost her father to a heart attack in 2015, suffering a racing heart and sharp pains on the start line of a road race was not what she needed, with supraventricular tachycardia the eventual diagnosis.

It put her shot at a home Commonwealth Games – also on the Brisbane track – in doubt but Baker was back fit and fighting by late 2017, a setback that has at least offered a new perspective.

“Sometimes you get caught up in this life that you live, which is very full-on and very performance-based. Your focus is on Olympic gold medals and you can get too drawn into that,” she added.

“Now I have the ability to take a step back and put things into perspective. There are times when you don’t have the result that you want and it is disappointing but it’s not the end of the world and not the worst thing that will ever happen to me.

“You try and have more fun, and Six Day offers that. It might hurt more than it should for a bit of fun but you can definitely go out there and enjoy your racing.

“With Melbourne being the first Six Day on home soil, that gave it all an extra edge and made it all really special. For the event to just be in Australia was a really great thing to be a part of.”

Now, with a Six Day Series Final to contend with, all tracks have led to Brisbane for one of Australia’s top talents.

And she’ll do some with boyfriend Patrick Constable not far away in the sprinter’s pen, looking to embrace an atmosphere that continues to blow her away across the world.

She added: “It’s really good to have him there. This year was the first one where we went to a World Championships together, and it’s great to be able to go to races and have someone there who knows you inside and out.

“We don’t really act like a couple when we’re at races. We just get on with our business and I like it like that but it’s always good to have him around.

“The atmosphere so far has been great. The racing is really exciting and the crowd just get so involved from the start. It’s a great spectacle for everyone and a really great experience.”


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