In 2015, sports enthusiast and Street Velodrome newcomer Rowena Price flew around the banked track to become the fastest female amateur in a weekend of thrilling racing action. This year, following her national title win in London, she returns to Beach House Grounds for the Worthing Street Veldodrome event, competing as a pro rider with the South Coast Rollers and coaching others to racing glory (alongside male pro rider Jack Ravenscroft).
We caught up with Rowena for a quick chat.
Worthing Street Velodrome Team (WSVT):
So, Rowena, how’s life?
Rowena Price (RP)
I have to say that it feels great be coming back to the Street Velodrome track in Worthing – I can’t believe that a whole year has flown by!
Can you tell us a little about your Street Velodrome journey (just in case any readers weren’t at the event last year)?
I would describe myself as a keen sportswoman, but not especially as a professional cyclist. So when Worthing Borough Council brought the Street Velodrome to the town last summer, I thought that I’d give it a try.
The coaching from the 2015 Pro Rider team was absolutely fantastic and, pretty soon I found that I was getting around the track faster than I had ever thought that I could. I had no idea, however, that I’d become the fastest Female Amateur in the town, nor that I’d be on my way to the London Finals!
So, in August, there I was in London, competing against all of the other Amateur round winners – being filmed for BT Sport as well! After a morning’s coaching, it was onto the track for the knock-out rounds; I gave it my all and took home the ‘National Amateur Title’ trophy. I’ve had a dream start to this year as well by winning a bronze medal in the first race of the 2016 series!
That’s absolutely fantastic – so what does 2016 hold for you?
I’m part of the South Coast Rollers Pro Rider team this year and am touring all nine local events throughout the UK, coaching and competing. The series is also going to be followed by TV cameras – let’s just hope they get my best side!
What are you most looking forward to (apart from being back in Worthing for the first weekend of July, of course)?
I’m really enjoying travelling up and down the country during the 2016 series, meeting lots of new people and playing my part in the StreetVelodrome family.
I really want to help and inspire as many women and girls to get on their bikes as I can – as well as being inspired myself to compete against quality pro riders. Even with the shoulder injury I’ve been nursing this year, getting on the bike and on the track has been the most exhilarating experience!
WVST: We hear that there are some changes in the competition for this year. Can you tell us more about those?
Last year, the fastest amateur riders raced against the pro riders for a chance to go to the national finals.
This year, amateur riders will challenge each other and the fastest pair will automatically get a place on the South Coast Rollers alongside Jack and I for the final competition in London. It’s a shake-up to the format which will make it even more exciting!
Thanks Rowena – best of luck and we’ll be there to cheer you on!
I’ll look out for you – Worthing is the home of the South Coast Rollers team, so I’m really hoping that everyone’s going to turn out to show their support! And, who knows, maybe another Worthing resident will get a place on the team by winning the amateur competition – I can promise you, it’s a brilliant feeling!
Could you be Worthing’s next Rowena Price? Even if you don’t have any cycle racing experience, you can still take to the Street Velodrome track to try it out for yourself – and who knows, with Rowena’s coaching behind you, you might just take that podium spot…
Find out more about how you and get on the track on www.WorthingStreetVelodrome.co.uk
Even if you don’t fancy trying your skills on the course, there’s plenty to entertain across the main event during the weekend of 2 – 3 July including an acoustic music stage alongside food village with pop-up stalls and trade stands, this is a weekend not to be missed! Follow all of the pre-event warm up action through the website, on Twitter or via Facebook and don’t forget to put the weekend in your diary!