Thursday 5 December 2019

Switching Racesuits

After 9 years of ruthlessly chasing my dream of winning an Olympic medal on the velodrome, it is with sadness, but a surprising amount of excitement that I am putting an end to my opening chapter in elite sport.
By no means has my journey been easy. Since crashing before the Rio Olympics I've come across  physical hurdles which seemed so far out of reach and hurdles in my personal life which looked just as tall. Breaking point seemed millimetres away and questions cycled on repeat every time I'd wake up.Why did the crash happen to me? Will I ever make it back? Will I live a normal life again? Yet at the same time, when reflecting on the nights I'd stare at the ceiling, I stand now with an outlook I never thought I'd have. I simply wouldn't change a thing.Yes I would say the crash limited my potential to reach my ultimate goal in cycling, however I know that deep down everything happens for a reason. 

I have developed levels of resilience and perseverance that I didn't realise I was capable of, and most importantly I've learnt the true value of passion from the people that have come into my life as a result of my accident and have supported me throughout.

Its been an honour to wear the GBCT Jersey ever since I came through the Girls 4 Gold Talent ID Programme back in 2011. Although I didn’t make the Olympic Games, I can be proud of what I have accomplished. 4 World Championship Teams, World Cup Podiums & a World Championship Medal, the experience of a home CommonWealth Games in Glasgow and over 20 more medals at a Senior National & International level. My proudest achievement however is that I defied the odds that were put strongly against me. After breaking my neck, back and pelvis, I returned to represent GB at a World Cup and a World Championships yet again. Something even those close to me weren't sure was possible.
There are countless people I have to thank in every single area that have played such a huge part in my cycling career - for inspiring me, for pushing me on, for telling me to dig deeper, for telling me not to give up, and for believing in me. Thank you to my all my coaches, the BC support team (in particular the physio and medical team), teammates, competitors and athletes I met at the IRU for really emphasising the power and beauty of sport. Mr Sian (my surgeon) with his physio/medical team at Stepping Hill and the incredible Bisham IRU team who are very much responsible for delivering me back to British Cycling and keeping my dream alive. To my family and friends for always putting a smile on my face, and lastly my sponsors - most notably Under Armour for welcoming me into their family.

As the saying goes... as one door begins to close, another one opens. My journey in elite sport continues as I pull on a different type of race-suit after becoming a member of the GB Bobsleigh Team chasing the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. I am so excited and thankful for yet another incredible opportunity that has come my way. I can't wait to get stuck into this new challenge, kicking things off tomorrow with my first international race at the Europa Cup in Altenberg, Germany!

V x


  1. Hi I followed you on Instagram for some time and your story is really inspirational, I burst a disc in my back 10 years ago and still can’t do the things you can mainly download to my own laziness. However i did get back in my bike and have ride centuries and it’s people and stories like yours that inspired me to do that. I hope their is a book in the pipeline as I for one will but it. Keep in keeping on. S

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