Unsung Heroes: I wrote to Sir Dave for work experience, and that's what I got - Total Women's Cycling

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Unsung Heroes: I wrote to Sir Dave for work experience, and that’s what I got

Want to do something? This teenager shows us sometimes you've just got to get up and do it!

It’s not only the pros you can be inspired by. Anneha Kaye is a Yorkshire girl living in the French Alps who has big ambitions and a big heart for all things on two wheels.

Last summer, she wrote to Sir Dave Brailsford, and asked for work experience with Team Sky. He was so bowled over, and soon Anneha’s dream came true. Whilst working alongside the team, she was able to pick up a wealth of incredible memories and some amazing new friends.

Inspired by her can-do attitude, TWC contributor Beth Hodge got in touch to find out more about this passionate teen… 

What inspired you to get into cycling?

My dad inspired me to start cycling because he did a charity bike ride for Help for Heroes, from our little town in the French Alps all the way to Nice. Bradley Wiggins winning the 2012 Tour de France was also a big inspiration to me being a British rider I could identify with. I’m so glad I did start, because the sense of achievement you get when reach the top of a Col is really good.

Now, I would like to become a professional cyclist or work as a physio with Team Sky when I am older.

Do you feel it has been harder for you to get used to riding a road bike because you live in the mountains?

I have always lived in France and so I don’t really know any different, but I think it was probably easier for me to get used to road biking living in the mountains as there are not many cars around. There are lots of cycle paths in the base of the valleys which helped when I was learning to use clipless pedals. I think the only downside is I had to cycle mountains sooner than I would have done in the UK, because otherwise those cycle paths start to get a bit boring!

With Daniel Taklehaimnot of MTB Quebeka Anneha likes to climb – maybe she’ll wear her own spotty jersey one day?

What is the best ride you have done yet?

I think my most memorable ride yet is riding up Alpe d’Huez on the day the 2015 Tour de France went up. The atmosphere was brilliant, especially on Dutch Corner. Alpe d’Huez is situated near Bourg d’Oisans in the Rhone Alps. It is 13,5 km long and elevates 1050 m. The full ride though ended up being 50 km long. There are 21 bends in total, and its gradient averages at 8.5%. It goes to 14% in some places which gets pretty tough. The crowds were amazing though and I felt like I was in the race myself.

What it was like on work experience with Team Sky? And who did you get to meet?

I have met most pro cyclists because me and my Dad go to see lots of the pro races in France. I’ve got some really good memories though from meeting them, and it’s amazing to be able to do so. Mark Cavendish likes to have a laugh, and Chris Froome always has a quick chat. Even Sir Dave Brailsford comes over and says ‘Hi’ when he sees me, and Daniel Teklehaimnot (MTN Quebeka) gave me his podium flowers when he got the polka dot jersey.

I was very lucky to go on work experience with Team Sky, it was really amazing. I did 3 days with Team Sky and 1 day with Team GB. I went on the track in Manchester and met the women and mens pursuit teams.

Anneha with the Team GB squad

I was tasked with labelling up the new team kit with the riders names, and saw the Team GB Olympic kit. I would love to do it all again!

My favourite rider has got to be Chris Froome because he is a really down to earth man and really relaxed. He also takes time for his fans, and signs a lot of autographs and so on.

What piece of advice would you give to someone your age who would like to try and get into cycling?

I would buy myself an entry level road bike to start with and if you enjoy it you can always upgrade. I would join a club to learn to ride in a group. The main thing is to enjoy it.

It’s always great to hear from from women and girls who just love to cycle. For more insiring stories – check out: 

“Women Can’t Ride the Tour de France”? This Lady Did it Twice – for her Father

Interview: Adventurer Rickie Cotter Talks Freedom, and Almost Snorting Energy Powder

Unsung Heroes: Halfords’ Commercial Director Emma Fox on Saddles & Safety

 

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