Lara Gillespie almost didn’t make it to World Champs start line

Posted on: February 6th, 2018

Irish cyclist Lara Gillespie

Irish cyclist Lara Gillespie reflects on her cyclocross Worlds ride that she said almost didn’t happen. But once she made it she said the experience was an amazing one (Photos by Toby Watson, homepage photo by Martine Verfaillie)


Cyclist Lara Gillespie on cyclocross Worlds ride


Having put in a great ride at the World Cyclocross Championships, Lara Gillespie has said she was ill in the build-up.

The 16-year-old is a first year junior but was riding the U23 race as there was no U18 women’s race at the Worlds.

She finished 23rd, which was a fantastic performance, especially considering her age.

But that performance was all the more remarkable considering she was unable to train for a period before her Valkenburg ride.

“I was sick last week and didn’t touch the bike for seven days,” she said. “And it was touch and go if I would even make the start line.”


Irish cyclist Lara Gillespie

Irish cyclist Lara Gillespie

She may have been ill and unable to train before the race, but Lara Gillespie got stuck in once her cyclocross Worlds race was underway (Photo: TobyWatson)


But having started she rode a very strong race and enjoyed it immensely.

“That was an amazing experience, the crowds, and particularly the Irish fans, were amazing,” she said.

“There were so many people shouting for me, so thank you to everyone!”

And by the sounds of things she won’t be resting on her laurels after these cyclocross Worlds.

“I have a few days off now and will be back to Belgium for the Junior Ghent-Wevelgem in March,” she said.

“Our school team has also been selected for the World Schools Cross Country Championships in Paris over Easter.”