Women’s Interview: Bethany Hayward


In the continuing series of interviews with female racing cyclists, we talk to new Matrix Fitness recruit for 2014, Bethany Hayward

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Bethany will be riding for the Matrix Fitness Racing Academy in 2014 and lives in the East of England, (Hertfordshire).


Bethany has been racing in road races and on the track for four years and when asked if she has noticed any changes in women’s racing in that time, Bethany replies “When I started racing, I raced alongside the boys in the youth category so 2013 has been my first season racing in woman’s racing so I can’t really say I’ve noticed a change in woman’s racing”.

“I think though it’s been great to see and read about the progress being made in some areas. Steps in the right direction are being taken with things like equal prize money and more TV coverage being introduced and it’s good to know there are people pushing for the progression of the sport.”

VeloUK: What has been the highlight of 2013 for you?
Bethany: My 2013 highlight is definitely being selected to represent GB in the Junior World Road Race in Florence last month. It was the first time wearing GB kit for me and I learnt loads from the experience.

VeloUK: Which race has been the best one to do?
Bethany: I really enjoyed riding the Bedford 3 day this year. It had a bit of everything in it and was really tough stage racing. Hopefully I can be a real challenger in this race in 2014.


VeloUK: Do you coach yourself or have a coach to help structure your training?
Bethany: As part of being on the Olympic development program I have a coach, Matt Winston, to help me structure my training.

VeloUK: How many hours a week would you train on and off the bike?
Bethany: In the summer, I’d usually spend 10-15 hours a week on the bike. I’m currently doing my A-Levels so I don’t have a job to fit training around but being in school does mean I have to plan time to go out training and doing school work as well.

VeloUK: What is the best thing about racing bikes?
Bethany: The best thing about racing is the people you meet because of it and the places it can take you!

VeloUK: And what is the one thing you enjoy least!
Bethany: The thing I enjoy the least about riding is the four or five hour rides in winter! Or crashing!

VeloUK: If you could change one of your weaknesses into a strength, which one would it be?
Bethany: I would really like a better sprint. I’m not sure I’ve ever really figured in a bunch sprint unless it was uphill!

VeloUK: What type of bike you do ride and what type of groupset wheels does it have?
Bethany: Can’t say I am ‘geeky’ with equipment really. If it looks nice then I like it. But being small, having light equipment is really important to me, so I’m pretty excited with all the products the team will be using in 2014.


VeloUK: What will you do training wise during the winter – as little as possible or a structured programme based on getting success in 2014?
Bethany: My training is structured towards success for 2014. I do a lot of training camps on the track with the ODP over the winter and lots of long winter rides when I’m on the road.

VeloUK: Do you see 2014 being a big year for Women’s racing with a UCI Stage race bringing pro teams here?
Bethany: I think races like The Woman’s Tour will be massive exposure for woman’s racing and hopefully mean more races and coverage off the back of it. I’d love to compete in it also! On top of that, we have the Commonwealth Games in Scotland which is another opportunity for the sport to come on television and for women’s racing to stand out.

VeloUK: What is the one thing outside of pedalling the bike that you feel you need to learn to be a better bike rider.
Bethany: I need to learn that resting is just as important as riding sometimes. I find it very hard to stay off my bike for a few weeks after the end of the season.

VeloUK: Finally, is it live to race bikes or race bikes to enjoy living!
Bethany: Think it’s a bit of both, live to race bikes and race bikes to enjoy living!

My thanks to Bethany for that.

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