Rider Interview – Kasia Niewiadoma

Kasia Niewiadoma – Cyclist

A former European U23 Road Race champion, and with two Polish National jerseys to her name, Kasia has become one of the world’s top riders in recent years. So it was no surprise to us when she used her cycling brain to take advantage on stage 1 of the Tour of Britain in 2017, to ride into green and take the lead. Retaining the jersey after an early challenge is always tricky in a stage race, but this feisty young climber from Poland and the WM3 Pro Cycling Team has the right spirit and fight, and stayed the pace throughout a damp and difficult week to carry the green jersey all the way to London, picking up the leaders jersey for the UCI Ladies World Tour too!

We caught up with Kasia during that Tour of Britain win, and asked her about the race and her cycling.

Kasia, you’ve had a terrific week so far, so welcome to Britain and well done

Thank you so much

We started looking at your racing about a year or two ago, as you started to really come through; you were a little bit fearless, always smiling, which is fantastic – how have you found it this week?

It’s been a really great week so far; I’m really happy to be here with the team and take in every stage. There’s still one stage to go, so hoping that everything goes smoothly and the weather will be fine, so … yes. I’m hoping for no crashes or accidents and this [due to the rain]…

It’s similar weather to Poland [rain]

Haha…yeah .. haha .. kind of yeah! I have to admit that’s true [laughs]

And today in the rain, how was that?

Yeah, I wasn’t bothered because of the rain, so I just kept riding and focused and it was fine

Next to Poland of course, Yorkshire is the cycling centre of the universe. We’d love to see you in the Tour de Yorkshire next year Kasia.

[laughs out loud] hahaha… okay, I will remember … keep it in mind!

Quick question … what was your first bike?

Merida 🙂

Merida …

[smiles] Yeah

And, where’s your favourite place to ride?

Mmm… I think I have to see more places before I can say ‘that’s my favourite one’ – so far I like it all. I just love riding.

Hills or flat?

It’s actually hills… there’s a lot of climbs out there, and I love climbing.

So you prefer the hills …


We think that your career is heading skyward, and you’re definitely the best smiler on tour! It’s been absolutely fantastic speaking with you today, so all the best for the future

Thank you so much … thank you, bye bye

In a short space of time, Kasia has become one of the very top riders, and retains her smile and passion for riding. You can follow her career on tour below

Rider Interview – Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru – Cyclist

We recently interviewed Italian cyclist and former La Vuelta winner Fabio Aru and asked him all about his time in cycling, how it all began and what it meant to win his first Grand Tour. Interviewing Fabio, it was really interesting to find out how his own hero is none other than multiple Grand Tour winner and 2015 Giro winner and modern legend, Alberto Contador!

Also, like other modern greats, Fabio seems to have honed his handling skills on mountain bikes and cyclocross; probably a useful tip for any aspiring youngsters over the winter months!

What was your first bike?

When I was a child I used to ride my bike to commute. I owned a BMX and I rode around with friends, to go to the tennis court or to reach any places. Then as a teenager I had a mountain-bike with which I started racing. After that a cyclocross bike and just at the end a road model.

Who introduced you to cycling as a kid – was it your family?

I’ve always loved cycling, in particular I liked riding my bike to go here and there, but my first sport activities were tennis and football. Then I started riding mountain-bike with my father, but I can’t say there was someone who introduced me to cycling. I loved it, that’s all.

Where did you ride as a child and who with?

When I was around twelve I rode with my father nearby my town Villacidro in Sardinia. There were some nice paths on the mountains. Before, as a child I rode with friends in the streets of the town or alone to commute to everywhere.

Where is your favourite place to cycle (for leisure ) and who with?

I have no time to cycle for leisure. I ride always to train. When I’m on holiday I take a break from bicycle.

How did you get into cycle racing?

A sport director of an important U23 road cycling team noticed me when I was a mountain-biker but on that occasion with a selection of athletes of my region we were taking part to a road race. It was one of the first time that I rode with a road bicycle. He immediately thought that I had some good qualities and proposed me to reach his team and try this new challenge.

How did you get your nickname (Little Angel) Cavaliere dei 4 mori?

During the last Giro d’Italia some Italian tv journalists started calling me that way. I liked it and my fans club too. So it became my official nickname.

Who is your favourite cyclist and why?

My favourite cyclist has always been Alberto Contador and even now, that I know him as a cyclist and as a man, I can appreciate even more his good qualities.

