Q&A: Nikki Juniper (Ford Ecoboost)

VeloUK quizzes one of the most prolific winners in British women’s road racing over the last few years, Nikki Juniper of Ford Ecoboost

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Q&A: Nikki Juniper (Ford Ecoboost)
(thanks to Gordon Wiseman for doing this Q & A)

Probably the most consistent and top performing of the women’s home based peloton over the last few years, Brentwood born Nikki Juniper, is competing at the top of her game but is also putting her all back into the sport having formed Team Ford EcoBoost for the start of the 2016 season.

Another win at Ryedale for Nikki in 2016

In addition to wanting to help younger riders develop – as people and in their sport – she told VeloUK some more about her own racing background:

1. How did you get into cycle racing?
Nikki: I was a competitive long distance of road runner when I had a major knee reconstruction in my early 20’s. I then took up Triathlon and Ironman where I competed in two World Championships over an 8-year period. In 2009, after a number of reoccurring knee injuries, I decided to hang up my trainers and concentrate on the bike. The rest, as they say, is history.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Nikki: I like hard races, either a fast hard crit or a hilly long road race.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Nikki: The people you meet along the way and the friendships you form.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Nikki: Starting up the team and seeing it flourish throughout the season.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016?
Nikki: The Tour de Yorkshire. Looking up, seeing the 2km to go sign and thinking ‘oh I didn’t plan on being in the front group, I best think about a sprint!’

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Nikki: National Road Race Champs. Dealing with the disappointment of a bad result but learning from my mistakes

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Nikki: More is not always best, trust those who are trying to help, listen to the voice of experience and believe in yourself.

8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Nikki: My Ford EcoBoost Jersey.

Nikki (right) 3rd in the Crit champs. Left is Alice Barnes and centre, champion in 2016, Eileen Roe.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Nikki: I use the rollers and do a structured session, this varies from 15 to 30mins depending on the race and how I am feeling.

10. Did you stay at home to prepare 2017 during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Nikki: My personal preference is training here in this country as we have to race here. I live in the Malvern hills so the training terrain is fantastic, however, we are going on a team training camp to Majorca at the end of February to get everyone together.
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11. When did you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Nikki: I finished my season at the end of August so I started training end of September, I mix my training up with 2/3 gym sessions a week along with winter miles and gradually building in the efforts.

12. What are your goals for 2017?
Nikki: Personally I would like to do well in the Tour Series, National Crit Champs and improve on my performance at the National Road Race Champs. I know this is everyone’s goal but for me, I feel I need to prove to myself that I can do it.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)?
Nikki: I love the gym and weight training, so I hit the gym up to 3 times a week; I’m not allowed to run anymore due to my knees, I think running for a bus would ruin me!

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Nikki: A good pair of gloves, socks and over shoes!



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