We caught up with elite cyclist and Oatopia athlete Jen George during her end of season break, to find out how her race season has gone…
Who for and where have you been racing this season?
J: For the 2018 season I have been racing for Team-Torelli-Brother. We have raced as a team in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, France and the UK. I have also raced in Arizona as an individual and guested for teams in Canada and Ireland.
What have been your season highlights?
J: After a return from injury this season I had few expectations in terms of results but was more focused on small achievements on my road to recovery and full fitness. When I won my first race and was in a good position after an early season UCI Stage race, my expectations changed! This year I achieved a number of wins and podium positions including 3rd in Canada and a stage, plus overall win at the Tour of Omagh. A highlight of the season was winning the Scottish National Championships as it was a hard fought race from the start, with a break forming in the first 15kms and finishing in a sprint.
My last race of the season was the Thruxton Closed Circuit National Time Trial Championships where I managed to finish 7th. This is a result I’m proud of as I was racing against specialist Time Trial riders and have worked particularly hard to improve my Time Trialing.
What was your most brutal race of the year?!
J: One of the hardest races was the Grand Prix Morhiban which started in Morhiban and finished in Plumelec in Brittany, France. At 30 Degrees, standing on the start line there seemed no need to take extra clothes, especially on a rolling but low altitude course however, 90minutes into the race it started to rain… the rain quickly turning into hail. The off road sectors became more than rim deep in mud and the roads and tracks surface became invisible with the water/mud sitting on top. Then the lead car took a wrong turning, leading the peloton to face oncoming traffic (the race had a rolling road closure) so the race was stopped. As we turned around and got back onto the right route the hail stones continued to biblically fall and it was very cold. As the race got going again, we were next faced with flooding and a large number of riders went down. I had to get off and wade through, stepping over fallen riders. Sadly this was the point where the front riders made a break and got away and I was left chasing. So not a great result, but ultimately it proved a brutal test of character and yes, it was fun!
Will you be having some time off now racing season is over? When will winter training kick off in ernst?
J: Now the seasons ended i’ve got 2-3 weeks off strict training so I’m enjoying a bit of travel but also working hard to earn money to fund my next season’s racing.
Jen will be leading the next Oatopia bike ride, starting from the Oatopia stall at Boxpark Croydon, on Saturday 17th November at 8.45am. It’s a social paced ride and free to take part! All you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.