How many elite cyclists do you know who would stitch their favourite chamois into team bike shorts? When Santini is not available, we discover why one athlete takes matters - and a sewing needle - into her own hands!
At 24 years of age, world-class Australian cycling track sprinter and Santini Australia ambassador Kristina Clonan has clocked an impressive list of palmarès.
Clonan made the switch from endurance road to track in 2020 and hasn’t looked back. Indeed, the Queenslander won the Australian National Championships elite women’s sprint, keirin and time trial events in 2020 and 2021. She repeated the incredible hat trick for a third year in a row in 2022, this time breaking the remarkable 33-second barrier at the 500-metre time trial.
Following her phenomenal national success, Clonan showed she was more than capable of stepping up to world level, winning gold at the time trial events for both the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the UCI Track Nations Cup.
Clonan has trained and raced in Santini cycling Australia gear for five years. We have watched her develop over this time and applaud her determination, work ethic and positivity.
We wanted to share some of that with you, so we chatted about her experience wearing Santini kit and her incredible journey thus far.
What Santini Australia jersey do you train in?
I train in the Blue Santini kit. It's clean, symmetrical and visible on the road to cars. Logistically, it's a great length, lightweight and breathable. I also like how it grips on the legs without sticking to me in a weird way. Jersey aside, the C3W women’s Santini chamois is the best I've worked with, so much so that I've actually unpicked the chamois and resewn it onto team cycling race kits when Santini isn't available 🙈🙊
Note from editor: Keen for some of Kristina’s gear? Check out the Unico Women’s Bib Shorts or shop all Santini jerseys.
What Santini jersey do you race in?
The race kit cycling jersey is green and gold striped across my chest. Wearing this kit brings me so much pride, it's always a novelty, and I will never get over that feeling.
What’s your all-time favourite Santini cycle clothing Australia piece of kit and why?
I really loved the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games kit. The Santini Australia jersey incorporated local Aboriginal artists’ yellow and green stripe patterns across the chest, followed through to the legs.
Acknowledging Australia's heritage is extremely important to me. Living in this country, riding on our roads and seeing our scenery daily is a privilege, not a right. Paying our respects to our indigenous - in the sporting arena and outside - is a fundamental component of being Australian.
How many Santini bike jerseys would you wear a week?
Probably about three cycling skinsuits and five jerseys in current training.
What’s the oldest Santini women’s cycling jersey you still wear?
I started riding in Santini when I came onto the National program. The kits have changed in that time, but I love gifting a Santini bike jersey to either my mum, an avid rider, or local Sunny Coast Jrs, who I see riding around in my kit from time to time. Some of these cycling jerseys and kits are three or so years old and still are kicking about looking great.
Can you share any Santini clothing Australia care tips?
I cold-wash my Santini cycling jersey and bib and hang them in the sun on the line. I find this level of care is particularly good for the chamois.
Do you have any race day rituals?
I'm not a superstitious sort, so not really. Just being organised, having my bag packed, and nutrition sorted.
Cliche question, but what was it like to represent your country and win at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games?
The feeling of representing Australia is something I can't describe. The Commonwealth Games is well known and received more public hype than anything I've experienced previously.
It was humbling to feel like the country was behind me, and also pulled a lot of people 'out of the woodwork' that I haven't connected with in a long time or ever before. So that was really special for me.
How many hours do you spend in the saddle each week?
As a sprinter, a lot of our hours are spent in the gym and on the track with the occasional roadie. I'd say probably around 12 hours per week in the saddle.
What is the best velodrome in which to train?
Definitely, the Anna Meares Velodrome if we're talking Australian-based. It's smooth with great, wide bankings. I always love coming home to QLD.
Where is the best place you’ve ever cycled?
I've had some great memories in a lot of places. I think the people make the place 😊
What dream location would you like to cycle?
I have family in Germany and would love to spend a block of time riding there. They're an hour out of Frankfurt, where the scenery is so different to Australia.
What is the best advice you’d give a budding cyclist?
Learn to enjoy the process. The highs are highs, and the lows are lows, but if you enjoy the sport, the training partners and the environment, you'll see through the lows.
Who is the most inspirational cyclist in your life?
Can I say the 2019 Women’s Track endurance team? Because they taught me a lot about myself and to lead by example. I think a lot of who I am or hope to be is due to that group of girls.
Thanks so much to Kristina for taking the time to catch up with us to shoot the bike jersey breeze (and more). We wish you every future success and cannot wait to see what you achieve!
Contact us about a Santini cycling kit today
If you’re looking for a women’s cycling jersey or any Santini kit, reach out to our team today. We’re keen to help with any questions you have, and we’d love to hear from you!
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