Quiz time: Corinne Side

Question and answer with the talented 21 year old Corinne Side of the Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen women’s team who was third in the British circuit race championships despite tumbling over Abi Smith onto the cobbles

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Quiz time: Corinne Side

Question and answer with the talented 21 year old Corinne Side of the Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes presented by Heidi Kjeldsen women’s team who was third in the British circuit race championships despite tumbling over Abi Smith onto the cobbles. Corinne, from Bury, Lancashire, has been racing since she was 10, so around 11 years. Corrine admits though she has only done senior races for four years (including covid and lots of time out for exams) so some of the National Series races are still new to her!

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Corinne: I have always loved outdoor sports and was a slalom ski racer for around 10 years but only used to recreationally ride a bike with my family. When I was 9, I went to watch a Track World Cup at Manchester Velodrome with my family and friends and thought it was really cool, so me and my sister joined my local club, Bolton Hot Wheels CC, who introduced us to racing and I haven’t stopped since!

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Corinne:I did miss racing a lot in 2020, but I used the time to do adventures that I wouldn’t normally be able to do including riding the Coast to Coast in a day and riding down to Newquay in Cornwall from my house on our holiday. There were some big days in the saddle! Though I had a great time, I was very glad when racing started back up again.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no races?
Corinne:I’m not really sure as I didn’t have a power meter or a coach at the time so had no way of measuring where I was at. I was definitely very motivated and excited to race though.

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Corinne:2021 was a pretty amazing year. I got my first Senior National top 10 at Otley GP (5th) and pretty soon after got my first Senior National podium at Ryedale GP (3rd). I also experienced my first Tour Series and really enjoyed travelling and racing with the team- especially when we got to wear the leaders jerseys! However, a huge highlight has to be the National Crit Championships. I’d never done this race before or even finished a Senior National Champs so to get 3rd with Jo winning the title was really special. Jo has been coaching me since last June and I’ve learnt a huge amount since then, so to share the podium with her was the perfect end to the year.

Corrine crashing after finishing third in the British Circuit Race Championship. Amazing that Corrine was able to get up and appear on the podium after such a hard tumble onto the cobbles. Ouch!

Some of Corrine’s Results from 2021
3rd: British Circuit Race Championship
2nd: Wolds GP (National B Road Race, Women)
2nd: British Women’s Team Cup (E/1/2/3 Women) Hillingdon
1st: North West Women’s Tour
3rd: Ryedale GP (Women)
1st: British Womens Team Cup (Bovingdon)
2nd: The Crown Cup (Women)
5th: The Spatz Otley Women’s Grand Prix
5th: Yorkshire Test Event (2/3/4 Women)
3rd: Cycle Sport Pendle Women’s 2/3/4

Q: What race in your career is the one that still gives you the biggest buzz?
Corinne:It has to be the 2021 National Champs; being part of a Lincoln based team, it was amazing having a home crowd and was made even better by the teams success at the race with two podium places. Even though I didn’t get to race the road race due to crash injuries after the crit finish, standing on Michaelgate watching Poppy attack and the rest of the girls all doing amazing rides was such a proud moment- I’ve never cheered so hard in my life!

Q: The team has been very successful in 2021, what event was the most fun to do with the team?
Corinne:One of my favourite events has to be the Tour Series. It was my first time doing the series and I didn’t know what to expect at all but I had such a good time travelling around with the team and riding in the leaders jerseys for two rounds just topped it off. I can’t wait to do it again this year!

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?
Corinne:We travel and stay together when we can depending on the location of the race. It’s always a lot of fun when we can stay together and keeps the morale high.

Q: Were there learning moments in 2021 races and if so, what were they?
Corinne: There were a lot of learning moments in 2021. It was my first year working together in races with other riders in a team environment and I saw straight away how it produced results. Just being around the team last year, I learnt a lot both on and off the bike, including nutrition, team tactics and having confidence to get through the bunch.

Corrine, right, on the podium at the prestigious Ryedale Grand Prix in 2021. Becky Storey (2nd) and Illi Gardner (1st) the other two riders

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021?
Corinne:I was lucky enough to go to Ireland for the Ras na mBan with the team which was an amazing experience and my first senior international race. I’m fortunate to live not too far away from a lot of the National Series so the furthest by car was probably two crits I did at the Redbridge Circuit near London which is a 10 hour round trip.

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?
Corinne:I think it depends on the course, certain races usually end up in a bunch sprint while others are more attritional.

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?
Corinne:We have pretty good communication within the team. Before the race, we’ll always have a team talk and during the race we communicate when it’s needed. I think especially toward the end of last year we got pretty good at knowing what we needed to do without talking sometimes!

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?
Corinne:I used to get very nervous before races but having the team supporting me last year really improved that. It’s great to have a group of people around you to take your mind off the nerves and just having a laugh! There’s also never any pressure put on us to get results so it helps keep the start of the races more relaxed.

Q: How much training (hours and/or days) do you do in a given week in winter and summer when you are racing?
Corinne:My training can vary a lot week to week. I’m in my final year of university so a lot of the winter and start of race season has to fit around my timetable and assessments. This is my first winter with a coach, so it’s helped a lot taking the pressure off planning my own training as well. In the summer holidays, I usually have more time to ride so that’s just fitting training around the race calendar.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or the race bike …
Corinne:I’ve always trained on a heavier winter bike so when it comes to getting back on the Redchilli race bike there’s a huge morale boost!

Q: Do you cross train at all, running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB
Corinne:I have really good strength and conditioning sessions provided by the Uni scholar scheme in Derby and found they’ve helped me a huge amount. I also sometimes dust off my MTB if it snows for a bit of an adventure.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Corinne:I always love coming back to home roads in the hills around Bury, but I do enjoy exploring new roads so sometimes go up to the Forest of Bowland to ride, the views can be pretty amazing.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Corinne:Before last year, I’d always said that the hillier the race the better, however I’m not really sure after last year! My best results were in the really attritional hilly races and also flat punchy crits, so we’ll see how 2022 goes.

Q: What are your tips for staying warm on a long winter ride?
Corinne:Wear lots of layers and always take a spare layer to put on if it gets colder or in case you get a mechanical.

Q: What are goals for 2022
Corinne:The first few months will just be tackling finishing Uni alongside racing, then I can get fully stuck into racing and enjoy being a full time rider through summer.

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