Q&A: Emily Wadsworth (Brother UK/Tifosi)

Question time with a young rider racing internationally in cyclo-cross who will then swap to the road for the Brother UK/Tifosi p/b Onform women’s racing team

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Q&A: Emily Wadsworth (Brother UK/Tifosi)

Under 23 rider, Emily Wadsworth, a rider I have followed from the youth ranks to where she is now racing internationally, is currently racing for TP Racing (Tom Pidcock’s CX team) in cyclocross until March before then swapping the off road for on road and the Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm for the road season.

VeloUK: How did you get into the sport of cycling?
Emily: My Dad raced on the weekends in the local MTB league in Checkingdon, near my house. I started going along and racing when I was about 10 and (as I was the only girl) I was winning all my races. Standing on the top step of the podium was something that I loved. For a long time I wouldn’t touch a bike between races and it was only as an under 14 when I joined Palmer Park that I started riding a lot more.

VeloUK: Full time rider, student or working?
Emily: I’m full time but have a social media job with Book Hospitality. It’s perfect because I can work from my laptop wherever I am in the world and it keeps me busy. Since I’ve left school, I’ve realised I need to keep myself mentally stimulated in order to be in the best mental place possible.

VeloUK: Best result for you in 2018?
Emily: Coming 7th at Women’s National Road Race Championships (senior/under 23) was a big highlight for me. I had a difficult year as I suffered from illness for quite a long period of time, so to finally get a result was a relief more than anything.

VeloUK: Best organised/fun race you did in 2018?
Emily: Racing the Tour of Yorkshire was absolutely incredible. The whole environment was so organised and professional and it was my first proper insight into what a World level road race looked like.

VeloUK: Toughest race of 2018?
Emily: It probably would have to be stage 1 of Elsy Jacobs. I got dropped really early on, rode the whole race by myself, then crossed the line and my crank fell off completely! I had wondered why I was struggling to keep up so much… turns out a loose crank doesn’t help!

VeloUK: Best moment in a race or funniest moment in a race in 2018?
Emily: That’s a tricky one. I mainly raced MTB – the racing is so intense and I am so focused that I don’t really find the time in races to recognise ‘funny’ moments as I’m almost always in my own world. This is one of the aspects of Road racing I’m really looking forward to in 2019.
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VeloUK: Do you train alone or have others to help you get through the ride?
Emily: I almost always train by myself, but I’ve learnt to enjoy my own company – I love plodding round on an endurance ride with a podcast to keep me entertained. I live with Dan Tulett and Tom Pidcock, so I tend to ride separately to make sure I don’t write off my whole week of training in one session ha ha. That said, we do train on our Cyclo cross bikes together.

VeloUK: In the winter, training on/off road or indoors?
Emily: I race cyclocross which I think is the perfect solution for getting through the winter months. I race almost every weekend in Belgium so I always have another race on the horizon, so the winter flies by and before I know it, it’s spring again! That being said, I do train in the gym and turbo as part of my normal training week.

VeloUK: How many hours on the bike can you fit in during an average winter training week?
Emily: My hours are quite low as I’m racing cyclocross races every weekend. I’m trying to find the balance between being fresh for CX racing on the weekends but ensuring I build a decent base for the summer. I took a mid season ‘break’ in early December and escaped to Girona for a couple of weeks – training blocks like this are where I put the road miles in. So really my week can be anything from 9-18 hours!

VeloUK: Is there any off the bike training (running/swimming/gym etc)?
Emily: I run and go to the gym at least once a week. I think it’s important to run and a go to the gym for my strength/CX specific training, but also it’s nice to do something different to bike riding.

VeloUK: Do you train with any gadgets (Heart rate/power) or just go on ‘feel’ of the ride?
Emily: I have both HR and power, so if I am doing intervals, I find it really useful to use these so I can pace my effort correctly! However, the endurance rides I love the most are the ones where I have a new route planned on my Garmin Maps and just follow the screen, so I don’t look at time elapsed/ power/ hr… time flies!

VeloUK: How will you be for the road after racing all winter?
Emily: I’ve been racing all winter on the Cyclocross bike so once the season is over I think I will have a month off racing to mentally refresh before the road season.

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VeloUK: Are you doing anything different in training this winter than last one?
Emily: Last year, I was training as a full time MTB rider on the British Cycling Academy in Manchester – so being Cyclo cross focused and based in Belgium for the winter has been pretty different! But I’ve grown up always racing Cyclocross and MTB, so it’s nothing I’m not used to… only now I’m swapping MTB for road! I’m absolutely loving it so far.

VeloUK: Which races are you looking forward to most in 2019
Emily: I can’t wait to race in the European peloton more, I want to see how I fare in races such as the Lotto Cups. Also, I really hope I can race the Tour of Yorkshire – riding in a world class field is so eye opening and motivates me so much to be at that level in the future.

VeloUK: Favourite pre race meal?
Emily: Spaghetti bolognaise has to be my favourite because I’ve grown up always having it as a pre race meal when we are away in the motor home as a family (And I love pasta…).

VeloUK: Favourite race drink?
Emily: Hydro tabs are an essential part of my race nutrition (…I sweat a lot!). OTE blackcurrant flavour are my current favourites.

VeloUK: Best one thing you learned about racing in 2018?
Emily: To stop putting expectation on myself – I’ve got plenty of time to win bike races so for now I just need to focus on the process.

VeloUK: Favourite professional to watch on tele (male or female) and favourite race(s) you like to watch and inspire you?
Emily: Marianne Vos is my favourite rider, she has shown her dominance in so many disciplines and is just an all round classy bike rider. My favourite races are any World Championship (either Cyclo cross/ Road or MTB) because there is so much at stake and the win means so much to the riders.


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