Whilst cross-country mountain biking firmly remains as Isla Short’s primary cycling discipline, she is happy to admit that cyclocross is a perfect way to augment her off-season training and stay in touch with the cycling World in the dark days of winter.
Following on from a successful Scottish cyclocross campaign, tomorrow Isla hits up the British National Championships in Bradford, Yorkshire. Ahead of her biggest cyclocross race of the season she has given us an insight into what to expect…
“I’ve had a really successful cross season: it started off steady but once I got my fitness back from my time off in October I was able to take the win at the Scottish Champs and grab the series title. I’m confident I can perform well this weekend but I don’t really have any expectations as I’ve not raced cyclocross at a British level in a long time.
My goal is to medal in the U23 race, but it’s hard to aim for anything other than to do my best! My biggest rivals will be most of the girls in the category really, as the standard is very high. I plan to use my climbing ability and my new found running skills to get the edge. But as I said, I have no benchmark to go on so we’ll just see what Sunday brings!
As far as British cross courses go, this one is right up my street. It’s got lots of hills and lots of mud: the two things I love!”
Isla will line up in a 32-strong field, headed up by the reigning World Champion, Evie Richards. Technical skill, strength, running ability and a strong mental game will all need to be nailed for a successful race on the somewhat infamous Peel Park course. Thankfully Isla has all of these assets in spades so we wish her the very best of luck and believe she can deliver a strong result tomorrow.
The U23 Women will race at 1045 (Sunday 9th January).