News: Eileen Roe in Qatar


Scotland’s Eileen Roe had a strong race in the Ladies Tour of Qatar with her new team, the UCI squad Lares Waowdeals

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News: Eileen Roe in Qatar

1. First up, your new team, wow! Tell us about them and how you got to get a ride in their colours?
Eileen (top right in pic below): So yeah new team for 2016 & different colours – much more colourful than last year. Lares Waowdeals is a newly formed UCI team & is Belgian registered. It was set up by Marc Bracke who used to run Sengers Ladies cycling UCI cycling team back in 2012.


This team has been set up to progress over the next three years to achieve top 10 in the UCI rankings. At the end of last year, I was looking for a new team after my contract wasn’t renewed & Egon Van Kessel (DS from wiggle high5) put me in contact with Marc & it went forward from there on.

2. Qatar – was that the first stage race of the year and how does it compare to other races you have ridden?
Eileen: Qatar was a lot of firsts for 2016. It was the first race of the year with the team, first stage race of the year & most importantly the first time I’ve ever raced Qatar. I’ve always wanted to do this race because I think I can be well suited to the kind of racing when the race form is here.

I knew it was going to be both physically & mentally tough due to the fact it’s a stage race at the beginning of February in 20+ degree heat coming from Europe. I think that’s what makes it different, the time of year, the climate & also the terrain. Straight, flat, exposed to lots of wind is something you can’t simulate in training.


3. I understand it was windy! What were the conditions like for a girl from Scotland – bit of a contrast I bet!
Eileen: Correct! Everyone knows it’s windy in Qatar but stage 3 I can only describe as “hell” on the bike that day. I bumped into Elisa Longo Borghini at breakfast & it was her description. The car pulled away after the neutralised section and my heart rate was 180+ red lined for the first hour. We covered 10 miles in 16 mins so not only was the side wind tough but also the tail wind sections I believed were harder. It’s hard to prepare yourself from the UK to race in conditions when you need leg speed at the beginning of February but I done as much as I could between working & a lot of turbo.

4. What are the things you take from the race learning wise?
Eileen: I made one big mistake on stage 3 (the windiest stage). I was suffering big time in the second small group on the road when it combined with another group. I switched off for too long & was too far back when the group split again. So you always need to be switched on!


5. How did you get yourself in shape for a race so early in the year?
Eileen: I don’t think I’m in proper race shape just yet but I done as much as I could try to get there. It’s steadily rising just in time for the classic period. It’s difficult to prepare yourself to race against some of the peloton having come from an Aussie summer of racing when you have limited daylight/decent weather to train in.

During winter, I work 3 days a week so I had to get my training/hours in cycling to work & a LOT of ergo. This winter my coach James McCallum took a different approach with me putting intensity first for several weeks before the hours came into play. I also cracked with the weather back home so I booked a eight days training camp to stay with a new team mate in Oliva, Spain.


6. What was your highlight of the Qatar Ladies Race?
Eileen: Ah, it’s hard to pick one highlight from the tour. Definitely being able to work with new team mate Monique towards the finishes & put into play what I learnt from Wiggle last year. On a personal highlight, I was proud of the way I road on stage 2 where I made the front split & ended up 22nd only 1:50 min down on the winner. Then on the last day I was satisfied with finishing 17th place which meant I came away with a top 20 at the Tour of Qatar on my first visit here.

7. Where will you be racing next?
Eileen: Next up on the calendar is a team training camp in Calpe from 11th – 21st then it’s straight into Het Niewsbald.



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