It’s been six months since I turned pro with Canyon//SRAM after winning the Zwift Academy 2022. These last six months have been great, and a complete whirlwind. It’s definitely been a dive into the deep end of racing, a big step up from my one year of racing experience in the UK! Initially, it was quite overwhelming, but now after learning so much at every race, I feel like a very different rider with a lot more experience and confidence!
I’ll share six things I’ve learnt in the last six months since turning pro:
- Firstly, you travel to some extraordinary places in Europe to race. I raced Itzulia in the Basque Country region of Spain, a beautiful but brutal place to ride with steep climbs. I’ve also been to more mountainous regions such as the Pyrenees and the hills around the Costa Blanca. I also raced a couple of Classics races earlier in the season: Miron Ronde van Drenthe and Brabantse Pijl to name a few. You will definitely race in places in the middle of nowhere you would have never visited normally! The atmosphere at these races is unbelievable! The amount of people out to support women’s cycling is amazing.
- Secondly, fuelling well is really important! This is something the team at Canyon//SRAM have taught us well from the start and something I’m still learning how I can do it best for my body and the terrain. Racing to your maximum requires a high amount of carbohydrate and racing whilst taking on optimal nutrition is definitely not easy!
- Resting and recovering is just as important as pushing yourself in training. I had an awesome, yet intense, racing block in May with the Canyon//SRAM Generation team. It was so great that I could get more racing experience without it being at World Tour level. During this period, it was really important to maximise the rest time I had to make sure I was properly recovered for the next race soon after!
- Your teammates are the best and you support each other a lot. I’ve got to know the girls and we have a common hard working ethic. This is true to not only your fellow riders, but also the staff who work so hard to support us behind the scenes of the race. Everyone has been so encouraging, and answer so many of my questions as I seek to learn as much as possible!
- You have to be prepared to race in any weather. In Itzulia it was the worst rain I have ever ridden in and in Drenthe the race was almost called off because of snow! It’s all part of the sport, which makes it so demanding but also rewarding! Similarly whilst out training, especially in the mountains where the temperature at the top can be quite chilly, I’m now sure to pack enough layers and keep half an eye on the weather forecast.
- And finally it’s important to have fun! The race environment is quite intense and it’s good to decompress with the girls in the evenings. Group training is always enjoyable and spending time with people with the same passion as you is great. Cycling is a brutal and savage sport at times, but I perform the best when I am relaxed and enjoying riding my bike.
Now my biggest racing block has come to an end this year, I look forward to racing my first National Championships at the end of June in the UK alongside my teammate and current National Champion Alice Towers. Catch you again in a few months!
Until next time!