Road convert Annie Simpson has answered a few questions for us now she’s hit the end of her first road season.
If you could sum up for your first season on the road in one sentence, what would it be?
A hard and eye opening season of learning and adjusting to the life of a road rider.
What is the most important thing you have learnt this year?
Well I’ve learnt so much but one of my main things is positioning in a bunch. It has caught me out so many times this year in races, and my best races have been when I have got positioning correct.
What is the biggest goal for 2011 as things stand?
I really have got the bug to win a race and with all my sign sprinting in Belgium I have a winning celebration dialled. I’ll definitely be looking to rip up some UK races in 2011 and hopefully progress this on to a kermesse win later in the year.
What will you do differently this winter to prepare for 2011?
My 2010 winter was far from perfect really. Freshers year at uni definitely got the better of me. But this year I am definitely going to add a lot more structure to my winter, and refrain from partying as much. I had a lot of trouble with my knee last winter, having lots of physio, but it seems so much stronger now, which means I’ll be able to train without this issue. I missed a lot of hours training because of it last year, and its nice to think this wont be an issue this year. I have a new coach lined up and I’m looking forward to getting on my new program after a short break.
What was the best race for you this year?
The race that stands out to me the most from this year was stage 3 of Tour of Limousin. My starting position was great and I managed to stay in the main peleton until around 25k to go. On such a hilly day I felt very good, and this stage made me realise that I have the ability to be up there in these pro races. So with a little bit more strength and knowledge I look forward to preparing properly for these races next year.
Long term, what do you want achieve in road cycling now you’ve been involved with it for a year?
I really want to progress to the top of Women’s cycling, hopefully with Horizon Fitness. I love being a part of the team and working to place our riders at the top of some of the best races in the World gives you a great feeling.
Who is your biggest inspiration in the sport?
Probably Lizzie Armitstead, not only is she from the same place as me but she is also my friend and to see her progress to the top of the sport is pretty inspirational I think. She is very consistent in racing but at same time so down to earth, and one of the funniest people I know.
Do you miss MTB?
I miss playing around on my mountain bike and riding trails but not the racing really. I find it easier to deal with the pressure of a road race than that of a mountain bike race. Hopefully I’ll get chance this winter to train a bit on my mountain bike, as it’s so much easier to do longer rides in the freezing cold on a MTB.