Who inspires you and what’s the best bit of advice you can give to youngsters coming up through the cycling ranks?

As I told before, Contador was my model. To children and youngster that would like racing I just can say to never give up and always work hard, when training and during everyday life, because you have to be careful to what you eat, drink, to relax and sleep well. In the end to live an athlete life and this is not easy when all your friends live in a completely different way.

What’s your favourite race and why?

Not one in particular, but Grand Tours are my favourite kind of race.

How did it feel winning your first Grand Tour at La Vuelta?

It was something special. I trained a lot to take this race. It is the first Grand Tour victory and let’s hope not the only one, but it will be always the first I won so it will remain special for me.

Rider Interview – Vincenzo Nibali

Vincenzo Nibali – Cyclist

Having lined up the interview with this cycling legend, our editor, Rob, picked his chin up, he set to getting grips with the right questions! This great son of Italy (and Sicily), has won all three Grand Tours, and is one of only six cyclists to do so. So, whilst Vincenzo is doing some riding and training elsewhere, we caught up with him and asked him about his life in cycling. Find out how cycling has always been very special to Vincenzo and his family, and how it lives within him, reflecting the beating heart of cycling that is Italy.

How did you first get into cycling?

I began cycling with my father, Salvatore. He had a great passion for this sport and as it usually happens as a child follow in my father footsteps. My parents ran a video rental store and I used to take from the shelves video compilations of cycling heroes of the past. Moser was the one I most liked; I think because he was the youngest and with him the technology started to be applied to racing.

What was your first bike?

My very first bike was a bmx. But the first road racing bike came into my life when I was almost ten years old. It was my father’s present to award me for my good results at school. It was a kind of “handmade” bike: there were the frame and then everything else you need to assembly a bike. I helped my father to do it: every day, after the school I supported him making my beautiful bicycle. We painted it too. I choose the “red” colour. I remember that the brand of the frame was “Viner”, but after painting it we put on the frame a sticker that we found on the spur of the moment, one of the brand “Bianchi”. So we can say that my first racing bike was a “fake” Bianchi.

Where did you ride, and what did it mean as a young kid?

Growing up as a child in Messina (Sicily) I used to ride in the neighbourhood of the town, to reach places like “Laghi di Ganzirri” and “Torre Faro” or in southern direction, “Taormina” and “Alì Terme”. Every afternoon I used to ride with my friends, just for fun. I liked the feeling of freedom and the challenge with my excursion mates. I think I learn the basics of cycling in that way. From the beginning I understood that I can’t live without my bike. It could take me anywhere, I liked this idea. We became inseparable soon.

How did you get into cycle racing?

When I was eleven my father thought I trained enough to ride with him and his amateur team. They were all adult and I was the only guy, but I could keep their pace without effort. One day during a training with them, the owner of a local cycling team approached us and asked my father if he would like to let me join his squad. He was happier than me. So started my cycle racing adventure, with the team “Vivai Pietrafitta

What cycle club did you join, and how was the atmosphere / camaraderie?

My first team as a child was the “Vivai Pietrafitta”, a local squad where soon I became the “idol” because of the successes I immediately took. At that time I can’t say there is camaraderie. I still trained with my father. Two years later I joined another local team “Cicli Fratelli Marchetta” to ride the “Allievi” category with a sport director that taught us the team play. We were a strong and harmonious squad. It was nice to travel outside Sicily to take part to important races. We have a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, to try to become a pro, after that category I had to leave my town. In Italy cycling is practiced mostly in north, particularly in Tuscany. I needed greater challenges. So when I was 15, my parents sent me to train and ride with a “Juniores” cycling team in the Tuscan town of Mastromarco.

The sport director of the team of the same name of the village and his family received me as a son. Other guys of the teams have been forced to move there to ride. We lived at the “cyclists residence”, an accommodation where everyone had his bedroom, but then all the other spaces were in common. It was like a military academy. There I learned how to become a pro, but also I became a man.

What’s your favourite place to ride, or favourite stretch of road?

Now that I live in Lugano (Swisse) I like that place to train very much. It is really peaceful. Not many cars. The course is nice too. Not just for landscape. It is good for training because you can find some interesting climbs. Sicily offers also beautiful places to ride.

What’s your favourite race these days?

