Georgina Pymer, a triathlete and Cat. 4 racing cyclist, went along to meet Team VO2 at Francesca Rust’s first race at the Redbridge Cycling Centre on the 17th of January. She liked the team and they liked her, so manager Wayne offered her a contract there and then! Georgina is not yet a well-known figure on the British racing scene, but her results in 2014 include some good top ten finishes and on the 14th of February this year she finished third at the sixth round of the East London Velo Winter Series – definitely a rider Neutral Service will be watching this season!
When and how did you first get into cycling?
I first started cycling when I was at college and had a lot of free time. This started out with MTB, there were lots of trails near me and I had a very energetic sprocker spaniel so this was a fantastic way to keep fit and keep my hound happy. I was then slowly persuaded by my dad to come out riding with some of the others in our village on a social Sunday ride, after lots of persuading I gave in. And surprisingly loved it! It was then I invested in a road bike and joined a club.
What do you love most about the sport?
It is so easy to get involved, everyone is always helpful and polite. Plus what better way to spend your Sunday than riding for a few hours then stopping to eat cake!
What would you like to have achieved by this time next year?
Initially it was to reach a Cat. 3, but since I am almost there already, I guess the new goal is Cat. 2 and aim for lots of top 3 placings.
What does the future hold for women’s cycling? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
I am very optimistic on the future of women’s cycling. Although it is unlikely to be as big as the men’s, there is far more support behind cycling for women than I have seen in other sports. I am also seeing more and more women entering local racing which, although you have to work harder for your points, it is fantastic to see.
Which rider most inspires you?
I actually couldn’t say that I am inspired by any riders. I don’t ride my bike because Cav is a great sprinter or because Wiggins aced the Tour. I find most inspiration comes from seeing other riders out on the road.
Which is your favourite race, either one you enjoy riding or love to watch? Why?
To watch it has to be the Tour de France. I have done a lot of riding out in France and love everything about it, the roads are perfect, there are hundreds of freshly baked pastries and the other cyclists are so friendly (especially when you are a lady, had a push up a few steep hills before!)
Here are the keys for the Neutral Service time machine – you can use it to meet anyone in cycling history. Who’s it gonna be?
I have no idea!!!!!!!
There are still some people out there who think women’s racing isn’t as interesting or competitive as men’s racing. What would you say to convince them otherwise?
The only thing different between the men and women is the men are slightly faster! If you don’t believe it’s competitive or interesting then go join in a local women’s race and see how hard they make you work just to stay with the leading group.
What should the UCI and British Cycling be doing for women’s cycling?
Firstly I think there needs to be more training for women – if you’ve never raced before it’s likely you could end up in an E/1/2/3/4, which means there’ll be some very experienced women there. If you don’t know what you’re doing then you are a risk. They should also look in to ways of there being more women’s race at men’s events, all the races I have done have been during a men’s race so why can’t more places do this?
When you retire from competition, would you like to stay involved with cycling in some capacity, perhaps as a National Federation official?
I would definitely stay involved but I couldn’t say at what level. I have only just started out and have no idea what the future may hold.
I think we’re all agreed that 2014 was an incredible year in women’s cycling, especially here in the UK. What was the highlight of the racing season for you?
Actually my highlight was rather small, it was a lady who actually helped a lot when I first started out racing, she managed to get signed to a fantastic team and went on to have a great year. She also helped to put together a superb women’s race league, the WERL. So although it was nothing huge, I think it is fantastic to have women like this involved in cycling, this is also why there is such potential to come from women’s cycling.
If you could give a junior rider some advice the day before her first race, what would it be?
Enjoy it. It does not matter if you are first or last just cross the line and give it 110%.