Quiz Time: Arianne Holland

Quiz time with Arianne Holland of the Alba Road Team who comes from Fife in Scotland and is currently studying at University in Edinburgh – 2021 was her first season bike racing!

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Quiz Time: Arianne Holland

Quiz time with Arianne Holland of the Alba Road Team who comes from Fife in Scotland and is currently studying at University in Edinburgh – 2021 was her first season bike racing!

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Arianne: I was primarily a runner up until 2021 however I used to commute to uni by bike and when I picked up a few running injuries, cycling was usually my go to for cross training. I bought a second hand road bike to upgrade my commuter and I just started really enjoying it. During lockdown, I had a lot more time and therefore started heading out on my bike a bit more, and then joined a local club after lockdown who introduced me to chain gangs and encouraged me to race. I absolutely loved it, and here I am!

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?
Arianne: Goals for 2022 are to keep progressing with my racing and get stuck in with everything I can, and I’m super excited to do this as part of such an amazing team. For the majority of 2021, I was still running alongside the bike riding, so I’m really motivated to put in some solid training on the bike and see where focusing on the bike takes me. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the other girls develop. The team is developed around supporting each individual and every girl in it is seriously strong – I think there will be some big things to come in 2022! I love the kit also, and being Scottish, I’m so excited that the kit mirrors the team’s Scottish roots so well.

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?
Arianne: As I only really started cycling more during 2020, I wasn’t impacted so much by the gap in racing, in fact it probably benefited me as lock-down made me realise how much I loved being on the bike. My Dad and I would go out for fairly long rides on the super quiet roads – it was great! Now I have tasted what racing has to offer, I definitely think I would have missed it, although I do just enjoy training itself so I’m more motivated by the process rather than the races themselves.

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?
Arianne: I definitely came out of 2020 stronger, although I didn’t really have anything to compare it to before!

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Arianne: It was a year of firsts for me. First crit, first road race, first experience of national series races, first experience of nationals themselves in Lincoln. It’s quite hard to pick a highlight really!

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?
Arianne: The National road race champs at Lincoln this year is probably what has given me the biggest motivation. Riding in a peloton of that standard really inspired me to get training so that next year I’m ready for it. I know I have a lot of catching up to do with coming to the bike a little later but Lincoln really made me realise how much I want to race my bike. I’ve never experienced anything like the atmosphere going up Michaelgate before; it was mad!

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?
I went to BUCS (University) hill climb champs in Loughborough. A distance of 600 miles & 12 hours of driving for a 3 minute race. In terms of time spent travelling to time spent racing it was a bit sad, but I love weekends away racing and especially hill climbs. I just wish it had been steeper!

Q: How much training (hours and/or days) do you do in a given week in the winter and how does that differe from the summer when you are racing?
Arianne: I cant compare to anything previous really as I was still running up until not very long ago. I think winter training will be around 12 hours ish on the bike a week. I’m currently balancing training around the final year of a veterinary degree which is busy but I really enjoy the balance.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or a race bike …
Arianne: I have a cross bike that I will probably convert to a winter road bike, alongside my current road bike. Although that will probably become a training bike in 2022, thanks to the amazing support from Alba in providing us all with some ridiculously nice race bikes for next year.

Q: Do you cross train at all (running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB)
Arianne: I really enjoy gym work and find it compliments keeping everything strong well. I haven’t run in a couple months now. I really enjoyed hill running so I might find myself up a hill again at some point, but I’m really enjoying the bike at the minute so I’m not missing it too much.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Arianne: My Dad is from Orkney, so I spent some of the summer up there on placement staying with my grandparents. On a sunny day with no wind (a rarity!) you can’t beat a west mainland loop up there! From Edinburgh, I love heading down to the Borders where there’s a lot of really nice quiet roads and hills. I’ve also done a lot of running in the Alps, and I would really love to ride my bike there.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Arianne: Something hilly, the longer and steeper the climb the better.

Q: Of the races you have done so far, what is the most enjoyable on the British calendar?
Arianne: It depends on what you think of as enjoyable. I probably have a bit of a skewed view as I love a hill climb, which is probably not everyone’s idea of enjoyable!

Q: What will be the one big race you really want to be part of in 2022?
Arianne: I’m really looking forward to seeing what races are in the national series. I’m also really looking forward to the Tour Series. I followed it this year and it looked incredible with such a good atmosphere and fast racing.

Q: Finally, who do you want to thank for helping you get to this point in your cycling career
Arianne: I have been really fortunate that I have met a lot of lovely people in my short time in cycling, and everyone has been super supportive and helpful. I have to thank the guys in my local club for encouraging me to race, and the girls I have met through racing for being so welcoming and helpful.

My Mum and Dad are amazing, they support me fully in whatever I do and I definitely owe my Dad a lot of coffee as he was stuck as my training partner during lockdown. I also owe a lot of thanks to my boyfriend Gregor. He used to do a bit of cycling and he has put up with my 10,000 questions as well as helping me with anything bike maintenance wise.

I also have to thank Bob Lyons, as without him we wouldn’t have this incredible opportunity. I can only begin to imagine the hard work both him and his wife Elaine have put in to make this team happen, and I am so grateful to have been selected as one of the riders to be a part of it.


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