I don’t have a favourite one. I can say I like all the Grand Tours and as Classic race the “Liège” because I think it is the most suitable to my features.

How did it feel to win the three Grand Tours?

It is something special and amazing. You know, just six cyclists until now have achieved this. Get on the top step of the podium in all three Grand Tours seems almost impossible to happen when you start your career as a cyclist. I do not feel, however, to be a “myth”, even if I know that my name will remain in the history of cycling for this.

Was the Giro the most special win?

‘‘The Giro” for an Italian it’s a very important race. I had always dreamt about it when I was a child and I used to watch it on tv. But I can’t say that win was the most special. The Vuelta too was important because it was my first win of a Grand Tour and what about the Tour…it is a spectacular race and maybe the best known cycling event worldwide. So each one was special for different reason.

How good is the Nalini kit for you top riders!

Apparel for a pro cyclist is really important. To feel comfortable during training and racing is fundamental because it allows you to concentrate just on your performance. Nowadays the tissues are highly technological and brand like Nalini really cares about the needs of pro riders. I won the Tour de France with the kit of this company so I can say it matches up with a champion!

Karen Edwards Cycling Photographer

Karen Edwards – Cycling Photographer … and Cyclist

When you take a look at those iconic images of cyclists, do you ever ask yourself ‘who took that?’ I bet you don’t. Well, not normally. We all take the people behind the lens and indeed, the people behind the scenes for granted.

Here at Pedalnorth.com we want to get into the subtext of cycling: to the people who design the gear, the bike designers who work in small artisan workshops, the hard working back-offices, and the brilliant photographers that take the images that stay in our memories for ever.

Karen M Edwards is one such photographer, from Cork in Ireland. Executive Editor, Robert Thorpe interviewed Karen to find out more about this amazingly talented young lady.

How did you get into photography?

I was training few years ago to race and I got sick, and with the doctors request to stop training for a while. So I still wanted to be involved in cycling, and I bought my first camera in 2012. I went to a local race, and wanted to capture real racing.

Not like the usual cycling photography at races, but to bring my interpretation of it.

As a racer yourself then, do you think it helps you to get a deeper perspective?

Definitely it does. I don’t want to say that I’m an expert, and I would never claim to be. But I’ve listened to lads training, to the highs and lows. Through that contact and connection, I think I have an understanding to some degree.

in terms of the cycling theme, where did that arrive from? Is cycling a strand that runs through your wider family? Was it the connection of your Uncle Mick in County Cork, who I know that you followed as a youngster?

Well Mick was the racer. Bikes have always been there. I live in the countryside so bikes are essential. I love getting out here.

I have my Grans bike still. I have some great memories of riding it, getting groceries and having that freedom. I cycled to school few miles away, always my goal to beat the school bus home.

Is that the single speed Raleigh

2 gears! No wonder I’ve got huge calves I so love the mechanical side too. I could watch it all day.

I worked in Micks little bike shop as a kid. It was great, but he tormented me, setting me up with boys coming in ???????? He loved embarrassing me. I was so shy.

The close up shots of specific objects and items from cycling, really focus the eye and the mind. How do you go about developing an idea into an image and picking the right angles etc?

The images are of the moment. Just go with it – there and then.

Right; I tend to walk around with the camera in my hand now. Is that the best tip?

I love it ’cause I can express myself through photography; it’s an art. I love detail.

It’s essential to show the detail to the normal person who doesn’t understand racing – to educate them through the images. I think through images you can draw a person in to ask more.

Racing is such a beautiful art form; the tactics and the array of colour.

Your strongest images of cycling are of static themes or of cyclists not moving. Do you find that these images allow you to more closely examine the subject?

Karen It’s the emotion. Capturing a rider exhausted or after a crash…

Yes, capturing that instant in time has real power.

Yes, capturing the rider waiting to Time Trial. Even by their hand gesture you can capture the intensity.

Do you draw on your experience as a racer and cyclist?

Yes, ’cause I know what it is to line out. It’s always difficult regards crashes though. I have passed some crashes. You have to respect the rider and their family.

Crashes must be tricky. Giving the necessary respect and yet being able to respond as a photographer.

Yes, but I have shot them, just to show how hard as nails they are [cyclists]

Of all your vast array and catalogue of images, what’s your own favourite?

So many images I like. God that’s so hard to say…To pick one is hard ’cause they all have stories. Maybe the Sagan one from Roubaix

And as a cyclist yourself, what’s your favourite ride?

