Jessica Wilson-Young on Breaking the Scottish Women's '10' Record

Wednesday, 14th September, 2011

It hasnít been the best of summers for going fast on a bicycle, but the last day of August saw the Westferry Ď10í course in benign mood - Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) dipped under the magical 20 minute barrier with 19:45, not so far away now from Graeme Obreeís 19:29 competition record. 

But the ladiesí record did fall, with Jessica Wilson-Young (Edinburgh RC) updating the Scottish ladies mark by four seconds to 21:42.

Hereís what Jessica had to say about her evening out beside the Clyde.

Ed Hood: Congratulations, Jessica Ė rude questions first, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

Jessica Wilson-Young: Iíll be 40 at the end of September; I work for the Centre for Sport and Exercise at University of Edinburgh.

They have an outdoor activity centre at Loch Tay and I do the admin for that.

EH: How did you get into the bike?

JWY: I used to work with Carol Westmorland who was British ladies 12 and 24 hour champion, she was a great inspiration to me and one lunch hour we nipped out and bought me a bike Ė that was the start.

I was 24, so started in the sport late.

EH: Who inspires you as a rider?

JWY: Julia Shaw, she disproves the theory that you canít go faster after your 40th birthday.

EH: Who had the Ď10í record previously?

JWY: Katrina Hair with 21:46, itís stood since 2006 but Iíve felt for a while that I had it
within me to break it.

But to break a Scottish record the weather has to be right; it was my last race of the season and the conditions were good Ė it was a nice way to close my season.

EH: And that goes with winning the 10, 25 and 50 titles, this year?

JWY: Yes, I didnít ride the 100; I donít think Iíd enjoy that distance.

EH: Do you have road ambitions?

JWY: No, I donít think Iíd enjoy road racing; I enjoy time trialling and folk are really
friendly Ė Iím not sure about all that spitting and swearing that goes on in road races.

EH: Track?

JWY: Iíve previously won a bronze in the Scottish ladiesí pursuit but I was a bit wary of riding the bankings. 

EH: Whatís your favourite event and course?

JWY: Tens Ė itís over quickly, I enjoy short distance time trialling most of all.

I like Westferry; I prefer non-technical courses - although I do like the Meldons course.

I do go best on non-technical courses; I tend to lose time on corners. 

EH: I believe you were only beaten once, this year?

JWY: That was in the British Ď10í championships Ė I didnít have a very good result, 24th.

Iíd had a family bereavement and it was a really windy day, which didnít suit me Ė it was a struggle.

I was unbeaten in Scotland, which was a surprise because I hadnít even intended to race, I was going to take a year out to concentrate on running Ė Iíd like to run a fast Edinburgh marathon.

I started training for running but I built up the volume and intensity far too quickly and ended up with a stress fracture in my pelvis.

I did nothing until February and then we went on a touring holiday to North Vietnam at the end of March.

It was very mountainous and involved a lot of long, long climbs Ė when I came back I did a test on the turbo and found that I had good power.

EH: You use SRM cranks?

JWY: Iíve been using a power metre for three years but really I prefer to ride on speed rather than power.

EH: The Commonwealth Games?

JWY: I really wanted to ride the time trial at Delhi but I didnít meet the qualification criteria Ė which was two top three placings in Rudy Project events.

In the past Iíd achieved that, but in 2010 I only managed one top three and didnít gain selection.

I rather lost motivation due to that, but Iím very keen to be at Glasgow in 2014.

Iíll take 2012 out to go for a good marathon time but will definitely be back after that.

Iíd like to break the 25 and 50 records and whilst Iíll be even older at the 2014 Games I really want to have a shot at selection - you just have to look at the achievements of riders like Julia Shaw and Christine McLean; it shows that you can still improve even if youíre over 40. 

EH: What one thing would you change about Scottish Cycling?

JWY: I think SC does a good job of attracting girls in to bike racing, especially youngstersĖ but maybe there could be a bit more support for older riders? 

Article and image courtesy of Ed Hood


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