Twice a month, the Women’s Cycling Association showcases an inspiring rider from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to go to Australia to introduce Elite Track Racer Stefanie Fernandez.
WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?
Stefanie: One that comes to mind right away was my first national championships. This was a real baptism by fire for me, as I’d only been in the discipline for three months. After qualifying 8th in the sprint, I had to match off with the top qualifier who was none other than Anna Meares, the most decorated female sprinter in our sport. Needless to say, this was both terrifying and exhilarating. Another memorable experience was the first time I had the honor of representing my country in an international meet in China. And also, I can never forget winning my first medal, a silver in the Keirin, at my second national championships. This was quite exciting; any time a race goes to plan is a great feeling.
WCA: What challenges have you faced in cycling?
Stefanie: Probably the greatest challenge I have faced to date was coming back from a ruptured ACL in my right knee which required two surgeries over the course of a year. Following surgery, I had lost so much muscle and strength even though I was very regimented with my rehab. There were times when I found it extremely challenging. I clearly remember sitting on a recumbent bike in the clinic struggling to turn the pedals and looking at the 80 year old with dual knee replacement next to me putting me to shame. When you are in a situation like that, and you realize how much work you have in front [...]