My favourite loop out a back road to my home village, lush and green. Quiet. And I get lost in my thoughts. Love that. The bike is always a way of escaping in your head.

It doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.

I know that feeling. We live in North Yorkshire, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, and yet I never seem to get out as often I want to.

Ours is a little village that has given us great tough cycling legends:
Eddie Dunbar, Mick Cahill, and Páidí ó Brien.

Sean Kelly?

Karen Seán is from Carrick. He’s one of my idols. I still get star struck when I see him; such a joker. A great character too.

I love his comment about his bike, his car and his wife… Important in that order. A tough rider, never willingly beaten.

Never. I look up to that character – never give in.

I never dwell on negatives. I just want to keep pushing as I can go. I was told that I’d never make it as a photographer. Best thing I ever did. Drove more on even more.

Karen and I chatted for some time, discussing our own career paths, life, family, aims, and places we’d been. We laughed and shared a great conversation, allowing me to get into who Karen Edwards is: a talented, artistic and driven, cycling loving woman, with her heart in rural Ireland and her eyes on cycling; capturing the emotions and feelings that flow endlessly out of the images that her detailed eyes capture.

You can see Karen’s work on her own website here, and by following her Instagram profile.

Rider Interview: Kate Courtney MTB

Kate Courtney MTB XC World Champion

Kate Courtney is from Marin County – that says a lot about why she rides a mountain bike. Already the USA under 23 National XCO Champion when we interviewed her, Kate is making a name for herself internationally, riding for Specialized and winning World Cup races around the globe.

Kate has won numerous mtb world cup series races and has now become a World Champion too.

1. Firstly, big congrats on your career on the bike so far. How did it feel to finish 2016 with such great results?

Thank you! 2016 was a great season and I was proud of my second place finish in the overall. I had a lot of small mistakes and crashes in races that left me chasing from behind. Specifically, in La Bresse I crashed really hard in the middle of the race (there is photographic evidence on my Instagram).

After I got up and got my shoe fixed in the feed zone, I was in 21st place. In the last 2 laps I was able to fight back and win a sprint finish for 7th place. While that wasn’t my best result and was a challenging and disappointing race, it is one I am most proud of because every single point I fought for mattered in the overall. If I had quit that day or even coasted in for 21st I may not have been on the overall podium.

2. What is the achievement you’re most proud of?

There are a few moments in my career that really stand out. Winning my first world cup as a junior was really special because it made me believe that my biggest goals weren’t so crazy after all. It was really powerful to realize that reaching for goals you may think are impossible can push you beyond your mental limits. I was also really proud of my 2nd place finish at Lenzerheide after a really disappointing race at Worlds.

3. 2017 has [was] the possibility to be your biggest year so far: where is your focus for the year and how are you going about reaching your goals?

I can’t wait for the 2017 season! It has already been a big year of training for me and finding ways to improve – both mentally and physically. My focus for this season is, like last year, on the world cups and world championships. In reaching those goals, I also have a lot of smaller, process goals along the way. I am really focused on dialing in nutrition, weight training and continuing to find new ways to improve training on the bike. Setting all types of goals – big and small, short term and long term – keeps me motivated to get a little better each day I’m out training and enjoy the process of improving on the path to reaching those bigger races.

4. Cycling is notably a male-dominated sport, but it has changed dramatically in recent year and is attracting more and more girls. Do you find that MTB has changed in this respect from when you started competing to now?

I definitely think so! Lucky for me, there were a lot of amazing women before me that blazed the trails (pun intended 😉 for women’s cycling in the United States. From securing equal prize money to getting the UCI MTB World Cups streamed on Redbull TV, there has been more acknowledgement of women in the sport and the women’s field just continues to get more competitive. This year, I had so many people tell me that the women’s races at the world cups and Olympics were even more exciting than the men’s races because there were so many women battling for the win.

5. Not that we needed any scientific proof, but research has proved that cycling makes you happy. I know it makes me happy. What makes you happy about MTB?

Nothing makes me happier than getting out on my bike. Being able to just grab your bike, get outside and explore the mountains is so liberating and powerful.

6. What are some of your favourite trails to ride? Are there any trails you love in Europe?

A lot of my favorite trails to ride are near where I grew up in Marin County! I l love returning to trails that I rode when I was just starting out and remembering all the places I used to walk or struggled to make it through. Specifically, Coastal trail and Solstice are a few of my favorites. I also love exploring new trails!

