British racing cyclist Hannah Barnes has been using the Wattbike to get her balanced pedalling technique back after injury. We took the opportunity to ask her some burning questions about her rehab and greatest achievements, she also shares a few tips for those who are just getting into cycling. Read on to find out more:
Q: Tell us about yourself and your sporting background
I have been racing bikes since I was 10 years old. At 10 nothing is ever serious so I would do all sports at school. Running, football, netball, hockey etc. When I was 17 I got selected to play hockey for the county which would have meant Saturday fixtures. That's where I made the decision to focus solely on cycling.
In 2012 I joined the UCI team, IbisCycles and moved to Holland. Unfortunately that team folded so I spent 2013 in Britain racing for MG-Maxifuel. I had a great year and really enjoyed racing at home. I spent 2014 and 2015 in America racing for UnitedHealthcare. Those 2 years were a lot of fun. Exploring places I would have never been to and experiencing a completely different racing scene.
2016 and I am back in Europe racing for Canyon-SRAM. I am putting in a lot of hard work and along with the Wattbike it shouldn't be too long until I am back on the start line.
Q: How did you get into cycling?
When I was younger we would go for a family bike ride most weekends, around the local reservoir. We had to get a new part for Dad's bike so we went to the local bike shop, Phil Corley Cycles in Milton Keynes. There was a Team Keyne poster in the door advertising local youth races for kids. We went along, loved it. The rest is history.
Q: What is your favourite cycling discipline?
My favourite cycling discipline is the road. I love the team aspect of road racing and the tactics that go with it.
Q: When did you first start using a Wattbike in your training?
I first started using a Wattbike when I was recovering from a leg injury. I broke the Talus bone in my ankle which is inevitable for slow recovery. I didn't weight bare for 18 weeks and was in a cast/boot for 20 weeks so lost a lot of muscle mass and strength.
Q: What do you love about the Wattbike?
I love being able to see my imbalances using the Wattbike Polar View. With such a big difference between my left to right sides I really need to focus on distributing my power evenly through each leg, smoothly and efficiently so to have the polar view and be able to watch it throughout my session is really going to help promote my recovery.
Q: What is your favourite Wattbike session?
I'm not able to do many efforts or intervals at the moment so most sessions are focusing on engaging my right leg and making sure my pedalling is symmetrical.
Q: What is your proudest achievement so far?
I love representing my country so it would have to be racing at the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships in 2014. It is something you don't get the privilege of doing very often so every time I put the red, white and blue on I feel very proud.
Q: What are your goals for the coming year?
My main goal for this year is getting back to where I was before my accident. Rehab has been going well so far and I can already feel a big difference so I am confident it shouldn't be too long.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
I know a lot of inspiring people but I would say Tao Geoghegan Hart is my biggest inspiration. He is so dedicated to everything he does. There are no short cuts. Just being with him motivates me and keeps me always wanting to achieve more.
Q: What’s your best advice for someone who wants to get into cycling?
I would focus on all points of contact. Comfort is the main battle. Getting a good pair of cycling shorts and a good saddle will make riding a lot more enjoyable. Also going out with company can make the time go faster and they can encourage you to go that little bit harder and further.
Q: What’s your best advice for amateur cyclists who want to improve their performance?
To fuel well. You can't do a good session or training ride without taking on board the right nutrition.
Q: What is the best advice you were ever given?
Never give up.
Click here to find out more about how the Wattbike Polar View can help you.