Quiz Time! Kate Richardson (Alba Development RT)

The Q&As continue with 19 year old Kate Richardson from Glasgow and who races for Alba Development Road Team in 2022. After five years on the British Triathlon Performance Pathway, Kate crossed over to cycling in July 2021

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Quiz Time! Kate Richardson (Alba Development RT)

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Kate: Whilst competing in triathlon, I began to enter occasional bike races to gain more experience and get in some extra racing. Initially it was Road Time Trialling and my first race was the Scottish National Youth Championships in 2017 which I won. That gave me the motivation and confidence to race more and my interest in bike racing really grew from there.

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?
Kate: Since making the switch from triathlon, I’ve quickly realised how much I love this sport and I’m hugely grateful to Bob Lyons for giving me the opportunity to join such an ambitious, focused and professionally run team for my first season in cycling. My goals for 2022 are to help Alba Development Road Team establish itself as a force within the women’s peloton and personally, to race and gain as much experience as possible on road and track.

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?
Kate: I think there were pros and cons to 2020. It was frustrating that you couldn’t get out and see anyone for long periods and that there was no racing but, at the same time, there were no distractions and it allowed me to really focus on training. I was still on the triathlon pathway at that point and initially there were issues with pool access but that was resolved pretty quickly and I was fortunate to have a really good set up at home. So, overall, 2020 was a good year training wise. The issue was the lack of racing. In fact the only race I did in 2020 was a bike race; The RTTC British Hill Climb Championships in Streatley, where I finished 3rd junior.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season
Kate: I was definitely stronger coming out of 2020. I was in great shape and really motivated for the coming season. My setback didn’t occur until March of this year when I contracted Covid-19 and my training was seriously disrupted for over three months.

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Kate: Having made the switch to cycling in July, it took me a two or three months to adjust to all the changes and in the end my season was very short. I was lucky though to get some races in during September and October and without doubt the highlight for me race wise was the British Road Race Championships in Lincoln. I loved that the Road Race, Time Trial and Circuit Champs had all been combined into what seemed like a festival event. There was a real buzz the whole time, everything was fantastically organised and the crowds that turned out were really inspiring, particularly for the road race because it was a horrific day weather wise. I absolutely loved the whole experience and had a strong ride finishing 30th overall and 10th U23.

Q: What gives you the biggest buzz and motivation when out training in the cold and damp?
Kate: I don’t think it’s just one race. I’ve been committed to sport pretty much since I was 9 years old. I started off playing tennis before moving onto athletics then triathlon and cycling. I think my highlight as a youth, which gave me the motivation and confidence to believe that I could really progress in sport, was when I won the Scottish National Road Time Trial title at Monikie in 2017. By winning that race, I became a current national champion in athletics, triathlon and cycling and it gave me the belief and drive to push on and do everything I could to maximise my potential as an athlete.

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?
Kate: Lincoln for the British Championships is as far as I travelled this year but I definitely see travel as an enjoyable part of the process and make sure that it’s as much a part of planning as anything else. It’s important to leave plenty of time and to find the right accommodation so there’s as little disruption to routine as possible.

Q: How much training (hours and/or days) do you do in a given week in the winter and how does that different from the summer when you are racing?
Kate: I’m currently studying Physiology, Sports Science and Nutrition at The University of Glasgow and, on average, train 20-25 hours per week. That’s been the case for the last two or three years. To be honest, with triathlon, it’s the same summer and winter with short taper periods pre race. I’m learning with cycling that there’s so much more racing than in tri so that in summer, a lot of the training load is racing which sounds infinitely more enjoyable.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or a race bike …
Kate: Currently, I have an old Scott which I use on the turbo and I ride my race bike on the road with training wheels

Q: Do you cross train at all (running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB)
Kate: In triathlon that’s all I did; swim, bike, run, gym. Now, I do two gym sessions per week and include one or two runs. Swimming, I don’t miss in the slightest!

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Kate: Either the Campsie Hills just north west of Glasgow or west from Stirling into the Trossachs

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Kate: I think it’s a little early to say. Before switching from tri, I’d done a few Time Trials and Hill Climbs and had managed to win youth national titles in both. I’ve only raced half a dozen road races and track and circuit racing are completely new to me. I love them all. My aim is to be as strong as I can be across all disciplines

Q: Of the races you have done so far, what is the most enjoyable even on the British calendar?
Kate: As I mentioned earlier, the British Championships in Lincoln in October wins that prize for me currently. It was a fantastic experience!

Q: What will be the one big race you really want to be part of in 2022?
Kate: To be perfectly honest, after the last two seasons, I’m just looking forward to racing generally. I’m really excited for 2022 and to be racing with Alba.

Q: Finally, who do you want to thank for helping you get to this point in your cycling career
Kate: My parents and my brother Tom have been hugely supportive of my journey in sport so far. They’ve given so much of their time and energy to help me progress that there’s no way I’d have got to this stage without them. Financially, neither triathlon nor cycling are inexpensive sports and without my parents help in that regard, I’d be nowhere. Coaching wise, I’ll always be grateful to my first cycling coach, Kevin Henderson at Blackzone Coaching. Kevin started coaching me when I was 13 and I learned a lot from him about professionalism, commitment and intensity. Equally, my current coach, Evan Oliphant, who I’ve been working with for the last 3 years, has really helped me develop my potential but has also taught me that, although it’s vitally important to work hard, it’s just as important to be able to switch off and recover. Evan is a great rider, a great coach and also one of the most laid back people I’ve ever met. Balance is everything.


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