Laura Trott is embarking upon a new year with Matrix Fitness Pro Team and says despite her immense achievements she still feels like a "little girl" sometimes.
The National Road Race Champion and double Olympic Champion is entering the team as an inspiration to fellow riders, as well as amateurs across the country. However, she still felt nervous meeting new team mates, and told us: “Everyone says “You’re Laura Trott, you’re not nervous", but I am really nervous meeting new people."
She added: “It’s weird, Harriet Owen, who is on the team and I’ve known her for absolutely years, and I were getting changed earlier. She was like “It is nuts for them [other team members] cos when you walk into a room they’re like “It’s Laura Trott" but it doesn’t seem like that to me. It’s weird cos I feel like I’m still that little girl that grew up with Harriet."
The move has gone well and she said: “It already feels like a team, they were really welcoming and really, it’s like a real comfort thing, to know whenever you’re there [with the team] there are really nice, friendly faces."
Trott has taken her role model position in her stride, and said: “If I can help them in any which way then that’s great – anything I can give back to the sport, that’s what I want to do."
One of Laura’s first races with the team will be in Tour of Flanders – the cobbled one day classic which she called “a bit scary", saying: “I don’t know what possessed me to commit to it, but I’m going to do it, if I don’t, they won’t allow me to do it next year in case I crash before Rio or whatever… it’ll be quite scary."
Trott’s reasons for joining Matrix Fitness were multiple. She said: “The main reason in joining Matrix is they obviously do let me have time to go on the track which is really important, and trying to find a UCI team that allows you to do that is pretty difficult."
She added: “Also, I want to give something back to the sport, and inspire the next generation to come through and to ride bikes and I think what Matrix do as a company, not even as a cycling team, is massive, they sponsor the Women’s Tour, they sponsor the Tour series, which is televised, and I think what they do in encouraging women to get out on their bikes and enjoy what we do is huge and I want to be a part of that."
Asked what else could be done to grow women’s pro cycling, she said races needed “to be on TV a lot more" to attract sponsors, saying: “I think we need bigger sponsors and [televised races] are the only way you can get that if it is out there in the big wide world."
She also suggested more women’s races in tandem with men’s, as per La Course, saying: “The crowds were already there and obviously to grow the sport you need to get interest in it and I think that would be a great way of doing it."
Rio is, above all, the number one goal, and Laura and Jason's wedding will definitely be after the Olympics. She said: "It's always in the back of your mind, it has been since about 3 years ago when London finished, but I don’t really ever feel that pressured, I think its more the pressure I put on myself."
We spoke to Laura at the Matrix Fitness Pro Cycling Team launch yesterday- read more about the team here.