A brief history about me
DOB: 24th September 1980
I started cycling about the same time as I started to walk, as a result of my Father being a keen cyclist. I used to go on youth hostelling trips with my family from the age of six onwards. I started grass track racing with my twin brother Alex at the age of nine, as a hobby in the summer months. I apparently started to show potential at thirteen years old. Grass track cycling is a fading tradition, however it does help to develop bike handling skills and stamina.
I was talent spotted at the age of sixteen, by the assistant national track team coach at the time, Marshall Thomas. However despite his efforts to encourage me to train, I decided to concentrate on my education for the time being. While I was studying at University, I started to train more constructively for track sprinting. I was hugely inspired by the Olympic gold medal success of Jason Queally, at the Sydney Olympic Games. In 2001 and 2002 I competed at the European Championships and later that season at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. I was very lucky to be sent to the UCI (Union du Cyclisme Internationale) World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland for two seasons in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. I was trained by Frederic Magné, a seven times World Champion for France. I currently live and train in Manchester with the rest of the elite Great Britain Track Team. I won my first World Championship title in 2005 in LA, please see the achievements section for the rest of my Palmarès.
St Mary’s Primary School in Stotfold.
Etonbury Middle School in Stotfold.
Fearnhill School in Letchworth, left aged 18 with A-levels in Chemistry, Biology and Geography
University of Northumbria, graduated in 2002 with a 2.1 Bsc (hons) in Sports and Exercise Science.
In 2008 the University of Northumbria awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law (CDL)
Various individuals have helped me out along the way and just to prove I haven forgotten you all…
Chris Bush, Ken Rutherford and Russ Snowdon for carting me from University in Newcastle to Manchester on countless occasions. Marshall Thomas for encouraging, supporting and helping through University (especially helping me to arrange my “academic” work placement at the Velodrome) and for training me towards achieving my World Class times. Malcolm Dix of Sport Newcastle and Ian Elvin of the University of Northumbria, for the support through my university days.
More recently there are a number of individuals who have helped me achieve my success.
Shane Sutton for boosting my confidence and teaching me so much about being a bike rider.
Jan Van Eiden for agreeing to coach me tactically.
Frederick Magné for teaching me how to train as a sprinter and how to “give the gap”.
Steve Peters the team psychologist for helping me after a disappointing Olympics, and then to realise my potential. With out whom I believe I wouldn’t have achieved my Olympic Success story.
Dave Clarke for teaching this “I can’t” girl how to power clean!
Mark Simpson and the crew at the EIS (English Institute of Sport) for my strength and conditioning training. Mark is one of the most consistent and supportive individuals I work with.
My team mates, for inspiring and supporting me, even when I am convinced I’m going s#*t.
Craig McLean for helping me to achieve my 2005 World Championship title, by offering me his assistance and advice, when I was struggling, after my 2004 disappointment.
Sir Chris for being my hero as the most impressive performer under pressure (e.g Athens Olympics)
Jason Queally for inspiring me with that gold medal in the Sydney Olympics.
Ross Edgar for being the most amazing friend to me.
Jamie Staff for being an excellent example of how to be massively successful and still be so grounded.
And the many World Class and EIS staff who have supported me in all areas of my sporting life, mechanics, soigneurs, physiotherapists, sport scientists and admin etc, I appreciate all your hard work.
Most importantly my Mum for always supporting me and reminding me that I can only do my best. Which is the best piece of advice anyone can give.