Q & A Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK)

VeloUK quizes National Trophy Women’s Champion Hannah Payton of Team Kinesis about her series

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Q & A Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK)

1. Tell us how it felt to win the series a month out from the British championships?
Hannah: I started this season without much expectation. I had a busy road season with Drops and started University in September so I wanted to race this season without any pressure and just enjoy it.

I obviously carried some good form from the road season and so got off to a good start by winning round 1 in Derby. That meant me taking the yellow jersey into round 2. I had a bad race in Abergavenney and came 4th, however it was enough to still keep the yellow jersey.

I headed into round 3 with a bit more fight in me, I knew my form was good and I loved the course at Sunderland. I won that round from a sprint with Beth Crumpton, so yellow was still mine. By now the points were close but I was feeling pretty motivated and my goals for the season had started to change. I could now see the series win in sight and I really wanted to get the title for a 3rd time.

Round 4 was in Ipswich, a course that didn’t suit me. I knew it would be bunch racing which I don’t like so I went there with a plan to attack after lap 1 and it worked. That extended my overall lead and with one round left I was starting to get a bit more confident that maybe I could keep yellow until the end.

The final round was in Shrewsbury, another favourite course of mine and I went there to win. I wanted to end the series on a high. It feels good to have the series wrapped up fairly early in the season. I can now concentrate on the National champs and World Cups.

2. Which round was the best for you and why?
Hannah: The best round for me was Sunderland. I loved that course and the racing was really exciting between me and Beth. It came down to a sprint finish and I was super pleased to get my hands in the air.

3. Tell us about the bike you used to win the series – what is it, and what’s unique about it?
Hannah: I used my three Kinesis Crosslight CX Race bikes. I have them set up with cantilever brakes. I’m not really a fan of disc brakes. I think they’re more appropriate for European races but for the courses in the UK, I don’t think it’s that important to have good stopping power. Disc brakes are also heavier and I like my bikes as light as possible.

4. Did your preparation for the series change in 2016 or do you have a good formula nailed down for it?
Hannah: I guess I didn’t really have much preparation for the cross season. I raced a lot on the road and I knew I was going to Uni in September so I was prepared to sacrifice the cross season for it. My summer was very different to previous seasons.

5. Were the conditions for the Trophy this year different to other years – ie, less muddy?
Hannah: We finally got the mud for Shrewsbury but up until then racing had been pretty fast and dry.

6. What cyclo-cross race this winter has been the most fun here or abroad?
Hannah: I haven’t raced abroad much so I’d say the most fun races have been Sunderland and Shrewsbury. I love the courses at both. They’re technical, have some running and both had some mud which always makes for more exciting racing.

7. You raced the summer as well for Drops – what events did you enjoy the most?
Hannah: They were all enjoyable but Bira, a stage race in the Basque Country and The Women’s Tour were my favourites. I really love stage racing and I was part of a really great team. I loved being a domestique, it was nice to play an important role but leave the winning to my team mates.
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8. Behind every success story within the tapes is a team of helpers – How many people look after you at races in the pits and events in general
Hannah: Team Payton are incredible. My Dad and brother also race so it’s quite a feat of organisation but we have race days sussed. Tom and Dad do the mechanics on my bikes and pit for me.

Tom’s girlfriend Naomi has also learnt the ropes and often pits for me too. My Mum will always be at the start and finish of a race and out on the course giving me time gaps, but she’s also great in the pits if she’s needed. It’s quite a dream team really and I definitely couldn’t do it without them.

9. What will be your preparation events for the Nationals this year and being at Bradford, is there anything in training you will do to prepare for that course?
Hannah: I’ve ridden Bradford a lot of times before so it’s nice to know exactly what I need to do to prepare for it. My training has had the course in mind so has involved running, uphill hurdles and off camber. Fingers crossed for mud!

10. Finally, are you full time or having to mix work with training?
Hannah: I mix training with a physiotherapy degree. It’s busy but seems to be suiting me better than riding full time. I like having to be disciplined and having another focus aside from bikes. I stress a lot less about races now simply because I don’t have the time to think about them.

Good luck Hannah for the British championships and thank you …

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