More of my Q&As with riders about the Giro, with Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson, Chloe Hosking, Alena Amialiusik, Sharon Laws and Jessie Maclean
Completely gutted for Sharon Laws, who hasn’t been picked for the Commonwealth Games…. I don’t know what it is, at this point I think British Cycling are just pretending she doesn’t exist?
— Hannah Barnes (@bannahharnes)
"— Sharon Laws (@SharonNLaws)
“I turned up on day 1 and thought ‘oh my God’. It was nerve racking but everyone was really friendly and because of that it didn’t feel that it was ‘professional’, simply because everyone was SO friendly. Everyone was just getting used to their bikes and their kit.
Everything was really good. Especially riding with the men and listening to all their stories. It was really nice to get to know everyone.
“It’s serious but everyone had a good laugh even though some was at my expense. Everyone got along really well and it was just really nice to be there with them. The other “Brits”, Sharon (Laws, the 2012 National Road Race champion) and Rachel (Heal, Hannah’s Sports Director) were there so I didn’t stand out as the only Brit. But they all took the mickey out of my accent a little bit."
CD: You have said your 2014 options are limited and the crash may have ended your road cycling career, why is that?
Sharon: There are a number of reasons;
My contract in Europe is currently linked with a South African team, Momentum Toyota, who will not be investing in Europe next year.
Teams which are ranked in the top 10 get free entries and accommodation at events. The ranking is based on the riders UCI points. As a result of the accident my season has been a disaster and I only have 15 UCI points compared to 182.5 last year. Unfortunately because of the points system teams want riders with good UCI points this season irrespective of how good you were in 2012 and how good you might be in 2014.
There are very few women’s teams that are able to pay salaries and many girls who want to race. Some girls receive support from their federation or are still young enough to live at home with their families. If you don’t have outstanding results then teams would prefer to take riders who they don’t have to pay. I don’t get any federation support and have to support myself so I have to be able to earn something from riding to pay my expenses.
There is also a UCI rule that the average age of a women’s UCI team has to be below 25. I’m already 39 which also makes me less attractive to teams."
If anyone ever wonders why people complain so much about the UCI, this is a clear example of how the rules and their mis-management of the women’s sport actively hurts riders’ careers. I really feel for Sharon, she’s been such a great rider, I don’t want to see her cycling career finish on a low.
I am not a happy bunny….