Quiz Time: Emma Smith (Alba Development Road Team)

Plenty more Q&As from the Women’s peloton – today’s is with Emma Smith of Scotland’s Alba Development Road Team who had a go at a Scottish national series race a few years ago and enjoyed it so much, she’s still racing!

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Quiz Time: Emma Smith (Alba Development Road Team)

In this Q & A, VeloUK quizzes Emma Smith (Alba Development Road Team), who has been racing for about four years and who says her life is shared between Scotland and Ireland. Emma says she got hooked by bike racing when she tried a women’s Scottish national series race after cycling for about a year and happened to get in the break. “I really enjoyed it!” Emma says and is still racing.

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?
Emma: Racing in some of the bigger races on the national scene and having team mates, support and sponsors. And learning from all their racing experiences!

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?
Emma: I managed to do a number of crits / local races in Ireland from July onwards which was great!
I also don’t mind cycling by myself at all, as I also use it as a welcome escape from my work!

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?
Emma: I found it useful to gain some more exposure and experience in the races that did happen. I just kept riding my bike throughout, and had a good end of season racing, as well as winter training!

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Emma: Racing in some ‘men’s’ races and doing reasonably well!

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?
Emma: I think the first race I ever did!

Q: What’s the furthest you have traveled 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?
Emma: Probably the combination of a two hour ferry plus a six hour drive with a car puncture in the middle. Don’t mind travelling at all though. Having grown up on the north coast of Ireland and competing with ponies across the country and mainland, I have always been used to long drives! From north coast Ireland or Aberdeen, everywhere is pretty far 😅

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?
Emma: I think around 12-14 hrs per week in general. Depending on what is happening, maybe slightly less in summer.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or a race bike …
Emma: A variety! Sometimes still use the first bike I ever got.

Q: Do you cross train at all (running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB)
Emma: I used to do quite a lot of running, but not much anymore.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Emma: Two favourites! North coast Ireland and Deeside Aberdeenshire

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Emma: Probably slightly longer races, and road over crits.

Q: Of the races you have done so far, what is the most enjoyable even on the British calendar?
Emma: I haven’t done very many in England. I attempted the Cicle Classic last year which was a really fun and different type of course! I always really enjoy the Sally Ann Low RR up in Aviemore, such a welcoming environment there.

Q: What will be the one big race you really want to be part of in 2022?
Emma:  🤔 Not just one, but would love to be able to do all three national champs road races – Scottish, Irish and British! That would be brilliant!

Q: Finally, who do you want to thank for helping you get to this point in your cycling career
Emma: Bob and Elaine Lyons for being the absolute kindest, positive and most supportive people since I met them several years ago! Eternally grateful! 💝. Jill Prabucki / Mark Heady for giving me my first ever bike following a short chat in work one day, after I had just run a marathon 😆. All the guys from Peterculter group rides for supporting me and not minding that I (the only female in the group) cycle with them all over the NE of Scotland the past few years! Mark and Ruth Johnston for being the best supporters, mechanics and everything in between, back in Northern Ireland



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