Interview: Laura Trott, a new chapter on the road

After her stunning debut at last year’s London Olympics, Laura Trott captured the hearts and minds of the world, a new ‘golden girl’ for a nation in need of sporting heroines.

The 2012 Olympics showed the world what Laura can do on the track, what will 2013 hold for her on the road?

This year sees the prodigiously talented cyclist embark on a new journey under the tutelage of Rochelle Gilmore, with the freshly created Wiggle Honda women’s road racing team.

Never shy of a challenge, the 20-year-old cyclist from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire will continue to compete on the track whilst beginning a new chapter on the road.

Juliet Elliott caught up with a busy Laura to find out more.

Although Laura hasn’t raced with her Wiggle Honda team mates, she’s looking forward to a strong 2013.
This is an exciting year for women’s cycling with the launch of the Wiggle Team Honda and your decision to race on the road as well as the track. How’s it been going so far?

I haven’t raced with the team yet, I have only been with the girls at the team launch, which was really enjoyable and made me really look forward to the year ahead.

How are you coping with preparing for both road and track?

It’s easy for me this year, as track has ended a lot earlier than normal. So now I can fully focus on the road and hopefully have a good year.

Which event do you prefer, road or track?

Track. Who wouldn’t prefer the one that was indoors?

Transitioning from track to road, Laura thinks it’s too early to give comment on how her season will go.
Who do you see as your main rivals in both events?

On the track, Sarah Hammer and Annette Edmonson are my biggest rivals. On the road, I wouldn’t say I’m even in a league to have rivals, I think I need to just focus on what I can give back to the team to start with and go from there.

Do you think you’re on course for the Road World Championships?

Well it’s a bit early for me to comment on that. Lets see how I get on after I get my road legs back shall we?

Jason Kenny, Laura’s boyfriend and Olympic cyclist, try to keep their relationship cycling free.
Image by Jeffrouk.
Your boyfriend, Jason Kenny is also a cyclist. Do you and Jason discuss cycling all the time, or do you try and leave that at work?

We don’t really discuss it at all. If there’s something one of us needs to talk about then we will get it off our chest and then that’s it, we will leave it at that. We’re not with each other because we have cycling in common, so it doesn’t really come into conversation very often.

How important is winning to you? If not important, what is?

I like to win. I wouldn’t like to say it was important but I’m driven to win. I’m an athlete and at the end of the day we all want to win.

You’ve already inspired a lot of people, but what would you do to get more people on their bikes?

Well I think the growth of mass participation cycling events in the UK is a great sign that more and more people are getting on their bikes. That’s why I’ve recently agreed to work with the Prudential RideLondon event. I think by encouraging people to take part in events like this, it means more people can get the enjoyment out of cycling that I get.

You’ve managed to overcome some serious health issues, such as a collapsed lung. Has cycling helped you control your asthma and do you have any tips for other sufferers who are interested in cycling?

I wouldn’t say cycling helped my asthma; I took up swimming for that. I use my inhalers in the morning and then before I train to help my asthma. The only tip I would say is to try and keep in control. My asthma has never really been a problem for me.

Did you fall in love with cycling immediately?

I was eight when I started cycling and to be honest I didn’t fall in love with it straight away, I didn’t like the early mornings when all my friends were out playing in the street. But when I started winning my first few races and seeing how proud I made my mum and dad, that was it, I loved it.

Laura started competing when she was 8-years-old, a sporty child she has had to battle asthma and a collapsed lung.
What was your first competitive event like?

I started competing in the track league down at Welwyn Garden City when I was eight; track was the first type of cycling that I took up. It wasn’t really scary, it was just good fun. It wasn’t very serious as I was only young but it was nice to be doing something with my family.

Did you know you were really good at cycling or was it a bit of a surprise?

I didn’t really know I was that good. It wasn’t until I started to win national races that I started to believe that I might be quite good.

Were you always sporty and competitive? What were you like growing up?

I’ve always been really sporty, I had to swim when I was pretty young to help with my asthma so I just got thrown into sport really. I cycled when I was kid, but not that much and not that often, it was only when my mum tried to lose weight, by taking up cycling, that me and my sister really started getting into it.  I have always been competitive especially with my sister, and not just in sport but in school grades as well.

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