Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeInterviewsJennifer George - Scottish Ladies' Road Champion 2019

Jennifer George – Scottish Ladies’ Road Champion 2019

"I’d love to show my National Champions jersey off in Scotland but there’s only one more race I can ride, this season north of the border."

-

Whilst we reported the men’s race, VeloVeritas didn’t make it up to Alyth in time for the Scottish Ladies Road race Championship on Saturday – ‘real life’ stuff got in the way. Sorry ladies. But we did catch up with winner for the second year, Jennifer George (Torelli-Assure-Madison) a day or two after the race; here’s what she had to say to us.

Jennifer George
Photo©British Cycling

Congratulations, Jennifer – can we start by asking you the basics, how old are you, where are you from and what do you do for a living?

“I’m 36 years-old, born in Glasgow, grew up in Darvel in Ayrshire and now live in South East London.

“I own a coaching company, Go Faster Training Limited; I’m a BC level three road race and time trial coach; I do work with Technogym the fitness equipment company and I’m also a personal trainer.”

How did you get ‘into’ cycling?

“I’ve always been into sport, I have a BSc Hon. in Physiology and Sports Science.

“I was into horse riding when I lived in Darvel but when I moved to London that was curtailed – it’s not like you can take the ponies up the stairs to the flat!

“When I moved to London I started to commute on the bike because it’s the best way to get around.

“One thing lead to another and I joined a cycling club.

“And I did do a wee bit of triathlon but I’m not a great swimmer.

“In the cycling club they were always at me to race, the club secretary took me to a race in 2013 and it all started from there.”

Photo©Jennifer George

Tell us about your win in the championship.

“There were 10 of us coming in to the finish and on that last tight turn where it kicked up to the dam I attacked, taking Anna Shackley (Edinburgh Road Club, eventual second, ed.) and Beth Harley-Jepson (Team 22, eventual third, ed.) with me.

“Anna attacked, I caught her but she just keep going, which was fine by me!

“The finish straight was pan-flat and dead straight along the top of the Backwater Reservoir dam which suited me perfectly and I won the sprint.”

What did you think of the course?

“I wouldn’t have minded the race being longer, we did five laps of the circuit round Loch Lintrathen whilst the men did an additional two laps around Mount Blair.

“There were two climbs on the circuit, one was into the wind but most of the attacks came on the second climb which curved around the hillside – then it was very fast down off there.”

Jennifer George
Photo©Jennifer George

How have the other results been this year?

“I’ve had a couple of good international results, I was 21st in the GP Cham-Hagendorn in Switzerland in May, that’s UCI 1.2; then ninth in the GP Cycliste de Gatineau in Canada in June, that one is UCI 1.1, so I picked up UCI points there.”

Tell us about your team.

“We have good sponsorship but ride our own bikes, it’s an international team with riders from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Ukraine and we have a good race programme.

“Next month we have a two day stage race in Northern France for example.”

Jennifer George
Photo©Jennifer George

And you have the Women’s Tour of Scotland coming up?

“Yes, I’m very excited about that one, I’m riding on the Scottish National team which is great.

“It’s a beautiful route, Stage One is Dundee to Dunfermline, Stage two is Glasgow to Perth and Stage three is a loop down round the Borders, starting and finishing in Edinburgh with finish laps around Arthur’s Seat.”

Do you ride time trials at all?

“The Thursday before the National Road Race I rode the Ayr Roads ‘10’ – I’m a member of the club and also a member of Dulwich Paragon in London – and was fastest in that on a tough night, I did 22:32 but have a personal of low 21 minutes.

“And I was top 20 in the British Time Trial Championship in June.”

Are you an ‘equipment girl’ or do you just ride what you’re given?

“I pretty much ride what I’m given, my Cervélo S3 is five years old now and everything that’s on it is there for a reason.

“I really love nice bikes – albeit I’m not into discs – but I do have electric gears, the reason being that the cable routing on my model of Cervelo is pretty tortuous and I was breaking rear gear cables – it’s not fun being left with two gears on a regular basis!”

Photo©Jennifer George

Do you think there’s enough ladies racing in Scotland?

“I don’t live in Scotland so it’s not for me to say but what I would say is that in the UK as a whole, outside The National Series, there’s a shortage of races for first and elite riders, I have to go to Belgium to get races.

“The complaint I have heard from Scottish girls is that the calendar is ‘front loaded’ with races from March to June but then it peters out, so more races later in the season would be good.

“I’d love to show my National Champions jersey off in Scotland but there’s only one more race I can ride, this season north of the border.”

What’s still on Jennifer’s ‘to do’ list?

“I’m looking forward to riding in Scottish colours in the Tour of Scotland but I’d have loved to have ridden in Scottish colours at the Commonwealth Games but I was injured the last time they took place – and the next ones are still a long way away.

