Feature – Jess Duffy Q & A


Jess Duffy of the Bikeshed Bianchi Women’s Team takes the VeloUK question and answer challenge

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Feature – Jess Duffy Q & A


1. When will you start your road season and what will be the first race?
Jess: I’ll be testing the legs at the end of February at the Primavera Road Race. Bit of an early start but I’m on the road race committee so I have to support the locals or else!

2. What races will be your targets for 2016 and why?
Jess: Stepping up on a National/Women’s Team Series level and trying to dictate race moves rather than just making up the numbers. I’m really looking forward to the Cheshire Classic, it looks like a cracking course with a good climb and the Bedford 3 Day will be great fun! I’d also love for one of the team to get a good result at the SW Champs – a series of unfortunate events knocked the majority of contenders out of running for a podium spot last year.

3. How will you spend the time on the bike between now and your first race in training?
Jess: I’ll be putting in even more hours now I’ve switched to a more flexible job. I love long miles so they will always be part of my training but there will definitely be more top end stuff creeping into the training plan. There’s practically no flat roads where I live so lots of time back on the turbo. Boo hoo :(

4. What was your favourite Xmas present?
Jess: I picked up my beautiful Bianchi team bike just before Christmas – I couldn’t really ask for anything better than that!

5. When it rains, which its doing a lot right now, is it turbo time or wrap up and get wet?
Jess: I usually try to avoid the turbo if possible. We’ve had a very wet winter so far which has made for some pretty miserable rides but I also raced a lot in the rain last year so it’s all good practice. A good winter cap keeps the spray out of your eyes and I’ve been known to cling film my feet…

6. If you could do any race in the world including the best ones in the world etc, what would it be and why?
Jess: Too many to mention! Not that it’s likely but the Giro Rosa is the pinnacle really. To be racing in gorgeous Italy, in the mountains with the best women in the world? Yes please. I’d also love to race the Strade Bianche, La Fleche Wallonne and Gent-Wevelgem. There’s so much history in those races. Oh and the Tulsa Tough – just because it has a climb called Cry Baby Hill! So good!



7. What piece of food can you not do without where ever you are on the road during the season!
Jess: I make a mean home-made ride bar and they always perk me up when I’m feeling rubbish. I add a sprinkle of dark chocolate and dried cherries as a little treat :)

8. What is your favourite music track when warming up for a race or on the turbo?
Jess: I always listen to Grimes on the turbo but usually I’m watching the women’s cyclo-cross and cheering on Helen Wyman and Nikki Harris. It’s way more motivating. Before a race I find chatting to friends and fellow racers helps me relax as I get really bad pre-race nerves.

9. If given the option, would you prefer normal brakes or disc brakes on your road bike?
Jess: At the moment, I’m quite happy with the braking power of my road calipers. I’m a traditionalist and like the clean lines of a classic road bike. I think when discs become standard on more race orientated bikes I may change my mind but I would prefer for everyone to be using the same kind of brake in a race, especially in the wet.

10. What’s the spec of your race bike for 2016 and your favourite bits on it?
Jess: I’ll be racing on a celeste Bianchi Oltre Xr1 with an Ultegra groupset. Wheels to be confirmed.  A decent saddle keeps my bum happy and I always have Cinelli Caleido bartape on all my bikes – bit superstitious but I can’t switch now. I also always race on Continental tyres because they’re so reliable. It’s the first time I’ve had a proper race bike (I was riding quite an upright endurance frame in my first season) and to be honest it’s changed my riding completely. I’m totally in love with it and it’s such an honour to be racing for one of the oldest bike companies in the world.

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