One of the best days I have ever had descending on the bike was in Lenzerheide, Switzerland after the world cup there. We took a series of gondolas and ended up descending over 10,000 feet!

7. How do you manage being a student at Stanford and being a pro cyclist?

Being a full time student and professional cyclist has honestly been challenging, but also something I think is really important and in the end very rewarding. One of the biggest things I have learned from being a student is that finding balance doesn’t always take away from your training – a lot of times it improves it.

As a competitive athlete, you are rewarded for pursuing perfection and sweating the small stuff, but in the long run training has to be flexible and imperfect. The path to success isn’t paved and you have to adapt so many times along the way. Sometimes letting go of that perfection and giving yourself a break – whether that’s not doing core so you can get to bed earlier or taking an extra day off the bike when you aren’t feeling well – it doesn’t mean you are weak or that your training won’t work. It just means you are flexible, which oftentimes improves your training in a big way – not to mention how you feel about it.

8. If you weren’t a rider, what would you be?

If I wasn’t a cyclist, I would still be an athlete! Sports have always been a huge part of my life.

9. You have a background in running and skiing, which shows your passion for the outdoors and for an active lifestyle. When in the off season cycling becomes harder, do you tend to mix your workouts by running and skiing or do you have any other off-season passions that keep you fit?

I only actually take a few weeks off the bike every year for my off season but also have a few short breaks throughout the year where I cross train and focus on complete recovery. After Christmas I was actually able to get up to the snow for a full week and mix things up with cross country skiing, yoga, hiking, and weight training. Later this season, I will likely have another break up in the mountains for yoga, stand up paddle boarding, hiking and weight training. It is definitely very helpful mentally and physically to keep training! But mostly I just like riding bikes 🙂

10. Who is your biggest inspiration that keeps you motivated in what you do?

That’s a hard one! I take inspiration from so many of the people around me – and these days from so many of the strong women I follow on social media – like Lindsey Vonn, Rebecca Rusch and Lea Davison.

Also, I take a lot of inspiration and motivation from riding with my Dad. My dad has always encouraged me to set bigger and bigger goals, even before I thought they were possible.

11. What was your first bike?

My first mountain bike was a red and white specialized rock hopper!
The first year I signed with specialized, my s-works HT actually had the same paint job and it was pretty funny to put them next to each other! My 29er was about three times as big, but I think it might actually be lighter haha

2019 UCI World Road Cycling Championships & Routes

Routes for all events in 2019 UCI World Road Cycling Championships

Pedalnorth was born in and around the roads and trails of the Eastern Yorkshire Dales and the Western North Yorks Moors National Parks. We know these roads like they’re our own … because they are. And so, it only seems right to be the very first cycling website to publish full interactive maps and gpx files.

It’s taken us some time to put together the routes, so all we ask is that you email us is you need the gpx files and we will happily email them to you.

Simply click the gpx image below and contact us for the gpx files.

In the next few weeks we will be producing interactive Ordnance Survey maps for all the routes too. Have fun riding the Worlds, with Pedalnorth 🙂

Click OS logo for Ordnance Survey interactive map of 2019 Men’s & ladies elite routes

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Rider Interview: Maeve Plouffe

In the midst of her racing at the Tasmanian Carnivals, I got a chance to chat with Maeve Plouffe, a professional track cyclist in Australia. You might have seen Maeve winning the madison or holding the bronze medal in the 2018 Australian Track Nationals Omnium, where she came in behind the international powerhouses Josie Talbot […]

Rider Interview: Maeve Plouffe

Aussie road & track star, Maeve Plouffe

In the midst of her racing at the Tasmanian Carnivals, I got a chance to chat with Maeve Plouffe, a professional track cyclist in Australia. You might have seen Maeve winning the madison or holding the bronze medal in the 2018 Australian Track Nationals Omnium, where she came in behind the international powerhouses Josie Talbot (2) and Macey Stewart (1). I think this podium was a little foreshadowing that Maeve Plouffe might be the next Aussie we see sweeping the U.S. criterion scene or taking the best young rider class in the world tour stage races.

Beyond talent, Maeve’s passion and positivity for cycling are contagious. Read my interview with Maeve below, and give her a follow @maeveplouffe on instagram to see her fantastic photos and watch her exciting career unfolding as one of Australia’s best.

