Q & A: Jo Smith (BowlPhish Women’s Race Team)

VeloUK’s Q & A’s continue, this time with Jo Smith of a brand new team, BowlPhish Women’s RT

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q & A: Jo Smith (BowlPhish Women’s Race Team)

Jo says the best thing about this new team is the fact she and Rob Milnes (the DS) have put it together. “We have some amazingly talented riders join us for the first year” added Jo. “I’m really excited to see what we can do and just do as much as I can to help develop and mentor the girls on the team”.

1. How did you get into cycle racing?
Jo: My mum took me and my brother up to a local go-ride club about 20 years ago and I’ve been racing ever since! I stopped training around aged 15 though and didn’t get back into racing until I moved to Spain in 2010, got fit on club rides there because it was keep up or I was lost and couldn’t speak the language, and had the amazing opportunity to race at the Spanish national track series and then the French National Road series.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Jo: I love all types of cycling and I couldn’t choose which I enjoy most, but in terms of racing, I’m definitely a trackie! I especially love the bunch races.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Jo: Going fast! Also the opportunity to meet people and travel. Now that I work as a teacher, I love that racing also requires complete focus and allows me to forget that I have a million books/exams to mark!

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Jo: Winning the National Omnium Series overall because I had set a podium finish overall as my target, but really wasn’t sure if that was achievable. I managed to win the series, but it required a lot of driving… I was still in Scotland at 8pm the day before school started in September (in Kent!), and I’m the teacher!

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Jo: My most fun race was the Barcelona round of the Red Hook Crit Series, where I took 5th place and really showed myself that I have the potential to podium in these crazy events!

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Jo: The toughest race was probably the last stage of the Bedford 3-day. I had the green jersey but crashed with one sprint to go, broke my bike and lost the jersey, that was pretty gutting!

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Jo: Don’t forget to rest!
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8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Jo: I love my Oxeego socks, they are really comfy and look good! I’m also really excited that our team is racing in GRN kit which is almost 100% recycled and also made in the UK! I raced in a prototype skinsuit back in December and it was really comfy and also looks great.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Jo: Rollers and some crazy Catalan or Spanish music – old habits…

10. Will you stay in the UK to prepare for next season during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Jo: I really wish I could get abroad to get some miles in, especially as I want to be able to support my new team mates at the end of road races, but unfortunately teaching leaves little time for such luxury and I will have to make do with tropical Kent!

11. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Jo: I’m already training for the 2017 Track Nationals in January, so track efforts are the way forward for now!

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Jo: Keep enjoying it, help to run a successful team and develop some super talented riders!

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Jo: Mostly bike for me, with a little running and some rock climbing when I can!

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Jo: Move to Spain – that was nice! Or failing that, get a coach that you trust and be honest with yourself and your coach about what you can realistically fit in… then give it 100%!



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