Hannah Newsham


Why do you race? To get strong sock tan lines! Oh and also to challenge myself physically, psychologically, improve my skills and run my luck!
I enjoy the atmosphere at races, pre and post- us ladies are quite a friendly crowd!

What are your strengths as a bike racer? I much prefer the longer undulating rides!

What’s your day job? I’m a primary school teacher in a fantastic Pre-Prep school in Taunton, teaching Year 1’s. Thats right 5 and 6 year olds! Fortunately, I am part-time and so my work life balance is spot on!

Do you train alone or with friends? I started of with friends ( aka cycling Mums, Dads and Grandads!) and still try and go out with them every few weeks. I live for the coffee ride!
However, to get quality sessions in and to improve is to go solo!

Top tips for doing hard efforts? Ohhhh I am amazing at avoiding them! Got a niggle in my knee, can’t get my power up, called in to work…I’ve used them all!
But when I do them…I beast them out in the morning and feel virtuous for the rest of the day.

Do you have a mantra for when it gets really hard? I always think: would my competitors be having a day off? NO! Get on with it Han!

Do you listen to music when you train? No, never. Well maybe when I’m on the Wattbike in the gym. But then I listen to podcasts.

How much do you sleep? I like to be in bed early and I wake up early. I love the mornings. I find I under-recover when I don’t get enough sleep.

What’s your standard training ride? If I need a pick me up on the bike I go out with my group of friends who are mostly retired gents! They are in the same spot every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9. They are reliable, loyal and fun!

What kind of cross training do you enjoy? I like weights, swimming and walking my crazy border collie.

What’s your dream ride? I really fancy Lejog but then to cycle hills and mountains abroad would be a truly amazing experience.

Does your bike have a name? Olivia!

What’s in your jersey pocket? Always my phone, card, cash and a Nak’d bar! Then additions may be a gel, an energy bar, oh, and a power banana!

What’s your favourite thing to eat after a ride? Poached egg, smoked salmon and smashed avo on sourdough toast.

What’s your happiest moment on the bike so far? A brilliant bank holiday weekend in the Cotswold where my team mates and I placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th! Followed by racing round the route with a youth rider who truly appreciated racing alongside a lady rider!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome so far? I was hit by a car whilst on my bike 4 years ago and I punctured my lung, fractured 7 ribs, collarbone and shoulder blade. I really wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get on the bike again. If it was up to my parents I wouldn’t be!

What’s the best race experience you’ve had? Surely my first race! I had no expectations and really didn’t know what to expect. The group split on the first hill and I managed to stay with a group of 10 riders chasing the leading 4. It was a game of cat and mouse. So exciting! However, we didn’t catch them but I did come 10th. I’ll take a top 10 anytime!

What’s the most embarrassing moment when you first started cycling? Setting of on my first ride with the racing snakes in my club and came straight off. Who knows how! A great first impression!!

Do you do any other sports? I started off as a hockey goalkeeper where I played county level at school. However, I became slightly overweight at university so took to running which I loved and would still be doing more of now but me knees can’t take it. I love to swim too but I need competition in my life!

What don’t we know about you? I don’t eat meat! Oh and I’m originally from the bright lights of Blackpool!!

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