We recently caught up with Beth Crumpton of Storey Racing who is currently leading the Cyclocross National Trophy series going into the last round this weekend.
Beth. Teamies tend to call me Crumps or Crumpet however.
• When did you start competing? I started competing as an U12 back in 2006
• Have you always been a cyclist? I used to compete in lots of sports when I was younger, such as tennis and athletics, I even attempted gymnastics, but wasn’t graceful enough. I started as a swimmer and made it up to county level before discovering two wheels was way better!
• What’s your least favourite training session? I can’t say I enjoy the gruelling turbo sessions, but I know they benefit me.
• And your favourite? The fun ones, such as cyclocross (CX) efforts. I love being out in the wilderness and the woods.
• What’s your greatest achievement? Competing in my first major games at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and finishing 9th, and representing my country, Team England, at a multi sport event was such an awesome experience. I’ll remember and treasure it forever.
• And your biggest setback (and how you overcame it)? Probably losing my spot on the Olympic Academy in April 2015. I felt rejected and not good enough for anybody, even after my test results improved. It was difficult to move forward and know what to do after being a full-time athlete for so long, then going to nothing. I got a new coach, who works with multiple British Champions and Olympians, Oli Beckingsale and then, the following September, getting in contact with Barney and Sarah saved me from quitting the sport. They made me believe that I am good enough and I joined their development program for 2016. I’ve loved being part of their set up since and they helped develop my potential. Everything happens for a reason and, in hindsight, it was the best thing that happened to me!
• How have you found racing in the CX National Series this year? I always love racing the British scene. There’s a good group of girls that are really competitive and the British scene is constantly developing, which is great to be part of! My racing has surprised even me, I didn’t expect to win the first two of the season and to beat one of the world’s greatest off-road riders was incredible and has done a lot for my confidence! We’ve had every condition this year too, which makes a big difference to last year’s dry season.
• You hold the leader’s jersey going into the last round. Do you think you'll keep it? I really hope so, I’ve never won the elite series before and it’s been a goal for the past 2 years now. I unfortunately had a mid season injury, which played havoc with my training for the middle part of the series, which I was a bit disappointed to pick up, but it comes with the sport and is part of crashing. I’m going to give it my all in the final round and what will be will be, I’ll just have to try again next year if I’m not able to win it.
• What tips do you have for anyone wanting to try cyclocross? To have fun! Ride off road, learn the skills and embrace getting muddy. If you have the skills first, then you’re already half way there!
• Do you think you really need two bikes for a CX race? Yes, when competing nationally and internationally, if it’s muddy then the pit is your saviour to get a clean bike, which allows the wheels to move around. If you have a technical issue or puncture then you have a spare. For regional level and for fun, I think one is perfectly fine! It’s an expensive sport and starting out with one bike is perfectly fine so you have time to find out if you enjoy racing it!
• Do you prefer road, mountain bike, TT or cyclocross? You seem to be pretty darn good at all four. I just love riding my bike! I love riding off road and riding to the top of a mountain on my mountain bike when I’m in the Alps and finding an ace trail to ride back down on is amazing fun! I love the road, as you can always explore new places and go further, and racing it with my team is ace fun. Cyclocross is what I love to race and the atmosphere of the races in Belgium is pretty cool.
• Post-ride cake choice, please? A good victoria sponge.
• Tell us a bit about your goals (these can be short and/or long term). I want to race in the 2018 World Championships for CX that would be a big short term goal, along with the National Series and a medal at the British Champs. I want to be able to keep supporting my team mates on the road the best I can and become a stronger rider, working on my weaknesses.
Long term… I’d love to fulfil my dream of becoming CX World Champion one day. Rumour has it the Commies are coming to Birmingham in 2022, that would be a proper home games, so maybe I’ll make an MTB comeback for that!
• Where is your dream training location? The French Alps, I love riding there, the mountains are a place I find incredible to be in and so pretty too. I love riding for a good view.
• You’re going to be racing a lot out in Belgium over the festive period. How does the Belgium cyclocross scene compare to the UK? The fans! They come in their thousands, the atmosphere is crazy! To compare, CX in Belgium is like football in the UK. The courses are always located in random places as well compared to leisure centres and cycle facilities over here; they pop up a course racing in fields and just out the back of people’s gardens, and of course they close the roads! All the big CX stars are famous over there and it’s like one big party atmosphere, with music, cheering crowds and a lot of beer and frites consumed by spectators. CX is growing in the UK, but the spectator numbers are nowhere near what they are in Belgium.
• Favourite piece of training equipment or software? My Verve Cycling InfoCrank has definitely helped my training for the better. I never trained with power until I had these and now I train with power all the time.
• Hit us with your go-to motivational motto quote for when you’re in Struggle City. Eeerm… I don’t really know a quote. Maybe ‘”Pain is temporary, but glory lasts forever”’ that’s a pretty good one I like, training will hurt for now but the memories and achievements you will live with forever and you’ll definitely thank yourself for doing those horrible turbo sessions one day.
• Favourite flavour of Jam? Strawberry!