Q & A: Laura Massey (Epic Cycles-Scott Contessa)


Talking with new signing for Epic Cycles-Scott Contessa Laura Massey about women’s racing

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Laura Massey lives in Cambridge and did her first ever race at Hog Hill at the end of 2011 after spending the previous 10 years in a rowing boat. “I became totally addicted/obsessed!” she adds.

Laura admits to be really looking forward to 2014 as she feels a more confident bike rider now with two seasons under her belt. This is her Q&A

Do you have a favourite discipline & why?
Laura: Road racing – the faster, hillier and harder, the better! Particularly stage racing. I love the different phases and different opportunities that crop up as the race evolves. I have also started to turn my hand to a few Time Trials and want to continue to work on this skill in 2014 and get a few good scalps!


Have you noticed any changes to the sport of women’s racing in that time?
Laura: Yes, massive changes are happening – it’s a really exciting time to be involved with women’s racing in the UK – really dynamic, a lot is happening. Even in the last two years since I started, the standard has increased significantly.

Races last year like Dave Peck Memorial, Banbury Star etc really demonstrated this. The top National races are now over-subscribed and even getting on the start line is tough! There’s no longer just a handful of top riders in the bunch that will dominate races, instead there is a host of strong teams, all with impressive line-ups– based on the team announcements so far for 2014, there is going to be so much strength and depth in the bunch – it is going to kick off!

What has been the highlight of 2013 for you?
Laura: My highlight this year was my 5th place in the GC at the 5 day stage race in Ireland, the Ras na Mban. The standard and size of the field was a huge step up from the previous years and the racing was tough. I was the best placed Brit in the field which included some top domestic and international names like Hannah Barnes, Véronique Fortin, Christina Malling-Siggaard and Christine Majerus. I also enjoyed my podium at the Redditch Round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, and I had a good ride at the National RR Champs in Glasgow – I thought the course was fantastic.

Which race has been the best one to do?
Laura: I really rate the Ras na Mban as it is really well run, with very scenic (aka tough and hilly!) routes through the west coast of Ireland, inevitably raining and cold – good suffering! The Pearl Izumi Tour Series races are always fun – fast and frantic.

How many hours a week would you train on and off the bike?
Laura: Last year I did between 7 – 10hrs on a normal week, with 12hrs being a “big week”. This still applies this year but I like to think I’m doing more “big” weeks now as I have started this season with a better base and more training history than last year. We will see how I manage!

Do you work full time/part time?
Laura: I work full time as a Pharmaceutical Consultant, typical consultancy hours – peaks and trough and often overseas travel/late nights and 60+hrs a week. I usually mange to fit in my planned training but sometimes when it is a particularly busy few weeks at work with lots of deadlines and meetings, I have to give in and just focus on the bigger picture and just doing the basics – eating, sleeping and recovering (from work) so that I don’t get ill, rather than obsessing about missing the odd couple of sessions. I am not saying that this always works and I don’t get annoyed about missing training, but it is what I try to do…!

What is the best thing about racing bikes?
Laura: Sense of achievement. Having fun with similarly minded people. Being outside, adrenaline and taking satisfaction from results and improvements in performance.

And what is the one thing you enjoy least!
Laura: Poor performances and results due to missed opportunities and not taking a risk or gamble. I don’t mind not doing well if my legs were just not there on the day, I can accept that. But not getting a result because you missed an opportunity, missed the move, switched off, got lazy, or lacked awareness and confidence at the moment in time is really frustrating. That’s something I need to work on.

If you could change one of your weaknesses into a strength, which one would it be?
Laura: See above! Switching off and accepting that the race is over when it doesn’t go to plan. I will be more positive this year as I feel a much more confident and able rider now based on my experiences and performances in 2013.


What type of bike you do ride and what type of groupset wheels does it have?
Laura: Our team will be racing on Scott Addicts with Ultegra 11 speed and with Reynolds Assault SLG tubular wheels – looking forward to getting my hands on it!

Are you ‘geeky’ when it comes to the equipment on the bike?
Laura: Not at all, far from it, I just like riding my bike. I don’t need to have conversations about the equipment or the details!

What will you doing training wise during the winter – as little as possible or a structured programme based on getting success in 2014?
Laura: I will be following a structured program, which has stepped up a bit from last year, but will still have to be flexible and fit around my job and general life stresses.

Do you see 2014 being a big year for Women’s racing with a UCI Stage race bringing pro teams here?
Laura: Yes definitely, it is a really exciting time for the UK women’s racing scene. Hopefully the presence of the Women’s Tour will get even more girls involved in racing and push the standard up even more at all levels. I have all my digits crossed that there will be a wild card spot for Scott Epic on the Tour – I would absolutely love to get a chance to ride it especially given it is in the East of England!

What is the one thing outside of pedalling the bike that you feel you need to learn to be a better bike rider.
Laura: Patience. Patience. Patience. It takes a while to accumulate the skills needed to be a good bike rider, you can’t rush this, it will only lead to disappointment. Take satisfaction from other measures of success, not just “winning” as this will take time to achieve. I am getting there and am looking forward to team success with Scott Epic.

Are you a very competitive person or do just enjoy racing and don’t feel pressure to win?
Laura: I am ridiculously competitive! I do enjoy racing though now that I have taken question 16 on board!

Finally, do you have a favourite training ride, and if so, where is it?
Laura: I love riding down near my Dad’ house in South Devon, the stretch of undulating coastline from Dartmouth to Slapton, it is the most beautiful place on earth!

thank you and good luck to Laura in 2014!

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , , ,