The 2016 time trial season might still be in its infancy, but a few women have kicked it off with some truly outstanding rides. One rider who has improved noticeably over the Winter months is Claire Rose, riding for Podium Ambition Pro Cycling. Claire has been the runaway winner of the first three rounds of the RTTC national TT series, and last week decimated the field and in the process put almost 5 minutes into Dame Sarah Storey on a lumpy and technically challenging course in the Beacon Little Mountain TT. But perhaps more impressive was her ride in the prologue of the Emakumeen Euskal Bira (a UCI Spanish stage race) the previous week where she finished 2nd in a world class field – click here for the results.
We caught up with Claire, to find out how this previously overworked junior doctor has managed to raise her game so impressively this season!
Claire, tell us about how and why your work/life balance has changed this year.
“I had always planned to try and go back to full time riding at some point it was just a question of when and how I could fit it in with my medical career. After completing my final exams I had to do my first year as a junior doctor to get my full medical registration. Completing a second year before returning to cycling meant that I could take a break before starting specialist training, but also continue some A&E locum work. This nicely coincided with Podium Ambition (the team I have been with for the last 4 years) gaining UCI status so I jumped at the opportunity to go back to racing at international level. I love cycling and would always regret not giving myself a second chance to give racing another go. This time around I am focused on the road (rather than track as I was with British Cycling) and I have a few years experience rather than just a few months! With morale at an all time low within the NHS right now I would rather be riding my bike. There will always be a need for doctors so I figure my medical career can wait for a couple of years yet.”
So how has this impacted on your training regime?
“As a result of no longer having to juggle exams with training and racing, or work 100+ hour weeks, or do ridiculous shift work, I have had the most consistent winter of training I have ever had (except perhaps whilst with British Cycling). It took about four months but I am now able to manage 20 hour training weeks. I was quite careful as the most I was doing whilst I was working was about 4 hours of commuting. The other important thing has been having the time to do lots of work off the bike as well. I have been able to recover properly, done lots of gym work, made significant changes to my diet, and had the time to work on my positioning and flexibility. I also got married last year and I don’t think I would be where I am right now without the support and help of my husband.”
We all love a few numbers! Could you please share with us your power figures for the Bira prologue?
And how about the Little Mountain TT that I know only too well is a 39 mile TT with 2 killer climbs!
“My normalised power for that event was 294 watts (over 1hr 43 minutes)”.
Those are really impressive numbers and results! How do the watts compare with last year?
“I’ve lost 6kg since August and was only able to do 276 watts for a 10 mile TT back then so it’s safe to say I’ve improved just slightly in the last few months!”
You’ve shone on a world class stage already this year and it’s only the end of April! What are your main aims for 2016 and beyond?
“My main aims for this season are a top 20 in a World Tour race, a podium at the National Time Trial Championships and to help the team get a spot at the World Time Trial Championships. In the long term I would love the opportunity to represent Great Britain again and be able to pull on a National Champs jersey, but for now I am focussed on the present and just enjoying racing my bike for a fantastic team.”
Thank you for your time Claire and best of luck with the rest of the season and beyond!
Claire talks about her recent victories and the Bira in an official Podium Ambition video