What makes a road racer tick? Redchilli Bikes meet Samantha Fawcett
We’re continuing our Q&A session with the riders of new, elite UK based women’s race team, Finish Line Racing, and today we talk with Samantha Fawcett.
RB: How did you first get involved with cycling?
SF: I come from a running background and raced competitively for many years. When my friend took up Longer Distance Ironman, she encouraged me to get a bike. My friend was selling her old bike, so I purchased it for £200 and fell in love with the sport straight away. I sold that bike 6 months later for what I paid for it and upgraded to my first full carbon race bike. I then entered some local triathlons and ended up winning my AG [Age Group] in my first few outings. From there I qualified to race GB in Duathlon. I had a target of hitting the podium in my AG and overall, at both the worlds and the European championships. I achieved that in my 2nd year. Found a local race team, fell in love with bike racing and chose to focus on the bike as a single discipline, and I have not looked back.
RB: How would you describe your racing style?
SF: I would say I am definitely very competitive. I love to chase down the breaks and have fun during a race. I also really enjoy racing for a team. Its not all about the individual result. I love to be part of and executing a great race. A team result is as rewarding for me as an individual result.
RB: 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. How have you managed to keep motivated and focused?
SF: I found the start of lockdown very challenging as I am sure many did, with no races to train towards and no targets. However, I took the opportunity to move away from some structured training and just enjoy riding my bike. After a month or so I was back looking for my next challenge so started entering my local 10m TT during the summer. I got the TT bike off the turbo and started riding that and trying out new positions. I entered the local club 10m TT and broke the course record in my 3rd attempt. This gave me back the competitive drive and I decided to enter the National closed-circuit TT champs. Wow – what an eye opener.
RB: What excites you the most about racing for (and with) Finish Line Racing, and what do you hope you can bring to the team?
SF: I just love the buzz I get from racing my bike. Seeing what I can achieve and pushing my limits. I have always been naturally very competitive and always looking for the next challenge/ goal to achieve. I have never really had the opportunity to race for a strong and well-formed team, with the focus being National level races and this is very exciting. I have raced against some of the girls who make up Finish Line Racing so I know we have a really strong team of riders. I have been very lucky that Rick [Lister, Team Directeur Sportif] has seen the potential in me and I am excited to see what I can do to help the team achieve great things next season.
RB: How do you organise your training during the winter months, and are there any specific areas of your riding that you will concentrate on?
SF: I have recently picked up a new cycling specific coach (moving away from my triathlon coach) and this has given me a brand-new focus. The majority of my training is done on the turbo with the longer structured rides being at the weekend. I am also being pushed to fall in love with Zwift, something I haven’t considered before. So that could be a fun new challenge. I have also started a structured weight training and strength and conditioning programme. With 3 structured sessions a week. Something I have never actively carried out and committed to before. I am excited to see how the additional strength training with the cycling specific training can make me stronger and a better racer.
RB: With regard bike racing, what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
SF: Get off the front (smiling) and take risks, if you do not throw yourself up the road you will never know how strong you can be. Some of my best results have been from taking a risk, having confidence in your ability and committing to the result.
RB: What are your main goals for 2021 and do you have your eyes on any particular races?
SF: I am super excited to race the National series. Crit races are my favourite. I enjoy fast, technical circuits, so I would love to do well in a team series round.
RB: If you could ride with any Pro rider (past or present) who would it be and why?
SF: Anna Henderson [British Professional Cyclist]. Anna used to be a former teammate who has rocketed onto the Pro ranks. With multiple great results I’d love to catch up to see how she’s found it all and gather any tips. I should probably just give her a call.
RB: Does it annoy you when a random cyclist tries to race you?
SF: Yes. I was out doing a structured session last weekend and kept playing cat and mouse with a random cyclist who jumped on my wheel each time I passed him to hit my session. I ended up wanting to race him to get away and pushed my session harder than it needed to be. I guess that is not all bad (she says smiling).
RB: You’re marooned on a desert island. What 3 things could you absolutely not live without?
SF: Water, My girlfriend’ A Redchilli bike!
Redchilli Bikes would like to thank Samantha for taking the time out to talk with us. Look out for the next 5 minute Q&A on Monday 7th December, where we shall learn a little more about Poppy Thompson.
Redchilli are delighted to be sponsoring Finish Line Racing for the 2021 season – and no doubt beyond. If you would like to follow Finish Line Racing during their preparations for the season ahead, then please follow both the team and Redchilli Bikes on social media.
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