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Interview: Lucy Garner
By Bart Hazen
Date: 10/12/2011
Interview: Lucy Garner

Interview: Lucy Garner
Interview with Junior World Champion, Commonwealth Champion and National Track Champion Lucy Garner.

Last month Lucy Garner won the junior women's road race at the World Championships in Copenhagen. Garner, riding for the Motorpoint team, had a tremendous season with wins at the National Track Championships and the Junior Commonwealth Games as well. An interview:

You are the new Junior World Champion. How did it feel to win the race in your first year with the juniors?
It really did feel amazing. I still cant believe that it has happened now and its been nearly 2 weeks. I wasn't sure going into the race how it was going to plan out, but everything seemed to go to plan and us GB girls managed to win.

Lucy takes the World title in Copenhagen. The 17 year old outsprints Jessy Druyts and Christina Siggaard for the gold medal. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Did you expect to do so well at the Worlds?
No I didnít. We rode the course a couple of days before the race and I knew the course suited me quite well, however you never know whatís going to happen and how you feel until your in the race. I felt if it came down to a sprint I could be competitive but I never thought Iíd have it in me to win the race.

Last week you rounded off a tremendous season with the national title in the Madison together with Harriet Owen. A few weeks before Worlds you won the road race at the Youth Commonwealth Games. How do you motivate yourself for these kind of big races?
I do get very nervous before all races I do, however that is soon gone when I am in the race. I like to talk to someone before a race, however when its time to warm up I like to have my music loud and get in the zone ready for racing.

The podium of the Junior Women's race at the Worlds in Denmark (From L. to R.): Jessy Druyts, Lucy Garner and Christina Siggaard. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

How would you describe yourself as a person and a cyclist?
Tough question. Iíd like to say Iím quite bubbly and easy to get on with and always up for a challenge. I am quite a competitive person off and on the bike. When Iím on the bike I am quite daring and like to take a risk around corners. Most of all I like to just have a laugh!

You are being good in both track and road. And you even doing some cyclocross. Sounds like you are as multi-talented as Marianne Vos?
Marianne Vos is who I inspire to be like. She is so strong throughout all disciplines and as I do all three disciplines Iíd love to be able to be as consistant as she is throughout them all.

A proud Lucy Garner posed for the photographers. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Who are your role models both in and out cycling?
My role models are Marianne Vos, Nicole Cooke and also Lizzie Armistead. They are all amazing riders .

You are riding for the British Motorpoint team. Can you explain something about the team and itís philosophy? As all of your teammates are World class riders with the juniors too.
Not only are we a team but we really are all best friends. I think thats what has made us such a strong team this year as we all trust each other and also know each others strengths and weaknesses. If someone in the team won, weíd celebrate it as a team and not as an individual.

Lucy rides for the Motorpoint team. The Motorpoint had a very succesful year. On this photo Hannah Barnes and Lucy finished one and two in the Smithfield Nocturne in June. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

I suppose you are still going to college as well. What do you study?
Yes I am still full-time at school. I have just started my first year of A-levels and Iím taking English, Sociology, Psychology and Travel and Tourism.

How did you get involved with cycling?
My Dad has always been a keen cyclist however didnít race too much. My Grandparents however were both racing cyclists, so I have always been brought up in a keen cycling family. I went to watch a mountain bike race and thats when it all started. I also rode a Penny farthing at the age of 8!

She can't believe shhe just won the World title. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Your sister Grace is the national under-14 track champion. Who is the better one of you two?
As she is younger than me Iíd say I have a lot more experience as Iíve been doing it longer. We both seem to have a good sprint but Grace doesnít like the hills so much and seems to struggle. Whereas I quite like racing up hills now.

You will be a second years Junior in 2012. Is it possible to do as good as this year?
I am still junior next year. I will be carrying on with training just as normal and hopefully get selected for the races I did this year for next year as well. As Iím still young, Matt Winston (my coach) doesn't want to put too much pressure onto me and also its not all about the results, itís about developing into a better bike rider.

Lucy Garner. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What will be your goals next season?
Iíd like to get selected for the European Roads next year as I missed out on them this year because I was doing the track. Like I said before, to be able to do all the races I have done this year next year, it will be a packed but exciting year!

Do you stay with Motorpoint? Or are there any other interested teams to hire you for the new season.
Motorpoint have supported me through all this season and I have got on so well with the team, so I will be staying with them. As I am still junior next year it isnít so important to keep switching teams as I will be full time at college and the only time Iíll be able to race abroad is in my school holidays.

Showing her gold medal and painted nails at the press conference. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

You are also part of the British Olympic Development Programme. What is the programme all about? And is the focus for you girls on the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
We havenít had much talk about 2016 and racing there yet as its still too early. However the team is about developing young talented bike riders to get them ready for Academy and also being part of a professional team. They donít just teach us on bike skills but also how to behave off the bike.

What do you want to achieve over the next years?
I'd like to get on to the British Cycling Academy once Iíve finished my years with ODP as I really feel that riders have developed through that programme into amazing bike riders. We have a really strong elite team and it would be great to be a part of that. I have also always want ed to move abroad, so that may also be an option. Iíd like to get onto a womenís professional road team.

Final question. What is Lucy doing when not riding a bike?
I like to spend time with my friends, also Iíve just started learning to drive so I like to get out in my car. Iím a big shopaholic too, so any free days Iím usually in the shops!!

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