It’s been quite a year so far for Beth Crumpton, having started with a podium at the National Cross Championships, she turned her attentions almost immediately to the road season and has progressed from strength to strength. Balancing training alongside study, Beth is now also doing her University placement with Storey Racing to try and bring some bigger sponsorship deals in for the whole team whilst also securing her own future, be it as a professional bike racer or in the business management side of the sporting world.
Dedicated and dependable are two of the best words to describe this 23 year old, so we caught up with her to ask a few questions and see what it’s been like from her perspective.
Q. You are most known for your prowess off road but last year you started to focus more on riding the road, what was behind your decision to have more of a road focus?
BC: It was a difficult decision to leave behind the mountain biking this year, however with lack of mountain bike teams and support in the UK it was proving difficult to find. So the decision came from wanting to become a stronger bike rider in order to improve my cyclocross racing through the winter and to find my niche as a road racer. I haven’t before given myself the best chance of racing a full road season to see how I get on and with the support and belief I have from Barney and Sarah was the perfect opportunity to give road more of a focus.
Q. Having ridden as part of a development road team last year you have stepped up to become Storey Racing’s captain on the road this year and have helped deliver some superb results. Has road racing tactics always been something you are good at?
BC: I’ve always enjoyed thinking out the best ways to go into races and give ourselves the best options on how to win races and get results, I never really thought it was something I was good at but is a role I’ve slipped in to as we have got to know how each other like racing throughout the season. I’ve really enjoyed taking the role and I think together as a team we have really worked well together this season.
Q. Earlier in July you raced your first UCI stage race having had previous UCI road experience at Tour de Yorkshire in 2016 and this year. How did you find it, especially as you were able to use radio to communicate amongst the riders and back to the car?
BC: UCI racing is a total different kettle of fish to british domestic racing, everything is on a bigger scale, the racing is faster, more aggressive and 80% of the time you don’t know what roads you are racing on. Having the radio changes the way we race, we can speak to each other wherever we are in the peloton and find out information of what’s coming up on the road and know of gaps if there is a break away. In Germany when we wanted to try get in the break, it’s the perfect tool to communicate to get as many girls to the front ready to get in anything that is going.
Q. Every rider has a list of things they are continuing to work on, what’s on your list?
BC: I want to continue on becoming a stronger bike rider in all areas, this season has showed me that. I want to continue becoming a stronger climber, improve my sprint and become more confident in the captain role so I can become the best domestique rider I can be to support our team leaders. This will all then help me to become a better and stronger cyclocross rider.
Q. We all seek inspiration from others around us or who have gone before. Who particularly inspires you in your cycling career?
BC: All my team mates inspire me, everyone has a different story of how they got into cycling and how they manage to race at this level alongside full time jobs, I think they’re all amazing and it shows me that anything is possible when you want to achieve it. Having Paralympic Champions as team managers also is a big inspiration, that they invest so much time and effort in to our futures, it inspires me to improve my own racing and performances on and off the bike.
Q. When you aren’t riding or racing you are a student, can you tell us about your course, what your plans are in this field and how being part of a sporting world inspired you to study it?
BC: Sport has been a part of my life since I can remember, so I always envisaged my career being in the sports industry. I’m studying Sport Business Management at The University Of Worcester and it’s a degree that covers many possible career areas that I can see my future being in. I’m enjoying learning about all my potential options and finding the field I enjoy the most and excel in. Being given the opportunity to do my placement with Storey Racing is great experience towards my degree and one I’m really enjoying being a part of.
Q. There’s one final round of the National Road Series left before you will take a break and start preparing for your Cycle-cross season, what are your expectations for this final round and how has it been having the focus of defending a leader’s jersey since round 3 at Lincoln GP?
BC: It’s going to be a tough final round, which won’t be any different from all the rounds this season but one we will need to be positioned well in to be able to retain the series overall with Lizzy. I’ve loved being a part of such a strong team all season and it’s been great going into races with jobs and roles to do to help our leaders jersey holders. We haven’t gone into races being completely defensive, yet been offensive and attacking as much as possible by taking the races on. The final round I’m sure will be no different, and I’m looking forward to it.
A huge thanks to Beth, everyone is excited to follow the progress of the team during the final round of the National Road Series and we wish her and the whole team the very best!