Written by: Snowdon Sports
MOST time triallists could only dream of beating Hayley Simmonds’ 10-mile competition record, but Anna Turvey did just that earlier this season.
With Simmonds having lowered the record to 19-18 in August, Turvey beat it with a 19-08 two weeks later. Simmonds took back the record the following week with 18-36, but Turvey’s name would still go down in the record books.
The 36-year-old from Newcastle has been something of a late developer in the sport, having first tried triathlons six years ago and gone on to win national duathlon titles.
Having decided to focus on cycling she has gone on to compete at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, secured the Irish National Time Trial Championship and broken competition records.
But Turvey is not a full time professional rider, having also forged a successful career as an optometrist. Now working as a locum, she has found extra time to train which, mixed with a steely determination to be as good as she can be, has reaped rewards.
She clocked 19.08 to beat Simmonds’s record by ten seconds on the V718 course in East Yorkshire, but her preparation was not ideal – either through the season or on the day.
“I only got to the course with 40 minutes to spare before my ride because there was a car accident on the way there, and also I took a wrong turn and had to detour 20 miles!” she admitted. “But luckily it didn’t affect my performance.
“I knew that ride was there, I’ve had a lot of bad luck recently with illness and misfortune, but I’ve known that on the right day I had a big ride in me.
“I had a chest infection so I was below par for the National 10 and 25 even though I got second. And I did a 19.27 on the V718 a few weeks earlier, but had a late start so it didn’t count.”
When Simmonds took back the 10 record a week after, Turvey said: “I think it’s great that Hayley went even faster, she’s a brilliant rider.
“Can I take the record again? Who knows? I will train hard and do my best, but if it’s not good enough then so be it.”
Turvey rode in the European Time Trial Championship in France in August, and found the course very technical and hilly.
“It was a great experience, but next season I want to ride more sporting courses and get better at riding this sort of course,” she added.
“But I want to do everything – that’s part of my problem!” she joked.
“Ireland are looking at trying to qualify for the team pursuit at the next Olympics, and it would be great to be part of that. But also I want to ride more on the road and improve the technical aspects of my riding.
“I started late in this sport, so I don’t want to think about slowing down just yet.”