From Swimmer to Cyclist: Maeve’s Path to Full-Time Cycling

Q: The South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) identified you in talent ID testing as having the right skills to be a cyclist, how long ago was that?

I was 13 years old. I started out as a swimmer, but decided to go through Talent ID testing because I was curious, and perhaps wanted to get into rowing. They identified me as a talent for cycling, but I wasn’t very keen on it. I decided to give it a go anyways. They gave me a track bike and a couple of training sessions and I loved it. I especially loved going fast on the bike and being on the track in general. None of my family was into cycling though, so the transition was a bit challenging. Eventually I started training with the triathlon team on the road and was grateful to have a triathlon group to ride with. As a 13 year old girl, road training was a challenge without a group because being out on the open roads with little knowledge or experience was a bit daunting.

Q: Did you race triathlon?

I did one or two—I started out in open water swimming so I had the swimming and cycling down but wasn’t so good at the running. I did okay in my first few races but never really got into it.

Q: How did your cycling career unfold after that?

Cycling took hold in 2015 or so. I struggled on the national stages in my early years and wasn’t getting a lot of results, but when I was around 15 or 16 I went to my first nationals on a state team. I had no expectations—I’d never raced a national championship, but I had a lot of fitness from swimming behind my back. I won a silver medal and broke the qualifying time for entry into the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI). After that, I became a part of the SASI team and was given a coach, world class training, and the resources of a prestigious institute. SASI guided me through the last 3 or 4 years.

Q: What changed with SASI?

Moving into SASI and full-time cycling I started training 110 percent and wanting to do the extra hours and kilometers. I’d go out with a group and everyone would do extra, whereas in swimming it was more just do the workout and leave. Being in SASI was great for mentorship. I had a lot of women a few years above me with great experience. SASI also built a gold medal winning team pursuit team for the past several years—which is extremely valuable, considering it is quite rare to find four (or more) talented track pursuit riders in one state. Overall, it was great to have consistent training with strong, motivated women.

This year I moved into the Australian Podium Potential Academy after my first UCI Track World Cup in October. Right now I’m training with the development group, but I get to train in the high performance facilities in Adelaide at the velodrome. It’s amazing because I’m fully supported as a cyclist and finally have no other concerns about working.

Q: What was the biggest struggle transitioning to the pool from the track?

I struggled with the tactics. I had a lot of fitness from the pool, I swam in the pool and ocean some ten times a week, plus running and other training. I had good training ethic, but I had no knowledge in cycling and wasn’t comfortable in big bunches. I started out quite strong in the time trial and won my first junior road national TT very quickly, but in fast and sketchy bunch races I would struggle with confidence, which was quite disheartening. After a little while I was actually looking for different options, but I stuck it out and the experience came around.

It took a while, but I’m happy to be here now. Every time I move into a more advanced field I get that same feeling of being overwhelmed, like in the big international races. But I know confidence comes with experience and years of racing. Initially took about two years to get up to scratch in the junior field, and another year or two in the elite national field. I’m only just finding my feet in the international racing nowadays.

Q: What do you think could help motivate other women that aren’t interested in cycling to give it a try like you did?

What really got me loving cycling the most was the freedom it gave me. I didn’t see myself as a cyclist at first, and thought the sport in general looked a bit funny. However, once I got on a bike and realized I could use it to not only train, but to explore outdoors, I was hooked. Cycling is not a repetitive sport – it’s not swimming back and forth over the same black lines, or lifting weights every day. Training is different, we are doing long kilometres on the road one day, sprinting in criteriums the next, or pursuiting on the track. With a bike I feel as though I can go wherever I want. I can ride at any time of the day and get out and see roads and country I’ve never explored before.

I also love the group of women I can connect and ride with. Adelaide has a great cycling scene. I’d encourage anyone that’s interested to give it a go. Whether it’s MTB, CX, road or track, there’s a discipline that suits everyone and their personalities. Sometimes finding a group to ride with as a woman starting out can be challenging – it’s no secret that there are substantially less female cyclists in the sport. I’d encourage women to not feel embarrassed or ashamed to ride with the boys, and to never feel like you are slowing them down!

Everyone starts somewhere. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find an awesome group of like- minded girls to push you in training and racing. Find someone who inspires you and connect!

