33-year old Liz Burrows came to cycling late and has been riding for just three years – but, with a number of very impressive results including podium finishes, she was snapped up by the Jadan-Weldtite team last year and then moved on to Sunsport Velo for 2017.
Born, bred and still living in Pontefract, Liz has been gaining more good results this year including 8th place overall at the Tour Ta’Malta.
When and how did you first get into cycling?
As part of a triathlon for charity.
Do you remember your first bike?
When did you start racing, and who or what inspired you to do so?
After a running injury I could no longer compete in triathlon. My boyfriend at the time convinced me to do a road race where I came stone last!!! I couldn’t have that, so continued to enter races.
And what do you love most about the sport?
Its brutal nature, the history and romance of it!
Which bit of your racing kit is most important to you?
My ugly winter boots that keep my feet toasty in the winter months.
What do you love most about Sunsport Velo? What was it that made you think “that’s the squad for me”?
The girls on the team and the support crew behind us. We really work as a team and all the girls are genuinely lovely and want each other to succeed. It’s such a buzz when we are all together.
What should the UCI and British Cycling be doing for women’s cycling?
Equal coverage and prize money.
Tell us a little about your training regime. Do you have a coach and how do you prepare for an important race?
I am coached by Kev Dawson, he’s very straight talking and takes no negativity or crap from me, which has toughened me up and makes me think a lot more positively. I always prepare the night before and make lists, lots of lists – with my dyslexia my memory is poor so tick lists are my life!
Every cyclist has a bad day once in a while – maybe a race doesn’t go how you hoped, or perhaps your legs just won’t do what you ask them to do. How do you keep motivated and keep coming back for more?
It’s important to try and analyse why you had a bad result or performance so it can be avoided in future. Every race over the past 2 years has been a learning experience for me: if you learn something to help you improve then even if you have a bad result it hasn’t been a waste of time. Set a target or goal for the next race/session, pick your self up and get on with it.
What were your highlights, favourite race and hardest race in 2016?
The Tour de Yorkshire was the hardest but my favourite race last year. I didn’t finish after getting caught up in a crash but thankfully I did make it though Pontefract my home town where my family, friends and lots of my students had come out to watch me.
What does the future hold for women’s cycling? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
Very optimistic, it can only grow and continue to gain more support. The Yorkshire BC junior sessions have seen triple the amount of girls attending this year – this is surely a sign of what’s to come.
Describe your warm-up routine. Turbo or rollers? Music or no music (and if it’s a yes to music, what kind)?
Rollers – same warm-up every time.
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?
Tell them to come and watch our team race!
What are your main aims for the coming season?
Have some good performances in the National Road Series and help my team mates out wherever possible.
Finally, here’s the keys for the Neutral Service time machine/teleporter – you can use it to go for a ride with anyone in cycling history, past or present. Who’s it going to be?
My grandad, I have pictures of him racing in the 1954 national road race. He died before I even started to do triathlon so never knew I would race my bike. I think he would be pretty amazed if he could see me now.
(photos © Chris Meads/Sunsport Velo)
Previous Ten Minute interviews on Neutral Service
Seonaid Thompson – Sophie Holmes – Emma Jane Hornsby – Nikki Juniper – Rebecca Johnson – Joanne Newstead – Connie Hayes – Alice and Tom Staniford – Catherine Coley – Sian Botteley – Maddie Gammons – Gemma Sargent – Gaby Homer and Savannah Morgan – Valentina Scandolara – Alicia Speake – Meredith Miller – Anneke Prins – Giorgia Bronzini – Marijn De Vries – Heather Bamforth – Georgina Pymer – Nicola Soden – Detta Guerrini – Isla Rush – Jen Edwards – Anika Todd – Alice Cobb – Deborah John – Tanya Griffiths – Laura Morgan – Rebecca Nixon – Suzanne Deveny – Karla Boddy – Sjekkie Vos