“I’d love to ride the Tour of Flanders again, it’s my favourite race, I rode in 2016 and was top 20 until the second from last climb – but back then I didn’t have the endurance I do now.”

With thanks to Jennifer for her time and wishing her the best of luck at the Tour of Scotland – VeloVeritas will be there to watch her progress!

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Iain Grant Takes it Again!

On a dour, grey morning by the banks of a brooding River Clyde Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) reminded us why he's Scotland's short distance king with a stunning 19:38 in the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship on a sodden, cold Westferry course.

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 4, Leven

"That was horrid", said the winner Evan Oliphant, as I asked him moments after he crossed the line at the Scottish Cycling Super 6, how he enjoyed it. "It was just like being back at the Rás, what with the rain - and those roads!". Oh! I I thought he was talking about his teammate James McCallum congratulating him with a sloppy kiss on the cheek!

Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 goes to Kyle Gordon

On a raw morning of bitter north westerly winds, with a grey Firth of Tay and North Sea brooding to the south, Kyle Gordon (RT 23) produced a ride just nine seconds shy of 30 mph to win the Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 from Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes duo, second placed Jamie Davidson and bronze medallist, David Griffiths; seven and 18 seconds back, respectively.

David Campbell Memorial Road Race 2013

On a typical Scottish spring afternoon of ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ Herbalife/Leisure Lakes’ talented 18 year-old English rider, Harry Tanfield fully justified the ‘Elite’ stamp on his license to win Kennoway Road Club’s David Campbell Memorial Race over 80 tough Fife miles around the Cults Hills. With 2013 results which include, 10th Heist Op Den Berg; 2nd Evergem Belzele and 8th Tourinne-Saint-Lambert Kermises in Belgium, Tanfield’s win would have come as no surprise if we’d done our homework.

Kyle Gordon – Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion 2019

VeloVeritas caught up with that versatile man, newly crowned Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion, Kyle Gordon [RT23] the day after his near 30 mph ride on the exposed dual carriageway west of Dundee on a bitterly cold Sunday morning.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championships 2013 – Iain Grant Romps Clear

Iain Grant (Dooleys Cycles) dominated the Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship on a windy and overcast morning, taking yet another national title with his 1.46.53 a superb two and a half minutes clear over silver medallist Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles), and the Royal Navy's Sean Childs a further minute and a half back in third place. Seven women completed the event, with Anda-Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles) the fastest in 2.04 51, silver going to Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers) 30 seconds down, these two well clear - over seven minutes - of bronze medal winner, local rider Toni McIntosh (Ayr Roads).

At Random

Peter Murphy – “Go To Belgium”

Scottish bike racing; let's face it, no matter how well you do in the Super Sixes, or how quick you can go around West Ferry, you're going nowhere if you stay in Auld Scotia.

Gerry Butterfill – Taking the Start with Eddy Merckx

Year in, year out during the 70's, Guildford man Gerry Butterfill returned to the cycling Heartland of Flanders to pit himself against the very best in the world.

Le Tour de France 2015 – Stages 16, 17, 18 and the Second Rest Day

Ca va, ca va! Friday, en route the Stage 19 start and it's been hectic. We arrived on Sunday afternoon but by the time we got to Valance, the Press Centre was closed - so it was 'Plan B,' go to the finish at Gap the next day and uplift them. Vital bits of plastic duly collected on Monday morning we headed off up the Col de Manse which is just behind Gap for Stage 16.

James McCallum – on Fatherhood and a New Team

It seems just like yesterday we were asking James McCallum if he’d ever consider turning pro – but that was back in 2006 after his second Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal in the scratch race. The following year he did indeed turn professional for Plowman Craven and since has ridden for Endura, Rapha Condor; and for 2014 he joins new – and much talked about – NFTO.

Tsgabu Grmay – MTN-Qhubeka’s Star of the Future

Stage Five of the Tour of Korea was a historic one - the first ever win for an Ethiopian rider at this level; youngster, Tsgabu Grmay of South Africa’s first Pro Continental team, MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung. This year has seen the man from Mekele, 2,000 metres up in the Tigrayan Highlands of Etiopia land a top ten GC placing in the Tour of Langkawi as well as second on GC in Taiwan to go with his stage win. We caught up with him upon his return to Europe to ride the Tour of Trentino.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 1; Jerez de la Frontera (TTT), 12.6 km. The ‘Telephone Team’ Take It

Movistar win Stage One in Jerez de la Frontera – no surprises, then. Perhaps we could have expected more from reigning World TTT Champions, QuickStep but with Tony Martin just back after a break and a technical parcours where it would have been easy to pile up, the Belgian team took no chances and finished fifth.