Fixed Gear Crit

Keira McVitty “This has been the hardest year of my life on the bike”

Last year, Keira McVitty announced that she would be focussing on her road career for 2017 by riding for the UCI team WNT. Despite her focus on the road, Keira will be racing Red Hook Criterium London No.3 which feels like a home-race for her. We talked with Keira half-way through the season which she describes so far as “the hardest year of my life on the bike” to see how she is doing and what her ambitions are for RHC London No.3 

Keira’s move to a full-time existence as a cyclist was quite a transformation. “I went from training around college to moving to Girona to train full time and commit to my cycling completely. Over the winter I over-trained and ended up hitting the start of my season in a massive hole. I raced the first part of the season but after numerous blood tests in March we found out that I had Anaemia (low iron). Iron is essential to transporting oxygen around the body so as you can imagine I was racing on something equivalent to minus EPO.”

“It has been a massive year of learning but in a way I wouldn’t change it, it sounds cliché but I think that the bad experiences people have can shape them for the better. I have been overwhelmed in many ways but I still have this addiction to this crazy sport and that has seen me through. I know that I won’t be happy doing anything else other than riding a bike.”

“After starting racing again after some months off I have made good progress. I recently returned from finishing my first ever UCI stage race in the Czech Republic. The highlight has been that I have been able to overcome a health issue that has probably been prevalent for some years, so I am excited at the prospect of how much further I could go.”

As her first half of the 2017 season had several downs and ups it is hard for Keira to determine her goals “they have been somewhat vague as my main one is to get back to race fitness, I have been working hard towards the National Criterium champs and RHC London so after then I will see what is left to strive for this season. Potentially a return to the track with plans to race Madison Nationals this winter”

Pro-road cycling teams are often not very supportive in their riders riding fixed gear crits. However, Keira’s team WNT is a delightful exception on this. “My road team TEAM WNT are very supportive of me in every aspect so when I explained my situation they were willing for me to race fixed gear. I am very grateful for this opportunity to do both as it is not an option available to many riders racing at my level on the road.”

Although RHC London No.3 is marked on Keira’s calendar, due to her road career she barely raced fixed this year. “I raced the fixed gear and Elite road crit at London Nocturne but other than that I haven’t touched a fixed gear bike since Milan RHC last year. Not through choice however!” Regarding Red Hook Criterium London No.3 Keira is clear “I have no expectations but I am aiming to represent my team R3VO racing to the best of my ability. Crazy attacks, going for primes and crowd pleasing are my no.1 priority!”

Some final remarks of Keira “I might not be stronger than last season but I can safely say that I am 100% wiser.”

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