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Nicky Peters


Nicky Peters was kind enough to agree to an interview with WomensCycling.net during the 2005 Masters Track World Championships in Manchester. Events took over however, and after agreeing to see Nicky after talking to the South Africans, who were waiting to go back to their hotel, she disappeared.....  It transpires that she had been called to the Doping Control - as bronze medallist in the 2km pursuit (35yrs-39yrs), she was required to provide a sample. Anyway, the track meeting finished without our paths crossing again, so WCN tracked Nicky down late last year and got her to agree to an interview via email. 

Nicky has waded through our questions and answered them in great depth. We are grateful to her for her efforts and are pleased to post the interview and a few photos of Nicky in action, below >>


Nicky Peters


WCN: Where do you live?

NP: Cambridge, UK


Photo:  The effort tells as Nicky rides to bronze in Manchester

WCN: What is your occupation? Do you work full time? 

NP: Junior Sister (senior staff nurse ). Yes I work full time.


WCN: You’ve been working nights recently – is that usual? If so, how does that affect your cycling?

NP: Yes, I work 4-5 nights a month. I usually feel lethargic/ jet lagged afterwards which can last up to a week.


WCN: Which Club / Team are you currently riding for?

NP: I have just joined a new team after the masters this year which is Mid Anglia CC. Before that I was in Steve Goff Racing Team.


WCN: Who are the Club / Team sponsors?

NP: Mid Anglia CC/ City Cycle Centre & Mark Zaschke


WCN: How long have you been  member of the Club / Team?

NP: September 2005


WCN: Any previous Club(s)?

NP: Border City Wheelers, Cambridge CC, Steve Goff Racing Team.


WCN: Do you have any personal sponsors?

NP: For the last 5 years it would be Steve Goff and the team sponsors for the support and help whilst with him and for the end of last year to the City Cycle Centre and Mark Zaschke.


WCN: How long have you been cycling?

NP: Competively since 1996.


WCN: What made you start cycling?

NP:  I wanted to take part in triathlon so started in 1995 however I unfortunately had a bad accident in June of that year. One year later I joined a cycling club to regain my confidence on the bike and it went from there.


WCN: I remember you as a road racer and time tiralist – have you always ridden the track too, or is this a recent development?

NP: I rode grass track with Border City Wheelers for a season as a bit of fun. The hard track came at a later date, started in 2003 through my boyfriend at the time, as he rode it. It was easier taking part in the end, not just watching him!!


WCN: Do you do any other sports seriously? eg triathelete, swimmer, skater

NP: No, not at present. Used to swim, horse ride and do triathlon.


WCN: How important is being a member of your club / team to you? What activities do you undertake with other members? Do you get significant support from other members?

NP: I enjoy being a member of a team. Yes, I get  help with equipment, encouragement and we try and meet up for rides and often are racing at similar events.


WCN: Do you have a coach? If so, who and for how long?

NP: Yes- Auriel Forrester, since Sept 2005 and has been previously 2000-2001.


WCN: What are your most significant results?

NP: 4th- National 100 mile TT championship (2002), 

     10th- National 25 mile TT championship (2001, 2002), 

      2nd – Rudy Project TT Series ( 2002, 2003), 

      6th BBAR (2002), 2nd-Duo’Normand TTT (2003),

      National Masters Track Champs 2003- silver- 2 km pursuit (30-34). 

      World masters Track Chamionships 2003- bronze-2km pursuit (30-34). 

      National Masters Track Champs 2004- gold-2km pursuit; silver- 10 km scratch race (30-40). 

      National Masters Track Champs 2005- gold-2km pursuit (35-40); silver-500m TT (35-40).

      World Masters Track Champs 2005- bronze – 2km pursuit (35-40).


WCN: When / who realised that you have a talent for cycling?

NP: Cycling became what I enjoyed the most when I participated in triathlon. Mark Wilcox encouraged me whilst in Border City Wheelers and since have received encouragement from significant people along the way; Auriel Forrester, Keith Moore, Duncan Alexandre, Theresa Coltman, Mark Nixon, Sean Bannister , Rachel Horn,  Lol Berman, Michael Hutchinson, Mark Zaschke, my family, friends and work colleages to name a few.


