Q&A: Sophie Enever (Alba Development Road Team 2022)

Quiz time with 22 year old Sophie Enever (Alba Development Road Team 2022) who lives in Northumberland and has been racing since 2014.

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q&A: Sophie Enever (Alba Development Road Team 2022)

Quiz time with 22 year old Sophie Enever (Alba Development Road Team 2022) who lives in Northumberland and has been racing since 2014 and says she can’t believe it’s been seven years already. Sophie says she started cycling after her dad had a knee operation. “He used cycling to build up his strength so I kept him company. I then joined my local club and it all started from there” Sophie explains.

Q: Starting a new season in a new team with a very distinctive look – what are the goals for 2022 wearing the new colours and what’s the most exciting thing for you joining the new team?
Sophie: I am really excited about joining this team. I like what they stand for and how they would like to progress in women’s cycling. I think they give a great foundation for us to progress and achieve our personal goals whilst still working as a team. Not to mention the bike we will be riding is beautiful!

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing and socialising with cycling friends or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Sophie: Looking back, I did enjoy 2020. At the time I was very frustrated as it was a year of racing I will never get back. Only being 20, it was a year lost to prove myself and progress. However I spent quality time with family/friends and grew a strong training base without any injury, which I think helped me in 2021.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no road races?
Sophie: I don’t think the lack of racing affected me too much physically. However, I definitely noticed the peloton was more nervous in the early races of 2021 with lots of crashes, as everyone was getting back into the swing of things.

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Sophie: My clear highlight of 2021 was the Tour D l’Ardeche (classic French stage race for women). Although finishing 40th overall doesn’t look like much on paper. I was proud of my performance over the seven days considering how tough this race is. It has really given me confidence in myself for the future.

Q: What race in your career is the one that still gives you the biggest buzz and motivation when out training in the cold and damp?
Sophie: I guess I have couple for different reasons. When I first finished a UCI stage race ( Tour de Feminine in the Czech Republic) I was only 17, so this kept me motivated to keep racing. Now it’s probably either ‘Le Saymn’ (Belgium) as it was an epic race on wet cobbles, or Tour l’Ardeche (France) with the hairpin climbs and technical descents. I like to think putting the grind down in winter makes these races more enjoyable.

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021 and is travel a chore or a joy (seeing pastures new) to do when going to a bike race?
Sophie: I think the furthest race was in the South of France as most my races were in Belgium. Travelling has to be one of the highlights of the sport for me! I love discovering new places.

Q: How much training (hours and/or days) do you do in a given week in the winter and how does that differ from the summer when you are racing?
Sophie: On average in winter I would do around 13hrs on the bike and a couple hours of gym a week. This ramps up after January until the season starts normally. During the race season typically I would do less hours because of travelling and resting, although if I have a gap in racing I would do a good block of training.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or a race bike?
Sophie: I try to stay on my race bike for as long as possible! Then once the weather turns, I go onto my winter bike as I don’t mind it getting wrecked on the mucky roads. I also think it’s good to train on a heavier bike in winter as it makes the race bike feel amazing!

Q: Do you cross train at all (running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB)?
Sophie: I like to fit in two gym sessions a week. Before I was a cyclist, I was a swimmer, so I occasionally enjoy going to the pool too.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Sophie: Around the Cote d’Azur in France where the roads are stunning! However sometimes nothing beats a summers day on home roads.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Sophie: Anything with climbing in really and a reduced bunch sprint. I used to really hate hills so it’s funny that they are now my strength in cycling.

Q: Of the races you have done so far, what is the most enjoyable even on the British calendar?
Sophie: The Women’s Tour of Scotland was an epic race. At the time I don’t think I was enjoying it so much in the torrential rain though!

Q: What will be the one big race you really want to be part of in 2022?
Sophie: I’m not sure of our exact calendar just yet. However I have always wanted to race the Women’s Tour in Britain. Being part of Le Tour de France Femmes is also a dream of mine so hopefully in the future I will also race this.

Q: Finally, who do you want to thank for helping you get to this point in your cycling career?
Sophie: It has to be my parents. Without their constant support I would never be where I am. Only as I get older do I realise and appreciate how much time, effort and money they have put in to help me.

My thanks to Sophie for her time in doing this question and answer and good luck in 2022!


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