The county of South Yorkshire has always been recognised as a hotbed of cycling. With its proximity to the Peak District and the rugged landscape it offers it is an area that has given rise to such luminaries as Malcolm Elliott, Dean and Russell Downing, Chris Walker and more recently Adam Blythe and Ben Swift.
The women too are making their name and hailing from Oxford but now residing in Sheffield (so for the purposes of this feature she is an honorary Tyke) is triathlete turned roadie Hannah Larbalestier.
Hannah makes her debut for Sunsport Velo WRT in the next few weeks and is currently undergoing a tailored training programme which also includes physiological testing and personal nutritional advice to ensure that she is in the best condition once the season starts. Before she gets racing though we wanted to make her our next victim for the Q and A feature.
And now, in her own words:
Name? Hannah Larbalestier
How long have you been cycling?
Stabilisers came off back in 1997. Got my first roadie at the age of 13 and started competing in triathlon, but I only did my first season of road racing in 2016.
Career highlight so far?
Favourite race was Ilkley Races – such a punchy course with an awesomely fast technical descent. Was very happy to take 4th in a field against girls from Drops and Ford Ecoboost. Taking 3 consecutive wins at Maindy in Dani King’s presence was also kinda cool.
Biggest influence on your cycling?
Probably my SO, Liam. Knowing how hard he trains definitely helps for a bit of motivation when I don’t fancy hopping on the turbo after a long day in the lab!
What are your ambitions in the sport?
I’d love to get some top 10 finishes in the Matrix Fitness GPs. Also hoping to be strong enough on the road to help teammates get some decent results in the National Road Series!
Who do you most admire outside of cycling?
I’m a big fan of Casey Neistat’s work. His films are always great to watch, and he has a great get-out-there ethos, and basically put all he had on the line to see if he could make it as a film-maker (I wish I had that kinda ballsy-ness).
Away from cycling what would be your preferred career?
I’m a neuroscientist/molecular geneticist…so I should probably say that! But I also have a pipe dream of opening a cycling café and/or scraping by as an artist.
You’re stranded on a desert island with three famous people (dead or alive) of your choice. Who are they?
Ray Mears for foraging and good conversation, Beryl Burton, and Thor Heyerdahl so we could build a raft and escape!
Favourite Holiday Destination?
Somewhere new, and not full of tourists! Mountains and/or sea are a bonus.
Should pineapple as a pizza topping be outlawed?
When were you last inebriated?
Long enough ago that I can’t remember.
Your house is on fire.
What one possession do you save? My bike of course!
Name a famous person who really really irritates you and in 5 words why?
Trump. Arrogant egomaniac with no policy. (sorry to get political)
One word, any word? Banana
Strictly or X Factor? I don’t think I could sit through an hour of either!
Ketchup or Brown Sauce? How about chipotle mayo??
Cats or Dogs? Cats (lower maintenance than dogs!)
Ant or Dec? Is it possible to separate the two?
Fish and Chips or Lentil and Cashew Nut Roast? Lentil and cashew nut roast
And finally (this is the deep question!) if it all ended tomorrow how would you sum it up?
It’s been pretty awesome. If only I’d spent more time on my bike and less time behind a computer. Let’s hope the roads are good in the afterlife.
Follow Hannah on twitter @hlarbalestier
Follow Sunsport on the web sunsportvelo