Maddie Gammons joined RP-Vision from Bourne Wheelers as a Cat. A rider, and during her time with the team has risen to Cat. 2 thanks to numerous good results, including podium finishes at the MK Bowl Spring Series, the CC Hackney Primavera Series and the Harvey Hadden Circuit League, as well as taking second place at the Wallingford Festival of Cycling Crits – crits being her favourite style of road racing.
For 2017, RP has gained increased sponsorship and will be known as Team Vision Innovative Leisure – keep an eye on them at this year’s races and see what she and her team mates can achieve now that the team will be able to offer even more support.
Follow Team Vision Innovative Leisure – Follow Maddie
I first got into cycling in Year 6 (age 10-11) when a few Go Ride taster session were set up on the school field. I gave it a go and I remember beating all the boys and the coach staying how I had talent and should come along to the local sessions – so that’s what I did.
The first bike I can remember having was a small pink and silver sparkly mountain bike complete with a kickstand and a bag on the front. It was a tad heavier than the ones I ride now, haha!
Which is your favourite cycling discipline, and what is it about it that appeals to you?
I couldn’t possibly choose as I like road and cyclocross equally, but for different reasons. I’d say cyclocross is more interesting and technical but then road racing is fast and furious which I also love.
And what do you love most about the sport?
I love the fact that when you go out on your bike you can just forget everything and there’s nothing better than going on a ride or smashing it up on the chaingang after a bad day!
Which bit of your racing kit is most important to you?
I think that the most important part for me is my Garmin – it’s what gives me all the data within the race and also allows me to analyse it afterwards.
What made Team Vision Innovative Leisure stand out? What was it that made you think “that’s the squad for me”?
I rode for them last year and the support network is great. The team’s got a friendly atmosphere and also the fact there is no pressure put on my during my exams is a massive help as it keeps stress levels low. They are just a generally lovely group of people and I can’t wait to see what the year will bring!
What should the UCI and British Cycling be doing for women’s cycling?
There’s been a lot of changes recently, which have really helped promote women’s cycling, but I think that the UCI should look into an Under 23 cyclocross World Cup. On a smaller scale, I think that British Cycling should encourage more of the the men’s races to put on a women’s race too – if you look at the men’s national events, for example, there is no women’s elite crit series which I believe puts people off crit racing.
Tell us a little about your off-season training regime. Do you have a winter bike or do you stick with your usual trainer?
My off-season’s a bit odd really: with cyclocross through the winter I have a shortened off-season starting in January and ending in March. This means at the start of the season I’m still getting my base training in which isn’t ideal but it does the job.
I use a winter bike and during the cyclocross season I try to get out on some long rides, just to keep the endurance. I do a lot of work on the turbo and do a weekly chaingang which helps a lot.
What were your highlights, favourite race and hardest race in 2016?
My favourite race was either the London Nocturne or the Otley GP because they were such great fun and I just love fast crit racing! The hardest had to be Cicle Classic – the rolling terrain was relentless, leaving no rest and leading to only twelve finishers! A few other highlights were my 16th at the North Bucks National RR & 6th at the Ipswich National Trophy… my best results to date!
What’s the best way to keep motivated through the winter?
I think ‘cross is what keeps me motivated, but in between seasons I find training with others is what keeps me motivated most, along with thinking of my goals for the season ahead.
What does the future hold for women’s cycling? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
I think the future is looking up so many changes have already been made! Especially in cyclocross with TV coverage of both Men’s and Women’s events and equal prize money in a lot of events. It will inevitably take time but we’re getting there… We just need the backing and sponsors to invest!
Describe your warm-up routine.
My warm up depends on the race I do: 30mins before a cyclocross race or crit with some progression and sprints, however for a road race it’s usually shorter and less intense. I usually listen to my Bangin’ Tunes playlist which is full of upbeat music, and I always use rollers just for ease really, and also the fact that I can’t get a turbo skewer for my cross bike doesn’t really help haha!
I’d just tell them to watch a race… I watch a lot of cycling and if you compare women’s and men’s cycling they are equally as interesting. With regards to competition I think I’d give the stats of the World Cup cyclocross… the top ten in the men’s consist of mainly Dutch or Belgian riders and the win is basically a battle between two of them. If you look at the women’s there are seven nations in the top ten and the race could be won by any one of them. That’s where I think there is no argument against women’s cycling; it really is great and they just need to give it a chance.
What are your main aims for the coming season?
I’d really like to get a podium at the Junior National Champs this year, it would be really special especially seeing as my team is hosting it! I’m also hoping to get some more top 20s in National Series and am looking at doing some more racing abroad.
A ten-year-old approaches you after a race and says she’s just started racing. What advice would you give her?
I’d tell her to keep enjoying it and always try her best At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about – having fun and doing the best you can.
Finally, here’s the keys for the Neutral Service time machine – you can use it to go for a ride with anyone in cycling history, past or present. Who’s it going to be?
There are so many amazing riders out there that really inspire me: Peter Sagan, Jens Voigt, Wout Van Aert & Sven Nys to name a few. My choice, however, would have to be Marianne Vos – she’s an amazing cyclist and seems like a genuinely lovely person. I’d love to get an insight into her life as a cyclist who does both road and ‘cross!
Leaving: Connie Hudson (to Liv CC)
Joining: Isabel Darvill (1st year Junior; from VC Lincoln), Maddie Howden (2nd year Junior; from Gillingham & District Wheelers), Tamara Davenne (Senior; from Zappi’s), Louise Hart (Senior; from GS Henley)
Staying: Gabriella Butler (2nd year Junior), Maddie Gammons (2nd year Junior), Natasha Reddy (U23)
Previous Ten Minute interviews on Neutral Service
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