Holly's Journey Back Into Racing
Introducing Cobbled Coaching athlete: Holly Waymark! Holly has been working alongside her coach, Megan, ahead of her first race season on the road in three years. Holly, who is based in Nice in the South of France, will be racing for the UCI Continental women's road team, AWOL O'Shea, who are based in London.
We spoke to Holly about how she originally got into cycling and who inspires her as an athlete. So grab a cuppa, kick back and enjoy!
Photo Thanks to Holly
When did you first get in to cycling and what attracted you to the sport?
I first got in to cycling at the age of 12 when my dad bought me my first ever racing bike from a car boot sale. My dad has always been in to sport especially cycling and I used to go riding with him lots; started of steady then the more I rode we used to race each other, he was my motorbike.. I remember getting in his wheel and just holding on for as long as I could.
I then decided to join a club at the age of 15 where I would train and race with the boys; it made me stronger so I then decided to race in some women’s races where I managed to get a few results which meant I could join a national French team and race in some bigger races. I’ve always been an outdoor person, I used to spend lots of time when I was younger on my bike riding through the woods, making wooden huts, walking through rivers in my wellies, going for long walks through the fields and talking to the animals, admiring nature. I just fell in love with cycling. It really makes me happy when riding my bike; I feel free.
What has been your favorite race to date and why?
My favorite race to date has to be RàsnamBan, the women’s tour of Ireland which is a 5 day stage race. It’s very well organized, great atmosphere and the Irish are so friendly! The landscapes are also amazing, beautiful scenery and rolling terrain which I love.
How do you manage to balance training and racing alongside your job, do you have any top tips to do this successfully?
I am lucky to work with such lovely people at Café du Cycliste and they let me go and train during lunchtime, so I just do short but intensive rides on my work days and then fit the long rides in on my days off. At the moment I’m balancing it all well.
My tips for this would be to just be organised and serious about training, that way you always find a way to adapt.
Where is your favorite place to train and why?
My favorite place to ride has to be where I’m currently based (South of France in Nice). It’s just the perfect place to live as a cyclist. There is everything here, from flat roads, to big mountains…beautiful scenery, the sea, the countryside, the sun, the wind… It’s just amazing!
Who inspires you the most and why?
I definitely look up to Lizzie Deignan, she is such an amazing athlete. She has lots of class on the bike and to have had the success she’s had in the past to then take a break from the sport to have a baby and to be up at the highest level performing again shows such grit and determination! She is great for women’s cycling!
Photo Thanks to Holly
Thanks so much to Holly for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. I'm sure that you will all join me in wishing Holly all the very best success for her season ahead which she hopes should be more active towards the end of the year.
Please also be sure to go and give Holly a follow on social media to follow her progress and for super dreamy photos from Nice!