Meet the riders who have been selected to be part of the Vox Performance Project! They will be sharing their journey with you over the coming months and posting blogs right here at voxwomen.com, so you can keep up to date with their progress.
I’ve set myself the cycling challenge of achieving a sub 5-hour ironman bike split in 2022; this is my absolute dream achievement and a goal I’m working towards this winter. My second cycling challenge for 2022 is achieving a sub 4-hour 100mile TT. Both of these challenges are huge for me, but I adore cycling and it’s a big goal of mine to become a stronger cyclist, to complement the rest of my triathlon skills. Feeling super strong coming off the bike in a full distance triathlon will allow me to run my ambitious goal marathon split as well!
By joining the Vox Performance Project, I hope to inspire others, particularly those new to triathlon, and share all the lessons I’ve learned from the years I’ve spent growing through the sport.
I’ll be cycling from Sheffield to Luz in the Algarve next May, which comes to approximately 1600 miles in 21 days. I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m turning 50 this year, am newly divorced and am ready for a challenge. A couple of friends asked me to join them and it was a fantastic opportunity to say “yes” to something that will take me completely outside my comfort zone. However, for this, I’ll need to increase my regular mileage to over 50 miles, cycling on consecutive days, balancing body and mind and the rest of life through this training period.
I’ll need all the help I can get, including holistic training – not just the physical training – so nutrition and fuelling, mental approaches and behaviour as well. Being part of the Vox Performance Project and having that type of support to keep focused over the winter months means the world to me.
This year I started track cycling at Herne Hill velodrome, and I absolutely love it! I raced in their women’s intro category and next year will be moving up to B cat. Competition is fierce! But I’m planning a solid winter and spring of hard work to maximise results, with the aim of winning a race in the women’s league next year. Although people from the cycling community have been so kind with their expertise and equipment, it’s sometimes difficult to pay for all the support that’s necessary to improve. By being part of the Vox Performance Program, I hope to show others in a similar situation what’s possible, and make my son proud!
Having moved from the UK to France last December, I have been trying to scratch the itch of a desire for competition. There are many riders who came to cycling late, like myself, with no aspirations to become professional, but with the desire to be competitive and to challenge themselves. Now that I’m living in France it seems that a same gap exists here, with almost no opportunities for women to race in women-only events, never mind beginner-friendly women’s races. I have turned myself towards two goals for next year. The first is triathlon (as someone who loves to ride, can run a little and cannot swim at all). As an all-or-nothing kind of girl, the place for me to set my sights is the Ironman 70.3 in Nice next summer. And secondly, Haute Route, where I hope to finish in the top 50 per cent of women. I’m excited to be part of the Vox Performance Project because I’ve been a coached rider for more than 3 years now, taken part in time trials, hill climbs, crit races and road races, but haven’t really seen any progress in my physical performance on the bike in the last two years. It’s hit a plateau, so I’m on a mission to find out why that may be, what I might be doing wrong and what I can change to really make a difference to get the maximum benefit out of the hours of training I put in.
As a dedicated Zwift racer, I want to continue my journey with Canyon Esports and extend my contract with their Development Team for the 2021/2022 season. Following this, I want to be able to race competitively in the Category A races in the Zwift Racing League, placing in the top 50 per cent and working my way up to top 10 and hopefully a podium finish. I also want to improve my road performances and place in the top 10 during the 2022 National Closed Circuit TT.
As part of the Vox Performance Project, I’m looking forward to gaining insight into my body and how I can improve my performance. As a former elite speed skater, I have forever been chasing the marginal gains after I missed out on the chance to go to the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. And after making the transition into high-level cycling, I’m keen to learn how to fuel my body successfully with effective nutrition strategies. Eventually I hope that this can help me achieve my goal of becoming a professional rider.
