World Cycling Centre trainee still getting used to being World Champion
One week after becoming World Champion, the 18-year-old athlete from Ecuador still has moments of disbelief. But the rainbow jersey and gold medal hanging in her closet are constant reminders that it is indeed true.
“I look at that jersey for 1 or 2 minutes and I really realise,” she says. “I am World Champion. It’s amazing.”
Although she hails from Ecuador, the young athlete’s temporary home is Aigle, Switzerland, where she has been training at the World Cycling Centre (WCC) for the last four months. Under the guidance of the WCC BMX coach Thomas Allier, she prepared for the Worlds in optimal conditions, enjoyed a solid season, and arrived in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) one of the favourites to take the Junior Women’s title.
After a silver medal in the time trial, Domenica went from strength to strength in the lead-up to the main race: “She had a perfect day and was also able to cope with the pressure,” says Allier.
For the final, the young athlete was more focused than ever: “I wasn’t nervous in the gate. I just breathed deeply and thought about all the training I had done. And then I just pedalled and pedalled and kept thinking ‘where’s the finish line?’ I was already crying in the last corner!”
The new World Champion started BMX 11 years ago, at the tender age of 7, and quickly produced good results. As a first-year Junior last year she finished fourth at the World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. She says that the sport is not incredibly popular in her country. But her world title could well change that judging by the number of press interviews she has given in the last week: “I had the press ring me at midnight when I was asleep!” she exclaims, appearing rather perplexed by her sudden propulsion to notoriety.
Despite her success, her feet remain firmly on the ground. She is back training at the WCC as she prepares the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, at the end of the month and her debut in the Elite category in 2015. Her coach is convinced she has what it takes to make her mark among the world’s Elite.
“She was already very strong before arriving at the World Cycling Centre,” confirms Thomas Allier. “We just put everything in place so that she could get the result. She has the right character and is very determined: she knows what she wants and doesn’t question herself. It’s a big step up to the Elite Women but she has all the qualities to do well.”
And to give herself the best possible chance of succeeding, Domenica will continue to train with Thomas Allier at the WCC.
“It’s very tough training with Thomas but it’s very good and I have improved,” says the new World Champion.