Q&A: Lauren Creamer racing for LVIV in 2021

A name that constantly crops up in results is Lauren Creamer who will race for UCI team LVIV in 2021 – we did a Q&A with Lauren on her time in the sport of cycling

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Q&A: Lauren Creamer racing for LVIV in 2021

Lauren racing at the home of cross a decade ago in 2010 – Sutton Park in the West Midlands. Where her journey began in cycling.

Q: How long have you been racing now and where did you start racing?
Lauren: I first dabbled in racing whilst still a swimmer and triathlete, joining Wolverhampton Wheelers in 2008 because they were well known in the West Midlands and had the great base of Aldersley Stadium.

I was encouraged by my Triathlon coach and various members of the club to try a bit of track and circuit racing but it was the cyclo-cross races that really got my foot in the door of cycling! Turning up at the end of a ride in Sutton Park during January 2008, wondering what was going on, then two years later racing and podiuming at the British National CX Championships myself.

In 2011, whilst still cyclo-crossing during the winter, I joined a Women’s Team (probably advertised by yourself Larry!) connected to Abergavenny Road Club and managed by Terry Williamson. This team focused more so on the road but honestly it wasn’t until 2014, where I joined Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International under the guidance of Barney and Sarah Storey that I really started to understand what road racing was about.

Q: What have been the highlights of your career on the bike?
Lauren: Whilst representing Ireland and trade teams, I’ve definitely had some results over the years on different terrains to be proud of but I think my highlights will always be the opportunities given to me in order to achieve those results. Also, whilst on racing trips, the places that I’ve visited, the people I’ve met and the cultures I’ve always tried my best to experience will stick as highlights in my mind.

Photo: Sly Sly

Q: Do you race full time or mix work with racing?
Lauren: Apart from when I lived in Majorca as part of the Irish Womens Team Pursuit Squad for two seasons, I’ve always mixed work with racing. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, spanning between jobs depending on the time of year. I’ll either be found in a leisure centre, sports massaging or out on the road teaching children and adults road safety as a Bikeability Instructor.

Q: You have signed for LVIV for 2021, how did you come to sign for them?
Lauren: I wanted to head back to Belgium for the 2021 season since I never got to race there last year, forfeiting some bigger races there towards the end of the 2020 season due to a back injury. Me and the LVIV set up had a mutual contact so that got the ball rolling. I’m very grateful to that person for getting things started and also to the LVIV Cycling Team for the support received ever since.

Q: Where are you based during the season and during the off season.
Lauren: My main base is in Birmingham but when the racing starts, I will be heading to Belgium.

Q: What races are you hoping to get to ride in during 2021?
Lauren: I’m hoping to ride a few of the cobbled classics early on in the season with a few of the shorter European stage races thrown in. In my opinion, they are always more exciting when a prologue and time trial are included! When racing in Belgium, the Lotto Cups and kermesses will always feature too.

Photo: Fabienne Vanheste

Q: Having had a large variety of races over the years, what type of races do you enjoy the most?
Lauren: Tight, technical circuits are fun. The roads of Brittany come to mind. Also racing in Valencia during February of last year was enjoyable too, especially the descents. Not often women’s racing has descents to get excited about!

Q: If a young rider asked you advice on what they would expect to see in a Continental race they would not get in British racing, what advice would that be?
Lauren: The number of riders in races can consistently be a lot bigger that British races, so my advice to start with would definitely include not being fazed by the size of the fields.

Q: Having been in the European peloton for quite a few years now, have you seen any changes to the way riders race the races over there?
Lauren: Linked into the previous question, field sizes have grown, meaning more competition and aggression to be at the right place at the right time. There are more teams now fighting for control of the races with UCI races as a whole, getting longer.

Q: Finally, what do you like about the British domestic calendar when racing here and what changes need to be made do you think for the women’s side of the sport in the UK?
Lauren: The Tour Series in the UK is a great concept to be involved, not only as a rider but for the teams as well, giving coverage back to the sponsors that support the teams. I’m sure spectators and those catching up on ITV4 have a great time too. The UK’s criterium and time trial scene is pretty unique, nothing beats a Tuesday 10 in good weather!

I think the women’s side of the sport in the UK still requires more positive promotion of women’s teams such as the riders and staff behind them. Ideally, more TV time too rather than having to scan social media. Since races on the continent are heading a bit longer, the National Series could reflect this with races at least 65/70 miles each. I think it would be possible with the British Women’s Team Cup holding shorter races throughout the year.

Where the next stage of Lauren’s career is heading …. 

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