Recent accomplishments

Q: Congratulations on the bronze medal in Australian track nationals. Did you think you might be on the podium going into nationals?

My goal was to be on the podium. I’d been doing a lot of madison and team pursuit work, but going into the last race I didn’t think I’d be on the podium because I hadn’t done well at the beginning of the day. In the four races of the omnium, I’d had a couple of average races so I was really happy to pull a good result in the points race and get back onto the podium position.

Q: I saw you on the podium recently as well in the Tasmanian Carnivals, how did that race play out?

I was on the criterion podium in 2nd place the first race. The carnivals are fun, a few girls come down and it’s a whole week of races. Three of them are crits. I was second to Georgia Baker, who is a rider that I really respect and look up to so that was cool.

Where might we see Maeve next?

Q: Last year you raced in the Tour Down Under, did you like stage racing? Was that your first experience?

It was my first UCI stage race, and actually my favorite race of the season. I absolutely loved it. The tour goes through my hometown of Adelaide so I grew up watching the race. I got a call up with the TIS women’s racing team and took the opportunity. I hadn’t done any road training before the race but I ended up 5th in the young rider classification. I’m not doing it because of my commitments on the track, I’m racing the Hong Kong World Cup. But I would love to race it again.

Q: Any thoughts on giving a go in the U.S. criterion scene?

I would love to go to the U.S. I was going to come this year (2018) but just started university and focused on the track so I kept this year a bit more quiet. I’m actually a Canadian citizen and I’ve always wanted to go back to Canada and race there.

All the Australian women that go say it’s a really good experience and that the U.S. scene is exploding. I love crit racing and heard the culture in the U.S. is really fun. The girls seem to get a lot of recognition.

I would like to race in the U.S. in June or July of 2019 so shout out to any teams there looking for a rider!

Q: Any mountain bike races in your future?

*laughs* Just for fun at the moment. Totally focused on track heading into the next Olympics. I’m a bit young for the next Olympics, but I’m still training as hard as I can. Track is the focus for the next four years or longer.
A little more about Maeve

Q: I saw your video on youtube about van life (check out the link in her insta profile)—did you travel the country in a van?

Yes for a couple of weeks last off season. My boyfriend was competing in the commonwealth games and I had never taken a break off the bike before so we planned an off season trip.

Took a little under a month and traveled along Queensland. I want to do more of that. My boyfriend bought a van now for the next off season. We are both so similar in that we love camping, exploring and low-maintenance kind of trips. In Queensland we ticked so many items off the bucket list, like the Barrier reef and waterfalls and all sorts of other cool experiences and locations. We also briefly did the Flinders Ranges in the van a few months ago, where we brought the mountain bikes. We saw some amazing things last year and I love our little van trips so I would like to do more if we can find the time off training, work and university between us.

Q: Is video production a hobby of yours?

I do have a little camera I carry with me and I love to take video and photos. I’m no professional but I like keeping memories. You’ll always see me with a camera.

Q: What’s your favorite training route at the moment?

In my hometown of Adelaide my favorite ride is the Saturday ride. We meet at 7:30 in the morning and ride for an hour along the beach for as long as we can hang on. The boys go as hard as they can and then the girls take turns switching off until we get dropped. Then we ride back easy and go up into the hills.

By myself, I just do hill loops. Adelaide is great for road cycling and lots of good hills to pick and choose from.

The coolest mountain bike ride was in the Flinders Ranges last year, it was about 50k long up these fire roads to Razor Back lookout. That was spectacular!

Q: Favorite ride food?

I’m actually really bad because I don’t tend to eat on rides. I just take a banana, coffee mid- ride if that counts.

Q: What is your coffee drink?

I’d have to say Cappucino.

Q: Best post-ride food?

I do love a milkshake in the Australian summer. Usually whatever I have in the fridge will do, but generally it’s a protein shake. Or a mango!

You can follow Maeve and her cycling career and lifestyle, by clicking the link below.

Our blogger and interviewer Hannah, also races competitively on the USA scene.

You can follow Hannah on her own blog by clicking the link below.

Driving Team Vitus

Driving Team Vitus – Day One

Driving the lead car on open roads for a UCI team on a Tour de Yorkshire recce is certainly interesting; so when my good friend and team DS for Vitus Pro Cycling, Cherie Pridham asked me to help out, I was delighted and excited. After all, at heart I’m just a cycling fan like the rest of us.

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