Sunday 17 August 2014

Interviewing a few good women

Things have been a little different in the last few months so I have not been able to write my blog as usual....

I am slowly getting back into a "normal" cycle but it isn't always easy. I am not sure if I can smile quite as brightly as I used to, or if humour is felt as deeply as before, knowing that someone who was such a bedrock in my life is no longer here.

Thankfully, I have had good support around me, and I have done a few things that have provided moments of pleasantness and positivity.

Among these moments have been the times when I interviewed some of the best female cycle racers in the world.
Photo by Andy Jones (Cycling Weekly)
Last weekend, I spoke to a few heavyweights of women's cycle racing for Cycling Weekly magazine - Britain's Olympic Silver Medallist, Lizzie Armitstead, Current World Road Race Champion, Marianne Vos, whose list of palmares extends as long as your arm, and Giorgia Bronzini, two-time World Road Race Champion.

They were both in London to compete in the Prudential RideLondon women's criterium race on The Mall. Laura Trott was the defending champion of this race, but the tactic was for her and the rest of Wiggle Honda to work for Giorgia Bronzini to get the win. The plan certainly worked, as the feisty Italian spectacularly got past the mighty Vos in the dash for the finish line.

 I think this race was a great advert for women's cycle racing because it was an active race with an exciting finish, all in an iconic location. I hope we can have more such races, and also longer races in Britain (to add to the Women's Tour).
Photo by Andy Jones (Cycling Weekly)
And I must say, both Vos and Bronzini were very amenable, nice girls to talk to. It was a real pleasure to meet them.

On the same weekend I was very pleased to interview Laura Trott - Olympic and Commonwealth champion - for Sportsister magazine. She was down in London for the RideLondon events in her role as Prudential ambassador.

Photo from Prudential RideLondon
I remember Laura Trott racing in a couple of London Women's Cycle Racing league events a few years ago, representing Welwyn Cycling Club. So it was quite surreal seeing her photo splashed on the front of the national papers after clinching gold in the Commonwealth Games.

Also in March, I interviewed another "local" for Sportsister magazine - Olympic, World and Commonwealth track pursuit champion, Joanna Rowsell. (This took place shortly before I was told my mum had fallen seriously ill.)
Joanna was at the Manchester Bike and Tri show fresh from gaining her World Championship title, and was promoting the benefits of training on a Wattbike. It was great to interview someone I had seen as a schoolgirl racing in the same local races as me. Of course, she was always way up at the front where I was at the other end of proceedings!

Photo by Aodan Higgins
That aside, I am very happy to have had the opportunity to interview a few of the most respected women in sport, and look forward to meeting others in future.