Hannah Larbalestier Puts Megmeister To The Test At The Tour De Yorkshire
Posted on May 15 2018
Cyclist Hannah Larbalestier of elite women's road race/CX team Boompods-EDCO-NRG put Megmeister cycle base layers to the test during the gruelling 2018 Tour De Yorkshire. She was delighted with way she was kept cool and dry all ride long and how it helped maximise her performance.
We caught up with her for quick Q&A afterwards:
Where are you from and how old are you?
I’m 24, and I was born in and grew up around Oxford
Where did you go to university and what did you study?
I studied biology at the University of Bath, and was fortunate enough to undertake a research placement in functional genomics in Sydney.
I understand you are a PHD student – what are you studying and how to you combine working with training?
My project focuses on the characterisation of Parkinson’s Disease genes, using zebrafish to model different genetic variants which contribute to risk of developing the disease. Balancing training with a full-on working week has been a big challenge, particularly throughout winter when the days are short and the weather has been awful. Having a structured training plan that fits around work, and a coach to answer to when you haven’t completed a session, have been indispensible for me when finding the motivation to train when I get home from the lab.
When did you start cycling competitively?
I tried my hand in a few local crit races back in 2014 while mostly training for triathlon, before taking my placement year and taking some timeout from racing. My first competitive season on the bike was 2016 when completing my degree, and I raced in Uni of Bath colours for the season. Since then I feel like I’ve been progressing steadily and am still learning with every race!
Where is your favourite place to ride?
Wales holds a certain sentimentality when looking back at some of my favourite rides. Mid Wales in particular is a hidden gem, with traffic free roads, tough climbing, and beautiful scenery. I’m really spoiled though with living in Sheffield, as the Peak District is right on the doorstep, and I get to enjoy great roads every day. I’ve definitely become a bit of a goat since moving here!
What motivates you to race?
Chasing that elusive victory! I’m not necessarily talking about a win…but always trying to reach that next goal. It’s always satisfying seeing improvements in training, setting new PBs, or going to a race and beating that rider who you once thought was so much better than you.
What is your warm up routine for races?
It really depends on the race and how my legs feel. If the race is long and isn’t likely to be too hard from the gun, I won’t do much of a warm-up and will just roll up the road and check my bike over. For a hard race, I generally like to do a good progressive warm-up on the turbo, gradually ramping up the power from an easy effort up to an intense VO2-max effort. For a crit, I like to get out on the circuit and so some hard cornering with sprints straight out of the turn.
What is the best thing about bike racing?
The satisfaction of a decent result!
Who is your role model in cycling?
My friend/ex-teammate/coach/mentor Lizzy – who’s shown me how far some hard graft and commitment can take you!
If you were not a cyclist, what would you be?
I’d probably have a more diverse life if the bike were out of the equation! I imagine I’d get back into painting again if I suddenly had a spare 20 hours every week.
What is your career highlight so far?
Taking 50th on GC at Tour de Yorkshire! Having struggled to even get round some national series races last year, I’m really pleased to have made such an improvement to be capable of finishing a 2 day UCI race amongst World-Tour riders.
What is a typical post race meal?
Curry is always a favourite! Maybe even a take-out if it has been a particularly exhausting race.
When you are not riding or studying, what do you like doing?
Mostly lying down or eating. Actually I spend a fair bit of time baking (mostly bread) and cooking. Also love a bit of wild swimming but opportunities for this in the Peak district are surprisingly not abundant.
Favourite holiday destination?
Somewhere warm with decent roads. I enjoyed Corsica enough last year to be going back again this summer.
Favourite base layer?!!!