WCN: When / why did you begin to concentrate on track?

NP: I started on the hard track in 2003 but probably concentrated on it more last year in between moving house, working etc!!


                                      Photo:  Nicky on the podium after receiving bronze

WCN: How many Masters have you ridden – GB / World level? Do you prefer it to other types of competition?

NP: 3 at GB and World level. Yes I really enjoy it. It is really friendly, everyone is very supportive of one another, you meet lots of different people and it’s a great atmosphere. It is different to other types of competition.


WCN: The Masters went on for 6 days – that’s a long competition. How many days were you involved for?

NP: For 2 of those, the TT and pursuit.


WCN: You were concentrating on the pursuit at the Masters Championships, do you see this as your specialism? Why / why not?

NP: Yes, I think with my time trialling background I’m probably more physiologically suited to this event, however do enjoy the other track events as well

WCN: What is it about these events that get you excited / motivated / why do you enjoy them?

NP: I enjoy the atmosphere at the track, it is exciting and I get a real buzz from the racing on it! I’m also still learning as it’s still relatively new which motivates me as I like a challenge!

WCN: You took bronze at the Masters in the pursuit – congratulations – how pleasing for you was this?

NP: Yes I was pleased as my training had recently taken a nose dive due to buying my own house and moving in August ’05. I was a lot fitter for the nationals, so I was pleased to get a medal.

WCN: Did the times you recorded at Manchester compare to times you have been doing in training?

NP: Yes, it was a fair comparison.

WCN: How far do tactics play a role in the pursuit? Several riders were telling me about being caught (and eliminated) by riders who were not capable of recording any near equivalent overall times. (The implication that those riders simply sprinted to catch their competitor)

NP: I personally don’t adopt this method, however I know others do. You have to be very confident on your sprinting ability and have some knowledge of the opposition’s form. I generally ride to a pre worked out schedule.

WCN: For your own pursuit events, how technical is your approach? Do you ride to lap times or a schedule? How much in control of your overall effort and result are you in a pursuit?

NP:  Yes, as I’ve just mentioned I ride to a schedule, worked out by me and my coach. You get to know what a 19 second lap feels like from previous training sessions at the track, and you get feedback from your coach  every lap. You try to be in as much control as physically you can. There is also a mental element as in all races!!

WCN: How much do you work on that?

NP: I work on my starts and pacing at training sessions at the track when I can get there. I also try and get to Wellwyn track league when possible to gain more confidence with other riders in the bunch races.

WCN: Do you rely on ‘feel’, or do you test regularly to know how you are going? If you test, what testing do you use?

NP: I do both. Testing is done with my coach on the turbo.

WCN: How difficult is it to train for your events? Do you get to ride indoors, say at Manchester, very often? 

NP: Yes I get to ride indoors at Manchester/Newport but it is limited due to travelling/costs and limited sessions.

Photo: The 2km Pursuit podium - L-R, Tabatha Cole, Janet Birkmyre and Nicky 

WCN: Where is your nearest track / how far away is it?  

NP: Welwyn outdoor track, it’s about an hours drive away.

WCN: How often do you get to ride it?

NP: I try and do Friday nights (track league) when work commitments allow.


WCN: Do you do a lot of road work? Work on the turbo trainer?

NP: Yes, both. I still compete in time trials also.


WCN: What does a typical training week look like for you?

NP: Very variable due to my shift work and depending on what I’m targeting at the time.


WCN: What about winter work? Do you get out in the winter?

NP: Yes, but this winter hasn’t gone to plan so far!!


WCN: Any other training / cross training / weight training that you do at any time?

NP: I try and do gym/core stability in the winter but this year am struggling to fit my cycling in due to work commitments, so have had to give this a miss. Hopefully I may have more time later.


WCN: How do you get exposure to other competition? Do you ride with the seniors very much? Track leagues?

NP: Yes, track leagues and some women’s omnium events that are local.


WCN: Do you find yourself racing against the same people all the time? If so, does that get monotonous? How do you stay fresh?

NP: No, I say fresh by not over racing  (an old habit from long ago!) and my doing some time trialling as well as track racing.


WCN: What about tactics - who helps you with tactics and / or knowledge of your competitors?

