Wendy Houvenaghel05 April, 2012 0 comments
Name: Wendy Houvenaghel
Age: 37 years
Cycling buddy (i.e. who you train with): Ian Houvenaghel
Favourite bike: Trek Speed Concept
1. How did you get involved in cycling?
I took up cycling as a way to keep fit following my participation in the 2002 London marathon.
2. Your husband was a big driving force behind your cycling success – would you have got to the level you’re at without him?
My husband has been a massive positive influence in everything I’ve achieved in cycling so far, although my determination, hard work and natural talent have played a very important role as well!
3. What’s the best thing about being a cyclist? Are there any downsides?
The best thing about being good at cycling is that I’m in the best physical shape I have ever been; the big down side to cycling in this country is bad weather! I love cycling when it’s sunny!
4. If you weren’t a cyclist, what would you be doing?
I am a qualified Dental Surgeon and would be involved in that line of work, if I wasn’t going for Olympic gold.
5. What are your career highlights?
So far, becoming the Olympic Silver Medallist in Beijing in 2008; and winning three World Championships Titles.
6. What is your typical weekly training schedule?
A typical week in training involves taking part in lots of track sessions at the Velodrome in Manchester; I am also involved with endurance training on the road.
7. What is your main focus at the moment?
My main focus at the moment is to compete well in the World Championships in Melbourne in the next few weeks. Then I’ll be 100% focussed on delivering a great performance as part of the Women’s Team Pursuit at the Olympic Games in London.
8. Do you practice any other sports in your leisure time?
I tend to try and relax when I have spare time but I do enjoy horse riding, hill walking and hockey.
9. You were there for the Olympic Games in Beijing. In terms of cycling, do you think London 2012 can follow such a successful event?
I know that our team will be aiming to win as many gold medals as possible in London. At the 2012 Games, there are less endurance cycling events on the programme, and only one rider per nation can be entered in each. It will not be possible for our team to repeat the same feat this time around, as there are less medals to be won.
10. How do you feel about the changes to the Olympic cycling programme?
Initially I was disappointed to hear that my original event, the Individual Pursuit was removed from the programme. However, my other event, the Womens Team Pursuit was introduced into the competition programme, so I was happy that I still had an event that I could realistically aim to win gold in.
11. Finally, if you could take any ‘cycling buddy’ out on a ride, who would it be?
My niece, Kirsty!
Wendy Houvenaghel supports her training with CherryActive. Visit www.cherryactive.co.uk for details.