1. WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD?
‘Podium Ambition – a not-for-profit company set up by me and my husband a few years ago to get more people cycling. Because our cycling team, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, excelled beyond all expectations last year, we had to step up quicker than expected by recently registering a UCI Women’s professional team. This gives us an exciting platform in an Olympic and Paralympic year to promote cycling even further.’
2. HOW WILL YOU INSPIRE MORE WOMEN TO CYCLE ?
‘By providing opportunities that better suit women’s lifestyles. We’ve launched a UK-wide sister team to the professional one, the Boot Out Breast Cancer (BOBC) Cycling Club (bootoutbreastcancer.org.uk), for people of all ages and abilities to get together either as riders or spectators. Even if members are in another part of the country, they can log in and find a local cycling buddy. It’s all about creating an inclusive, no-pressure environment where you can get involved as little or as much as you like – and raise money for BOBC, too. Our motto is Your Club, Your Way.
3. HOW ARE YOU PREPARING FOR RIO?
‘Right now, I’m focusing on getting selected for the team – I have four titles to defend so I’d be really disappointed not to make it! I train six days a week in four-week cycles, with three weeks of overload and then a week of adaptation and recovery to allow my body to grow and become stronger. I’ve followed this pattern for 15 years. Nutrition-wise, I eat everything in moderation. It’s essential to listen to your natural hunger and give your body the fuel it needs – there’s only so much a nutritionist can tell you.’
4. WHAT’S YOUR MOST ESSENTIAL ITEM OF KIT?
‘Eyewear is very overlooked. Just as your muscles and heart get tired, your eyes get fatigued too, which is the last thing you need when you’re racing down a mountain at 50 mph – you don’t want to misjudge something and crash! I wear Adidas’ Evil Eye Halfrim Pro performance frame (£126.49, wiggle.co.uk) for enhanced vision and protection from the elements.’
Words: Joanna Ebsworth