NP: My coach (Auriel) and by observing and racing against them.


WCN: Do you spend a lot of time studying your competition, to inform your racing against them?

NPI race against them which helps. Otherwise, I get on with me and try not to worry about them as I can’t control them but can control what I do.

WCN: Do you have a favourite track? If so, why?

NP: Welwyn. I seem to race best on here as I’ve probably spent the most time on it.


WCN: How difficult is it to switch between velodromes like Manchester, which is known as a pursuiter’s track and the outdoor tracks such as Halesowen, Welwyn, Herne Hill. Do you ever ride at Newport? How do you prepare yourself for different track types?

NP: It is different. I try and get some training sessions on the indoor tracks to prepare.


WCN: What about getting aggressive and focussed for racing - does that just switch in, or do you have to work yourself up for it? (If so, what technique(s)) do you use?)

NP: Sometimes it comes naturally and other times need to work at it. I listen to music, think positive thoughts and visualize the race and go through it in my head step by step so I feel in control.


WCN: How do you see the state of women’s track racing in the UK at the moment? Where do you see it going in the future?

NP:  I think it is very positive, especially with our own Vicky Pendleton doing so well. I think it will continue to improve as I think she has inspired and encouraged a lot of riders. She is a very positive role model.


WCN: What are your plans for 2006? Main goals / aims?

NP: For a similar season as last year. I’ll probably do a bit more in the way of bunch racing on the track. My aims will be GB/World Masters track champs again.


WCN: And longer term, what are your plans and goals?

NP: To keep fit, be healthy, be happy and enjoy life!!


WCN: What bike(s) do you ride?

NP: Steve Goff’s, as I got them built for me when I was riding for him.


WCN: Any particular piece of equipment or kit that you 'just love'? (Why?)

NP: My Steve Goff road bike as it survived a very big crash in Spain. I call it my survivor….a bit like me really after my trials and tribulations in life!!


WCN: Do you take a general interest in cycling – do you follow the road (the Tour, Tour of Britain etc), track cycling (do you go to Revolution / World Cups etc), do you follow women’s racing, or masters racing?

NP: Yes, I love cycling. I always watch the Tour, I will miss Lance this year , he too was a very admirable survivor. I enjoy watching the track racing, especially as I participate in this myself. I watched a Revolution event in November last year, which was fantastic. I always enjoy watching Vicky [Pendleton] as I think she is a great role model for female cycling. She has a very professional approach to her cycling and when off the track is just a really nice, down to earth person. I was working at the World Cup Track event in 2005, helping out with the dope control, as they need a nurse for UCI events, however I got to see some of the racing too which was good.


WCN: Do you have any cycling heroes? If so, who and why?

NP: Yes, Lance Armstrong, due to him facing adversity in a very strong and admirable way. Also for coming back from this and winning the tour several times, which was amazing. He is a role model and inspiration for anyone facing a challenge in life. Vicky Pendleton for being an amazing cyclist on the bike and a down to earth human being off the bike.


WCN: What about other sport heroes? / Life in general? (Why?)

NP: Graeme Obree for his honesty about his life and cycling in his recent book, I’m sure this has helped a lot of people who suffer from depression. Any disabled athlete for the challenges they face every day and how they just get on with it. My Mum, my Dad and my brother for the gifts they have given me and for what they’ve taught me. Sally Walters for what she has taught me in my job, for challenging me and for her great gift with people.

WCN: What are you interested in when not cycling?

NP: Spending time with my friends and family, reading, gardening ( a new hobby!), cooking, watching films, travelling and exploring new parts of the world, painting and drawing (however haven’t pursued this hobby for a while due to lack of time), listening to music, relaxing and catching up with sleep!


WCN: Is there anyone / people in particular you would like to thank for helping you to get to where you are today?

NP: My Mum, my Dad (even though he is now not with us, he was the one who fuelled my passion for sport), my Brother, Keith, Auriel, Theresa, Sean Bannister, Mark Nixon, Mark Wilcox, Duncan Alexandre, Steve Goff, Border City Wheelers, Cambridge CC, Mark Zaschke and all my family, friends and colleagues who have been behind me all the way…THANKYOU!!


And thanks to Nicky Peters for her time!


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