Q&A: Charlotte Berry (Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen)

Our next quiz is with 28 year old Charlotte Berry (Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen), one of the leading riders in the team who lives in the picturesque Cotswolds area of England

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q&A: Charlotte Berry (Pro-Noctis – Redchilli Bikes – Heidi Kjeldsen)

Q: How long have you been racing?
Charlotte: 5 or 6 years now

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Charlotte: I used to run a bit while I was at university and kept picking up injuries. My partner at the time, Jay said I should try bikes as I rode horses so had strong legs. I could also still ride the bike while I was on crutches. I had a go on his road bike down the lane we lived on and never looked back.

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Charlotte: I think a bit of both. Some periods I felt great and super motivated, others I just wanted normality back.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no races?
Charlotte: Physically, definitely stronger. I think mentally, in some ways weaker, having had a bad crash at the very end of the season in ’19 I never had the opportunity to get back on the horse quickly as such. But then equally, I spent a lot of time working on the mental side so maybe I was stronger there in some ways.

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Charlotte: The surprise was when the team won the national road series.

Q: What race in your career is the one that still gives you the biggest buzz?
Charlotte: I think most of them. Things like Tour Series and town centre crits create a good buzz.

Q: The team has been very successful in 2021, what event was the most fun to do with the team?
Charlotte: There have been so many. The Tour Series is always good. I loved the national championships week that had to be the best atmosphere of the year. Riding up Michaelgate with people screaming your name either side was a pretty amazing experience. I also loved some of the smaller races this year, a Crit in Southhampton that I raced with my team mate Sam had a really good feel to it.

Q: Is there a routine to traveling to an event with the team; ie, do you travel with them or get to an event yourself?
Charlotte: Living in the South, a lot of the races tend to be quite far away. I usually try and travel with people. Often myself and my team mate Jenny would travel together. It makes it so much better.

Q: Were there learning moments in 2021 races and if so, what were they?
Charlotte: Many! I worked a lot with our team Psychologist Steve and I had some real breakthrough rides which on paper to others looked like nothing but meant a huge deal to me. Coming 2nd at Curlew was pretty big for me. I came 3rd there in ’19 and for a long time felt it was just a fluke. I proved to myself it wasn’t.

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021?
Charlotte: Only Scotland. I didn’t travel abroad this year. Working in healthcare, it wasn’t something I wanted to risk.

Q: If a young rider asked you to describe how a national level women’s road race unfolds, is there a common way the races are raced or does that depend on the course?
Charlotte: I think it depends on a few factors, things like the course, who’s racing, the weather. It is what you make it, especially with a team.

Q: During a race, is there a lot of team talk between you and teammates on what to do in certain situations during an ever changing race?
Charlotte: Yes and no. We do communicate and that’s really important but a lot of the plan is done before the race and then if changes need to be made on the road, there’s a lot of non- verbal communication I think.

Q: Do you go into a race nervous or intimated by other riders or do you have the confidence to hold you own (perhaps with the team support helping to give you that)?
Charlotte: I find that I get a lot of confidence from having the team around me. I think its natural to feel nerves.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or the race bike …
Charlotte: In the winter on a training bike and then in the summer we have the race bikes back. It takes me a while each time to get used to that change.

Q: Do you cross train at all, running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB?
Charlotte: I go to the gym. I ride off road. I ride horses. I do things with friends like Rock climbing for a laugh.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Charlotte: I have so many that I enjoy. I do love a good a good club run or ride with friends.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Charlotte: I try not to think like this anymore. I was always told I was a sprinter but I think that mindset that you are only good at one thing can be negative. I’m a bike racer, that’s it. Some of the races you wouldn’t think would suit you on paper you may end up doing well in.

Q: What are your tips for staying warm on a long winter ride?
Charlotte: Layers and lots of them. Buy good kit- its a good investment and a lot of it lasts a few years.

Q: What are goals for 2022
Charlotte: To finally win Curlew for sure after coming 2nd and 3rd before.



Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK