Interview – Annie Simpson


Annie Simpson erased the bad memories of the year before at Shrewsbury by winning the Women’s race last weekend in summery conditions

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Interview – Annie Simpson

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Annie Simpson of Hope Factory Racing, winner of the National Trophy Women’s race last Sunday is a regular in the winter cross scene. The versatile rider who’s also won the Women’s Tour Series on the road in the past, got a great start last Sunday and was then part of a group of five that led the race from start to finish.

Using her sprint to beat Junior Ffion James from Wales, Annie erased the bad memories from last year and got her challenge for the National Trophy Series off to a speedy start. Annie was third in the series in 2013/14 and fifth the year before that and has high hopes for this winter.


Annie was modest afterwards saying “Hannah Payton (three times a series winner) is not here and she’s a class act but I’m pleased for her being out there taking on the best in Belgium. I am hoping I can step up this year and wear this yellow jersey. I had it for one round last year and I got a feel for it so I’m really pleased to get my hands on it again.”

To win the race, Annie had to use all her experience and skill to hold off two talented juniors and not far behind (13 seconds), probably one of the greatest women cyclo cross riders ever in Britain, Isla Rowntree. Second to Annie at Shrewsbury was a rider who made a big impression in the British Championships last winter, Ffion James where she was 3rd to winner Helen Wyman.

“I have been training hard and I knew I was riding alright. Technically though, Amira and Ffion were technically much better than me. So I had to use my head a bit so I sandbagged quite a lot and sat in. They were pulling me through the woods faster than I could go but I knew I had a good kick and if I could get through in the right place at the end, I could use my sprint. My put all my eggs in that basket and it paid off”.


Annie leads Amira Mellor, Ffion James, Merce Pacios & Isla Rowntree in a very nail biting race in the Women’s National Trophy

Talking about the course at Shrewsbury, Annie admitted it was a lot different to race on than when she had looked it the day before and in the morning. “I looked at the course on the Saturday with my teammate Jack Clarkson and thought I had it nailed, and then this morning, it wasn’t much different to yesterday but the sun came out and completely changed it.”

Annie finished by saying that the National Trophy was one of her priorities now. “It’s hard now that I am working and fitting in work and training but I’ll keep plugging away, training hard and see if I can hold on to it. The Junior girls are amazing and showed that last year at the nationals and it’s going to be a tough job keeping ahead of them”.

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