1x10, InterviewGordon Watt

1x10: Anne Ewing

1x10, InterviewGordon Watt
1x10: Anne Ewing

1. Can you introduce yourself and let our readers know a little
bit about you?

Hi, I’m Anne Ewing. I started cycling about 6 years ago. After half a season of MTB it was evident I had zero skills so quickly moved to the road where I’ve stuck since. I did the road race in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi & Glasgow and have done a variety of national/international road races in between. I have alternated my focus between cycling & medicine since I started, & since Glasgow it’s been cycling’s turn to take a back seat.

2. How long have you been involved in cyclocross?
A year and a bit.

3. What got you into the sport in the first place?
I started off my sporting life as a swimmer, then when I went to Uni the club was super expensive so I joined the triathlon club instead. It was a great group of folk & I had a bit of a laugh. After a while my coach, Diana McPherson, trained me up & we realised I was OK at it. Then it became apparent that cycling was a particular strength.

BC had a talent ID program at the time which I got through to the final stages of, but they ended up not taking anyone on. This was when I bumped into Paul Newnham who got me onto a MTB, he then realised I was rubbish so passed me on to be coached by Graeme Herd, who’s been stuck with me ever since.

4. Can you remember the first CX race you went to, and how did
it go?

My sister got a CX bike last summer and decided she wanted to do a race before she headed off to Peru. The only one that worked timing-wise was Callendar Park. I’d had a CX bike for years but never raced it, I thought it would be silly not to… Turned out the form was OK & the lack of skills didn’t show too badly so I managed to take the win. Maddy Robinson told me I should stick to the road where I belong!

5. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a cross race?
A variety of beasties, ghouls & skeletons riding around in the dark at Hallocross last year. Bunch of crazies.

6. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done at a race, on or off the bike?
I went the wrong way at cyclocross race in Mull, despite everyone in front of me going one way, I decided to go the opposite. Clever.

7. Do you have a favourite course, either to ride, or to
spectate?

The more the grass resembles road, the fewer the obstacles/turns the better! So, Callendar Park & Dig in are excellent courses…

8. Are there any riders you particularly admire?
I always think it’s impressive just how many people go out in the rain/wind/mud/cold to train and race. Especially the kids and the newbies.

9. Any particular highlights from this season?
I think this season has been a breakthrough season for women’s CX in Scotland. We’re now regularly getting fields of around 50 which is brilliant. The great thing about CX, & why I think it’s the best route into cycling for adults, is that it takes place on such a small circuit, no cars & generally pretty safe. No one knows/cares if you get dropped or lapped, everyone is out there smashing it up. Even if you get dropped, the maximum distance away you’ll be is about 5 mins. Not so in a road race…

Because of this, I think there should be more focus on CX as a means of getting people (women) into racing. We’re now at the stage of being able to justify a separate women’s race which I reckon will further encourage women to take up the sport.

10. Finally, what are you looking forward to in the last few
races of the season?

It’s been really great having proper battles this year with Lucy, Maddy, Eileen, Jane & others. In my (entirely non-biased) opinion our races have definitely been the most exciting this year. I’m looking forward to battling it out a few more times at the Super Quaich races, providing my work rota allows…