Quiz Time: Gwenno Hughes (Saint Piran)

New to the team in 2022 is 22 year old Welsh rider Gwenno Hughes who lives in Manchester and has been racing since she was 13

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Quiz Time: Gwenno Hughes (Saint Piran)

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Gwenno: I was inspired after watching the London 2012 Olympics. My French school teacher let me borrow his road bike to practice and from there I joined a local club and one of the members, Ifor Philips, coached me and got me started.

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Gwenno: It was disappointing having trained hard in the winter and then to not have any races but I enjoyed exploring more local roads and the sunny weather we had kept me motivated.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no races?
Gwenno:I think I came out stronger, I got more time to focus on aerobic training and enjoyed the racing in 2021 more after having a year of no racing!

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Gwenno: I’d say 6th at the Loughborough circuit race (Jose Gilbert Memorial Trophy) and getting a personal best in 10 mile time trial after breaking my collarbone.

Q: What race in your career is the one that still gives you the biggest buzz?
Gwenno: Any circuit race which has spectators banging on the boards. There was a band in Otley which really fun!

Q: Were there learning moments in 2021 races and if so, what were they?
Gwenno: Not to race if I’m too tired from placement, my reaction time possibly was to blame which led to me breaking my collarbone at Otley GP.

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021?
Gwenno: Northumberland for Curlew Cup.

Q: If a younger 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?
Gwenno: I think it depends on the course. If it’s hilly, the pace really increases before the hill for positioning and if it’s not, certain riders mark each other. It is always hectic and maybe a bit dangerous towards the end in a bunch sprint! 😂

Q: During a race, do you find there is a lot of talk between riders in the same team to deal with changes in the race like breaks going, key points in the course approaching and the finish coming fast?
Gwenno: I’ve seen one or two teams or 1 or 2 riders within the team do this and when it works its really nice. I hope we can do this collectively in 2022.

Q: Do you go into a race nervous or intimated by other riders or do you have the confidence to hold you own and race the race confidently in your own style?
Gwenno: I certainly go into races nervous but when the adrenaline is flowing, I don’t let other riders tell me what to do too much haha!

Q: Do you train more in a given week in winter than what you do in summer when there is a lot of racing and travelling?
Gwenno: I think it depends on what else I have on during the week such as Uni placements etc!

Q: Do you train on a training bike or the race bike …
Gwenno: I train on a winter bike.

Q: Do you cross train at all, running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB?
Gwenno: Gym during the winter to gain some strength. Although I am currently doing some training for a half marathon before the racing season starts.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Gwenno: Just over the bridge from home, Snowdonia.

Q: What type of race suits you best? (Time Trial, Circuit Race, Hilly or Flat road races)
Gwenno: I enjoy a fast circuit race and a flat windy race. I enjoy the occasional time trial too.

Q: What are your tips for staying warm on a long winter ride?
Gwenno: Headband over your ears or some sort of cap as a lot of body heat leaves through your head!

Q: What are goals for 2022
Gwenno: I want to particularly do well in National Crits and the Tour Series. I’d like to race in as many International races with the team as I can and to help my teammates win!

Q: It has been said a change is as good as a holiday – is coming to Saint Piran something that you can use to motivate yourself during winter training?
Gwenno: I am definitely more motivated this winter knowing I’m joining such a strong group of girls but also the work the team managers/DS has put in, I want to make sure I am on good form and getting results for the staff and sponsors!


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