We caught up with British National Time Trial Championship Hayley Simmonds about her cycling experiences and what she has planned for 2017.
What bikes do you ride and what is your dream ride?
My team (WNT Pro Cycling Team) road bike is a Specialized Tarmac, Hope Technology wheels with custom hubs, Rotor 2 INpower power cranks and Shimano Di2 group set.
My time trial bike is a Cervelo P5 with a rear disc and a front PRO trispoke. I also have Shimano Di2 on this bike but I use an AeroCoach arc chain ring and SRM power meter on Rotor cranks. This bike is pretty close to my dream ride!
Ambitions for 2017?
As well as a number of stage races, I am aiming to retain my British time trial title for a third year, as well as building on some of my results from 2016 in the UCI TTs. I will also be working towards being selected for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Biggest personal achievement cycling?
Probably the first time I won the Elite Women’s British Time Trial Championship in Lincoln in June 2015. I knew I was in great form going into the Championships but being relatively unknown meant my win was a surprise for many people.
Something most people don’t know about you?
I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry!
Biggest cycling adventure?
My whole journey in cycling has been quite a big adventure! I took up cycling in the summer of 2010 for fitness and fun, having stopped rowing the previous year. In 2012 I won my first student championship individual medal and since then I have gone on to win numerous gold medals, set national records and represent Great Britain.
Worst cycling experience?
Probably the British Time Trial and Road Race Championships in Glasgow in 2013. The courses were different in nature to those I was used to and I was disappointed with my results. However, I left knowing the areas of bike racing in which I was weaker, and have consequently become a better rider.
Last time cycling took you outside of your comfort zone?
Pretty much every interval session I do! I try to remind myself that if I’m comfortable in training, I’m not pushing myself hard enough.
Toughest ride to date?
In December 2012 I went on my first training camp abroad to Estepona, Spain. The route my boyfriend (now husband), Mark, had planned was meant to be a difficult one so I was really proud of myself when we reached the top of Puerto de Las Palomas after about 2 hours and thought that the tough part of the ride was over. However, the worst was yet to come and the final climb nearly led to the end of our relationship when I sat down at the side of the road and refused to get back on my bike! Mark somehow convinced me to finish the ride and it is in fact now one of my favourite routes!
What keeps you motivated?
I’m a great believer in finding a goal to work towards. For me, this is often a target race that I’m aiming to do well in and my desire to win ensures that I continue to push myself when training gets hard.
Favourite post-ride treat?
Coming home to a bowl of Bircher muesli with warm milk, apple and cinnamon is perfect in this cold weather.
When the weather is bad, do you brave the rain or stick to the turbo?
Unless thick fog or torrential rain would make cycling dangerous, I’ll just don a rain jacket and a good pair of overshoes.
Biggest cycling kit indulgence?
A good quality speedsuit for time-trialing is something I’m very prepared to invest in.
Favourite destination for cycling?
I love riding in Spain. Estepona and Ronda are excellent destinations for a winter camp due to the good weather, good road conditions and plenty of long climbs. this year, I’m also looking forward to getting my fix of Spanish riding with a camp in Tarragona and a stage race in Valencia.
Favourite way to pass the time when you aren’t on the bike?
Up until last June I was finishing off my PhD so most of my time off the bike was accounted for! Since then, I’ve got into baking treats to share with friends and family, especially my homemade marshmallows!
Hayley insures her bikes with Yellow Jersey. Our bicycle insurance covers your bike for worldwide racing as standard.