Full Name: Nicola Juniper
Rider Category: 2
Disciplines: I focus on time trials and Criterium races, but I prefer a longer Criterium race.
Career highlights: Coming 8th in the British Time Trial Championships 2011 (20 miles). Placing 15th at the National Road Race Championships in 2011, 3rd at Smithfield Nocturne, 2nd in Blackpool Surf & Turf Race, winner of the Warrick Criterium, 4th Elite GP Hillingdon, winner of the National Trophy Series Ipswich 2010 Cyclo-Cross and 5th in the 2010 National Cyclo-cross Championships.
Rider strengths: My power and my endurance and I’m a pretty good lead out person for a teammate for the final sprint.
Greatest achievement: Placing 8th in the British Time Trial Championships 2011 (20 miles).
Favourite race and why: The Smithfield Nocturne, as I always done well in this race. It’s also a race on home turf and the crowd is amazing. Last year I was in the breakaway at the front. Another favourite of mine was the Elite Women’s GP; I managed to bridge across to the breakaway with Lucy Garner and placed 5th.
Your first bike? I think it was a Raleigh mountain bike that was a hand-me-down from my brother. My first race bike when I first started competing in triathlons was a £200 Sarazen, which was way too big for me.
How did you get into cycling? When I was at army college I dislocated my knee very badly, so swopping from running to cycling and swimming. I then got into triathlon and in my first season I managed to qualify for the World Championships in Mexico. Later I also qualified and took part in the Hawaii Ironman race. Then in 2008 I joined a cycling club and was convinced to focus on cycling alone, so waived goodbye to triathlon. In the club I was usually the only girl out riding with a bunch of men. Fine but really great to now being part of a team of really dedicated women riders!
What’s your daily commute like? A couple of times a week I go to work by bike – it’s a 23 miles journey each way from Brentwood to London.
Your favourite cycling memory? My favourite memory is when I did a 10 mile TT in 21 minutes. It was my target for that season and did it the night before my birthday. Just a great feeling to reach my goal with the added satisfaction of beating lots of the men!
Touring tales: I’ve taken part in a couple of the Birthday rides and done some really fab touring on Mallorca as well.
Tips to women thinking about giving cycling a go or getting back on a bike? I’d say: don’t doubt your own ability. And it doesn’t matter if you’re slow – enjoy the ride. And also don’t make the family an excuse – take the kids with you! I’ve done a lot of riding with my niece on the back.