Rebecca Marley chases third title

By Seti Afoa ,

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Rebecca Marley on the charge in 2015. ScottieTPhotography

Rebecca Marley on the charge in 2015. ScottieTPhotography

Samoa Events Two-times champion Rebecca Marley is looking to become the most successful rider yet in the 4th Ford Tour of Samoa starting next week.

The Tour starts in Apia on Monday morning at 6am and finishes back in Apia five days later on Saturday afternoon. 

Rebecca is hoping that she will lead the women’s tour in the Victory ride into town next Saturday, having secured her third Tour victory. 

The 30-year old Christchurch landed on Thursday contest her third Tour. She comes with high aspirations of repeating Tour victories of 2015 and 2016. If she crosses the finish line first, she will be the first rider to have three straight tour victories – female or male. 

Unlike previous visits, Rebecca says she is feeling fresh and ready for it. 

Her winter preparation was well controlled to give her as much energy and mental strength for what lies ahead. 

She reined in the winter training in Christchurch, opting to do a few key races. In previous years Rebecca worked hard in the NZ winter to build speed and stamina for the tour. The outcome was she arrived less energised for previous Tours of Duty. 

“My first two tours I ended up overtraining before Samoa and I arrived here feeling tired and fatigued. This time, I’m feeling rather relaxed about it all,” she said on arrival on Thursday. 

Rebecca is also twice-the-wiser on the course and what to expect. 

Her first Tour in 2015 was simply about following the “boys” around. She finished in the top 10 overall that year; and first in the women’s tour both years. 

Rebecca’s first visit in 2015 helped launch the Women’s Tour alongside the Men’s Tour. She was the first female rider to ride the Tour of Samoa. She has not missed one yet. 

This makes Samoa a very attractive tour for female riders. Tours are primarily a male dominated domain so having a consistent number of women riders helps with the Female status of the Tour of Samoa. 

Also riding in the women’s Tour this year and challenging Rebecca for top of podium is repeat Tour riders Katheren Leitner of Auckland and Anna Dungey of Christchurch. Having been here before, Anna and Katheren, like Rebecca, are better prepared for the tough week ahead. 

Joining them for their first tour and visit to Samoa is Tania Larkin (Wellington), Teresa Wilkinson (Tauranga) and Nikki Hart of Auckland.

All six women will ride hard to challenge themselves in Samoa. Rebecca will aim to be at the front of the women’s peloton come Saturday. 

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