I have two major goals for cycling next year. My cycling challenge is to go sub 6 hours in an Ironman ride. I started my journey in triathlon in November 2019 and cycling quickly became my strongest discipline. Hills have also been my nemesis (I am 6ft and weigh 70kg) so am told that I am better suited to the flat, but I really want to prove people wrong and climb Mont Ventoux next summer to challenge my body and push myself to achieve something beyond what I am currently capable of. As part of the Vox Performance Project, I hope to inspire and encourage others, and share my experiences to raise the profile of women in cycling and long-distance triathlon. I have recently retrained as a Personal Trainer and I am keen to develop my knowledge in all aspects of performance in order to help other women identify and overcome barriers. I’m also particularly looking forward to gaining a better insight into my body and how it works, to be able to fuel and hydrate optimally.
I have lofty goals of working towards longer distance bike packing events. The Torino-Nice Rally has particularly captured my imagination. It’s is a 700km self-supported journey over high mountain roads and passes. Ever since learning what the TNR was, I’ve been fascinated but also quite intimidated. This year, the first ever women’s edition of the Torino-Nice Rally was held, which has further stoked the fire to get myself to the start line for 2022 and share this experience with other amazing women.
I’m looking forward to gaining invaluable help in several key areas from the Vox Performance Project. Fuelling and recovery have always been a bit tricky for me. Especially now, as a woman faced with the reality of turning 50 next month, recovery is more important than ever. So I’m excited to better understand my physiology and jump on the trainer for some long mountain training during the winter months as part of the programme. Above all I can’t wait to connect with other women in Europe embarking on their own unique cycling journeys and be part of this ever-growing community.
I started cycling quite late, at age 27. I started out recreationally, but quickly got into racing in New Zealand. Just before I left NZ, in 2019, I participated in my first two “elite” level races. I have always been a reasonable sprinter, with quite good anaerobic ability, but I have never really trained it. I did a couple of crits and loved it. After moving to Basel in 2019, and then deeper into the Swiss Alps this year, I have built my endurance and climbing ability. But I miss the zip, and I’d love to get back to a level where I feel comfortable entering races again. So, specifically training my sprinting has now become a goal of mine. The aim is to crack 1000-watt average for 3 seconds. The closest I have ever got is 870 watts. I believe I can get there, but I need to work on it! What I’m looking forward to most as part of the Vox Performance Project is having truly professional input on tracking data, learning about my own performance, body and training, and instruction on using wearables and monitoring my menstrual cycle. To have the opportunity to be part of a larger project to share journeys in cycling and help increase the visibility and reach of women’s cycling is an invaluable opportunity.
I’m an older, relatively fit rider who’d like to continue my journey. I only started cycling again in April 2020 (thank you Zwift!) and I seem to have become slightly addicted! My strength and fitness have definitely improved but the improvements are slowing and I’m aiming to continue building my strength and confidence so that I can transition the racing I do on Zwift to at least riding, and maybe even racing, in real life! This is really important to me as I have two teenaged daughters and want them to know that women can do what they want, whatever their age or starting point! Perfection isn’t the point, but enjoying the journey and being the best you can be definitely is!
Fuelling and managing your energy levels is so important to performance and how you feel in general – yet I’m not the best at it! I’m also very aware that as you age, your needs change, but there’s little information available about this at the moment. We need to blaze a trail so that generations coming behind us know that this is all normal. That there are things you can do to help and what those might be, whether it’s simply exercise, eating better or staying properly hydrated. And as part of the Vox Performance Project, I want to share my journey as I discover more about these areas of my cycling performance.
In August 2022, I have a place for the London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) Audax, a 1500km self-supported audax with a time limit of 125hrs, so this is a big goal of mine heading into next year.
I’m also a cycling coach, so my reasons for applying are both personal and professional. I’m keen to understand for myself and my athletes a more scientific approach to nutrition, fuelling and hydration. As a coach and rider, I’m always keen to further my knowledge, and am looking forward to learning from the expert support offered as part of the Vox Performance Project. I’m sure that it’s going to be an absolute pleasure to document this journey.