Quiz Time! Maddie Gammons (Saint Piran)

Question and answer with 22 year old Maddie Gammons from Nottinghamshire who has been racing for ten years already after a Go-ride session at school

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Quiz Time! Maddie Gammons (Saint Piran)

Question and answer with 22 year old Maddie Gammons from Nottinghamshire who has been racing for ten years already after a Go-ride session at school. “We did some racing and I beat the boys so that sparked my interest for racing” says Maddie.

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Maddie: 2020 was a god send for me. In 2019, I felt so behind the pace, I lost the enjoyment of racing. 2020 gave me motivation as it allowed me to get the consistent training I needed to be back up there.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no races?
Maddie: Definitely a lot stronger both mentally and physically!

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Maddie:  This is a really tough one! It’s a toss up between 5th in the Curlew Cup National Series and 5th in the final stage of the Ras Na Mban.

Q: What race in your career is the one that still gives you the biggest buzz?
Maddie:  On the road it has to be the Tour De Yorkshire, with so many friends and family coming to support me and racing against the best in the world was surreal. In cyclocross, it has to be racing around the famous motor racing circuit at Spa- Francorchamps!

Q: Were there learning moments in 2021 races and if so, what were they?
Maddie: The biggest thing I took away from 2021 was that I had to learn to back myself. There were so many missed opportunities at the beginning of the year purely because I didn’t have the confidence to put myself in the right place.

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021?
Maddie:  Kilkenny, Ireland for the Ras Na Mban (although it took longer to get to Castle Douglas for Tour Series!)

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?
Maddie: It heavily depends on the course. If it’s hilly, the race is usually savage and turns into a race of attrition. If it’s flat, it’s usually a bit more tame and tends to be ridden for 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?
Maddie: It depends on the team, you tend to notice the more experienced riders acting as a road captain and advising the less experienced riders on the team on where to be or how to play it.

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?
Maddie: I have never been one to put other riders on a pedestal as I strongly believe that everyone is beatable. The race nerves in the beginning of 2021 have more been to do with a lack of confidence in my ability. I felt like by the end of this season I was back to full confidence to be racing for the win.

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?
Maddie:  In general, yes, because there’s no need to taper into races over the winter, a lot more volume can be done.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or the race bike?
In the summer, I always train on my race bike to keep my position the same but over winter I tend to ride a winter bike. It makes you feel a million times better come spring when the race bike comes out.

Q: Do you cross train at all, running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB ?
Maddie: This winter I’ve started doing a bit of running and spent a lot more time in the gym. In a normal year, I would race cyclocross too but after such a long road season, I’ve made the tough decision to give that a miss this year.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Maddie: Living by the Peak district means there are millions of great routes. In general, I love heading into the Peaks via Wessington and then down Beeley Moor, maybe venturing through Chatsworth and back through Bakewell.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Maddie: I’d class myself as a sprinter so flat road races and crits are the races that suit me best. I’ve been trying to turn my hand to time trialling a bit more since lockdown but it still needs a bit more work yet!

Q: What are your tips for staying warm on a long winter ride?
Maddie: Get some good neoprene gloves and always make sure you have spare layers. A good pair of overshoes never goes a miss!

Q: What are goals for 2022
Maddie: I’m looking forward to getting back over and racing on the continent so a decent result over there would be nice. Although the main aims are to podium in Tour Series and National Series.

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?
Maddie: 100%! For Jenny and Ricci to provide us with equal support to the mens team is really impressive. We’ve got a few training weekends planned to help split up the winter and get some quality training in with our new team and keep us focused. The motivation from having a cohesive team that I believe will be able to work strongly together is unbelievable.



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