Interview – Nicola Juniper


A household name in British cycling are to sponsor a British Women’s Team headlined by Nicola Juniper and supported by Olympic hopefuls

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Interview – Nicola Juniper

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Nicola Juniper, winning the Ryedale GP for Women solo

News this week reaching VeloUK is that the RST Racing women’s team, sponsored by the Cycle Division, is to take a step up in 2015 with the help of a major name in British racing which will be revealed in due course.

The new sponsor, which has supported many a men’s team in the past, are taking on many of the young riders which have been carefully looked after whilst riding in the colours of RST Racing, part of the Cycle Division, and in 2014, co sponsored by NFTO.

The RST Racing women’s team has been evolving to such an extent that riders from the team make up a large part of Great Britain Cycling Team’s Olympic Development Academy, a step on the ladder to Olympic stardom for those with the talent and hunger to succeed.

To help the emerging young riders move up another level in a pressure free environment that they are used to at RST Racing, the team is becoming independent of RST with the title sponsorship going to the new backer of the team.

Former professional Rob Holden managed and mentored many of the girls who will be in the team and combines a wealth of experience as a rider and DS with a calm and calculated approach to their racing whilst continuing the RST ethos of racing hard till you pop and then coming back to fight harder next time.

As well as the riders from RST Racing, the team has also signed up new riders including one of the most exciting riders in the country, Women’s National Series champion in 2014, Nicola Juniper.


Grace Garner winning senior races whilst a junior in RST Racing colours

Nicola has had a blinder of a year with nine victories including the Women’s Tour of the Reservoir, the classic Bedford Three Day, Women’s Masters Road Race Championship and the Ryedale Women’s Grand Prix. Looking down her list of results, podiums number over twenty showing just what a great coupe it is for the team to have her representing this exciting new sponsor.

Talking about working with the talented young riders, Nicola explained how in her work she is already well versed in a role helping teach and develop young talent, something she is very keen on both in work and in sport.

“To be able to be part of this fantastically talented team and help these girls including four ODP riders, I’m honoured to be honest to be asked.”

“I have always said I just enjoy going out and racing my bike because I love riding it and I think that comes across in my racing where I give it my all. I go in without being intimidated by the other riders and give it a go and if it works, it works, if doesn’t, so be it”.

Asked if the 2014 season she has had has surpassed what she was looking for at the start of the year, Nicola replied “oh god yeah. I went into the season wanting to do a 21 minute ten, win a bunch sprint and win a road race and I think I did most of that in the first month. I was quite shocked by the results but I just took it one race at a time and tried not to put any extra pressure on myself for any particular events. I just went out there and enjoyed it.”

Nicola explained how when she won the Tour of the Reservoir, a very tough event in the North East, that many felt it was a fluke and she didn’t feel that was the case. “After that I did feel I had a point to prove and that Nicola Juniper can ride a bike. The reason I can do it is because I work dam hard at it and the season has been a battle and I have had to work hard for the results”.


A very fast young lady, Abby-Mae Parkinson

The highlight for Nicola was winning the Women’s Nocturne race in London. “I have done that race for five years and I have podiumed, finished in the top five and top ten and that win meant a lot to me. It’s a race my dad would always come and talk to me at and for me to win that with him there, that was for sure the highlight.”

Nicola finished by saying that having had the success she has had in 2014, makes 2015 even more exciting to look forward to, not just in looking to get results with the bar having been raised, but also to help her young teammates win too which she says would be fantastic to be part of.

“It’s going to be exciting because the challenges are going to be so different and we’re looking forward to doing the sponsorship of the team justice”.

Joining Nicola on the team is former National Youth Circuit champion Keira McVitty, strengthening the existing young team of Lizzie Holden, Grace Garner, Abby-Mae Parkinson, Ellie Dickinson, Lauren O’Brian and Annasley Park.

Of those riders, Lizzie, Grace, Abby-Mae and Ellie are part of the Olympic Development Programme for 2015, which for the sponsors must be very pleasing knowing they are helping young British stars chasing the goal of being Olympic stars like so many before them who have gone through that programme.

The team will target the National Championships and National Series events plus all the televised races.

Manager/ DS – Rob Holden

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,