A women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen has been going for a solid decade at this point. First run back in 2012 at national level, it took 5 editions before it joined the UCI ranks. That didn’t stop it from having big names race it in that period though. The early winners board is dominated by Amy Pieters with her 3 wins in a row from 2014-2016.
The Leiedal Koerse is born out of the Vlaamse Pijl and a criterium race in Bavikhove. Earlier this year, the E3 Saxobank Classic announced that it was joining forces with Leiedal Koerse to create what is effectively a women’s E3 race.
Date of Birth – 10th November 1996 Nationality – English Team – RST/Cycle Division Racing Team Former Teams – Storey Racing Emily Nelson Career Achievements – Road 1st Women’s CiCLE Classic (Rutland-Melton) (2019), Tour Series – Round 3 (2017) 2nd Lincoln GP (2017) 3rd Tour Series – Round 4 (2017) 6th Tour Series – Round 2 (2017), Tour Series – Round 4 (2015) 7th Stage Festival Elsy Jacobs (2017), Tour Series – Round 1 (2017) 8th Trofee Maarten Wynants (2017), Stage Energiewacht Tour (2016) 12th EPZ Omloop van Borsele (2014 & 2017), National Championships UK (2017 & 2019) Track World Champion Madison (2018), European Champion Scratch (2019), National Champion Team Pursuit (2017) 2nd World Championships Team Pursuit (2018), World Championships Madison (2017), European Championships Madison (2016), European Championships Elimination (2019) 3rd European Championships Team Pursuit (2016)
Who taught you how to ride a bike & how old were you?
My dad taught me to ride a bike, but I can’t remember how old I was. When he took my stabilisers off he would run holding onto my saddle as we went back and forth in front of the house.
Eventually, he let go and I pedalled on my own until I noticed he wasn’t there anymore, and I panicked and rode into a tree. ????
What was your first ‘proper’ road bike & what colour was it?
My first proper road bike was one I borrowed from my club Lichfield City Cycling Club. I can’t remember the name, but it was a dark blue colour and I absolutely adored it! Before then I had been riding around on a MTB so it was a big upgrade!
What’s the most important piece of kit/advice that has helped boost your performance?
I think there are a few things to consider when buying cycling kit. It is an expensive sport, but you don’t always need to buy the most expensive things!
However, I think you should invest well in a good saddle and chamois combination. Without that, cycling will be a lot less comfortable and a lot less fun. It varies for everyone what works best, so trial and error until you get it right!
I think a good bike computer is nice too- I love looking at stats and numbers and the satisfaction from sitting down after a ride and reliving bits on Training Peaks/Strava.
What’s your favourite routes/places to ride?
I have ridden in a lot of different countries around the World, but my first love has the be Majorca. It was the first “warm weather” training camp destination I’ve ever been too, and still somewhere I live going back too.
The island is cycling friendly and there are so many great routes, whether you want to climb up mountains or stick on the flats. I also love riding on my home roads around the Peak District- especially in the summer.
What tips do you have to keep the love of cycling going amidst all the training?
I think when you’re training as much as I do, you have to keep remembering why you are doing what you’re doing. I fell in love with cycling at the age of 13 when I first got that road bike and I haven’t found anything else that is as satisfying since.
I like to mix things up to keep my interests peaking. I love going back to my parents’ house and riding around there with my sisters in tow. I do love riding alone, but I also love riding in groups as it makes it so much more social.
I also love to explore new places and try and book a couple of different destinations a year to take my bike and train. It gives me something to look forward too, especially in the winter when riding in the UK can be awfully cold and awfully wet!
What experiences are still to do on your cycling ‘bucket list’?
On my cycling bucket list is America! I’ve never ridden there and have heard some great things about it. I have a friend who cycled across all the states and it has really inspired me to want to give it a try!
Also, is the Olympics classed as a bucket list experience? That’s on the top of my list at the moment! Tokyo 2020 isn’t far away, so I’m training full gas for that.