Interview: World Champion Lucy Garner

Interview: World Champion Lucy Garner

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Andy Whitehouse caught up with newly crowned World Champion Lucy Garner. The 17 year old Leicester rider who rides for Motorpoint was at Birmingham's NEC to open the first public day of the Cycle Show at the NEC.

AW: Firstly can I say on behalf of everyone many congratulations with the gold medal. Can we go back a few weeks before the Worlds to the Youth Commonwealth Games held in the Isle Of Man and your thoughts on winning the road race over there?

LG: That was a really good experience for me riding against the likes of the Australians, it was the first chance I'd got to ride against them. We'd actually been out there for a few days before the race to prepare for the road worlds and I'd had chance to ride the course a few times and I thought it was a good course.

AW: That training was good preparation for the worlds?

LG: Oh yes, it was really good, even though the Worlds course wasn't really hilly those few days in the Isle of Man and riding the hills did help. I never used to like hills but I'm becoming a fan of them now.

AW: Talking with you with during the summer you said to me were hoping to be picked for the worlds, was that really the case?

LG: Yes, none of us knew who was going, we just had to wait to see if we had done well enough to be picked by Matt (Winston). He's a great coach, he was my talent team coach and now he's my ODP coach so he knows me really well.

AW: Going into the worlds what were your thoughts about your chances of coming home with a medal?

LG: We went and rode the course before hand and I knew the course really suited me and I knew I could be competitive if it came down to a sprint and the plan was for me to sit in and wait for the sprint and when it came down to the eight I knew I could probably get top five or maybe top three at best.  I was involved in a crash coming into the second lap, there was a girl who just fell off in front of me, I don't know how she did it but I went over the bars, I watched the race again yesterday and I didn't realise how many girls came down, at first I only thought it was two of us, but all that was on my mind was to get back on the bike.

AW: Did the cyclo-cross racing help getting back on the bike?

LG: Oh yeah, definitely. I can get back on my bike pretty quick and put the chain on without thinking about it, the other girls were there for ages and I didn't chip my nails either.

Lucy Garner

Garner celebrates after sprinting home in Copenhagen

AW: Carrying on with your crashes in the race, going into the final sprint you almost crashed again, what happened?

LG: Oh gosh yeah, at the bottom of the hill things were so tight and sketchy, there were two riders away and we caught those and I think we were all shocked we had actually caught them, then it all got a bit mad. I was really boxed in at that point and I didn't think I'd be able to get out, there was some argy-bargy going on, one rider went and that opened up a gap and I got onto a wheel but didn't want to go because it was too early for me. Then we swung out and I collided with Jessy (Druyts) and I still don't know how we managed to stay on the bikes,m y front wheel went straight into her rear mech, it was pretty hectic to say the least.

AW: Your gold is the first Junior Women's Road Race gold since 2001 when Nicole Cooke won it. Is she or indeed who are your role models?

LG: Oh Nicole definitely is someone I look up to. We rode the course with her beforehand and she is really good and always there with advice, I just hope I can follow in her footsteps because she is an amazing rider. Mariane Vos is also an amazing rider and an inspiration. Closer to home I think Lizzie (Armistead) is a great rider, her race looked a tough race though, I think she was a bit disappointed with seventh.

AW: Coming back home, what kind of reception did you receive? Your birthday was a few days before the Worlds so have you had any chance to celebrate yet?

LG: I haven't but we're going to soon when I get some time off. I saw my friends when I got home and they were all crying because they'd watched it on the TV, then I had the BBC and ITV come and talk to me and my friends were interviewed and they were also on the TV.

AW: You are competing in the National track Championships this weekend at Manchester. Something you are looking forward to?

LG: Yeah, I'm riding the team pursuit for Motorpoint with Hannah (Barnes) and Harriet (Owens). We should do ok I hope, We're all on form at the moment and I want to do it for Hannah, she didn't have the best of luck at the worlds with a puncture in the time trial and we know just how good she is on a bike. I'm riding the Madison with Harriet, not sure how we're going to do in that, we'll just see when we get out there.