Cyclist Anna Shackley embracing Tokyo experience after making Olympic debut

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Cyclist Anna Shackley embracing Tokyo experience after making Olympic debut
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KNOWLEDGE is power when it comes to the Olympics and Anna Shackley insists she’ll come back stronger than ever before after soaking up her first Games.

The cyclist from Milngavie finished 18th in the women’s time trial, four minutes down on Netherlands’ gold medallist Annemiek van Vleuten, to cap her maiden season as a professional athlete.

Shackley, who is coached by Laura Kenny’s sister Emma Scott, went through the first check point 90 seconds down on Van Vleuten’s split and that gap extended to 2:15 at the 15 kilometre sign.

The 20-year-old was the sole British rider in the event and she says she can’t wait to build on the experience.

“It’s a massive experience. This is my first international time trial so that’s a pretty big experience for me,” she said.

“I really enjoyed it, I’ve learnt how to do it a bit better last time. We did a lot of course preparation for this as well so it was nice to put a lot of time into it."

The cycling endurance events took place away from the intense heat of downtown Tokyo but the conditions were still hot and sticky around the Fuji Speedway, 100 kilometres into the mountains.

And Shackley admits the conditions played a key part, especially in the final section of the course.

“It was very hard and extremely hot. It was nice, I like how it wasn’t just a flat course, there was more to it than that,” she added.

“I’m feeling tired. I was feeling okay but I think I went too hard on the long drag and I suffered a lot, especially on the climb into the circuit.”

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