FEATURE: Emma Lewis plans for the 2020 season

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After breaking personal bests in the 10, 25 and 50-mile events last season Emma Lewis is setting her focus on different types of courses next season.

The 28-year-old from Kent was crowned National 50-mile Champion at just her second attempt, clocking a time of one hour, 51 minutes and 31 seconds.

Lewis also finished second in the National 25 and set a personal best over the distance earlier in the season of 49.41.

Another personal best came in the 10-mile discipline where she clocked 19.43 back in June on the A10/3 in Nottinghamshire.

“I was really pleased as it was a good season but there are definitely areas I can do better in,” said Lewis.

“Looking back I was pleased with three sub 20 minutes 10-mile rides and a sub 50 minutes 25-mile times.

“Winning the National 50 and coming fifth in the BC Time Trial Championships, with some perspective it was a cracking year really.

“I haven’t set myself goals yet this season and have just spent two weeks in Spain doing a lot of miles and working on my strength and conditioning.

“I’m still with The Independent Pedaler this year and the idea is to enjoy riding my bike and picking a goal and work towards it.

“My goal will depend on how my training goes, what courses there are and what I enjoy. I like the faster courses but it might be that I target the lumpier courses. The National 25 is on a lumpy course in Wales and really looking at what courses are better suited for me.

“I don’t really want to put pressure on myself and enjoy the mix of home life, family life and building with cycling.

“My first ever 10-mile time-trial I did 29 minutes and 57 seconds on a bike which I didn’t realise had a big ring.

“That was quite a few years ago now and every year I have seen improvements in my 10, 25 and 50 times.

“I’m hoping to improve at least my 50 time this year if the course allows. I have already done a sub-50 25-mile time-trial so I’m not going to chase those sorts of times.

“I think the world of time trialling is changing. I’ve done a sub-20 for a 10-mile event three times now and I’m happy with that.

“It’s about riding the course rather than the time and race whoever turns up on the day.”

After competing in her first 50-mile event last season Lewis has since found a love for the longer distance events.

Lewis hopes to defend her national title this season and could have her first test over the 100 miles distance.

“I had never done a 50 until 2018 when I rode my first ever one and finished second in the National 50,” added Lewis.

“Afterwards I said I would not ride one again and now I do one every year, which is enough for me. A couple of years ago I said I would never do a 50 and I have said that again about the 100.

“So I’m possibly thinking about doing a 100-mile event and putting myself through double the amount of pain.

“I really enjoy the length of the 50. The 10 is flat out and full gas and the 25 is a build up but it still hurts.

“The 50 hurts the whole time, I’m much more of a diesel engine and it’s a distance I enjoy as a rider. I enjoy settling into a rhythm and hurting.”

Despite competing in a range of distance, hill climbing is one discipline that Lewis has vowed not to return to.

She added: “I did one local hill climb supporting a club two years ago and it was two minutes and 23 seconds of horrific pain.

“I decided it’s not for me and never again. Nobody could persuade me otherwise.”

* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission. This report by Ben Goddard.