Talented cyclist Lucy Shaw tells Shelley Carter about riding with her heroes, juggling homework with time on the bike and the legacy of London 2012
Lucy Shaw is embarking on a new phase of her career as she starts training with the 2015 Matrix Procycling team alongside top senior riders including Olympian Laura Trott and world champion Elinor Barker. At 17 years and in the final year of junior competition, Lucy is the baby of the team but she takes it all in her stride and is embracing the challenge and camaraderie of the group. “It’s really exciting and all the girls are lovely. They’re a nice bunch and they look after me,” she enthused.
Lucy’s parents are keen cyclists and used to take her with them on groups rides when she was small, but it wasn’t until she joined Solihull Cycling Club that she really got the bug. “I began competing at a regional level when I was 14 and just started winning.” Lucy was lucky enough to experience the electric atmosphere and multiple British victories in the velodrome at London 2012 which spurred her on. “I watched Laura Trott win omnium gold which was brilliant. Since London women’s cycling has been getting better and better. It was so inspiring.” Omnium is one of Lucy’s strongest events, so it had even more significance. Now training as a development rider with one of the best women’s cycling teams in the UK, Lucy is in a good position to achieve some great results this year. Sponsorship from local graphics specialist Hollywood Monster has enabled Lucy’s place with Matrix and she has just completed her first training camp with the team in France. Eager to get stuck in to the national women’s road series and the tour series Lucy said: “I will get to race hard and hopefully get some good results.” Her strength is endurance but she also has a mean sprint finish and, as is often the case with cycling, she competes in multiple events on both road and track.
With sponsorship and a top team sorted, there’s still a rather large hurdle to overcome – school! Studying for her A-Levels at St. Peter’s in Solihull, Lucy puts in a normal school day from 8.30am to 3pm and trains for three hours in the evening, cycling around 150 miles every week. This doesn’t leave much time for homework. “The school has been really supportive and if I’m struggling I get the help I need. It is hard, but I know it’s important to get a good education, so it’s worth it.” Lucy also sees less of her friends that she’d like. “I don’t get to chill out with my friends that much but cycling is really social, so I’ve got a lot of friends through the sport too.” Lucy’s goals are refreshingly ambitious. “The aim is to go professional.” Lucy has the Tokyo games in her sights and world championships on her mind not forgetting a haul of A-Levels to pick up on the way.