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Anna Christian: “A challenging step up”

Isle of Man cyclist Anna Christian has recently prolonged her contract with the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team for another year. The 20 year old is the youngest athlete on the British registered UCI team and one of the four British riders on the team with Dani King, Amy Roberts and new signing Lucy Garner. Her first year as a professional cyclist was one with ups and downs as it was a very rough and challenging year for her due to an injury last winter.

“It was a challenging step up, particularly the early season classics. But I feel I have gained so much experience and I’m looking forward to the new season. It was great to ride alongside these girls as teammates and I learnt so much from them throughout the whole year, such as how to target and prepare for a race and how to ride a race tactically.

“I went into last season with the winter I would not have wanted to have as I broke my collarbone and wrist in November. The layoff  gave me a lot of chasing form to do going into the early races. I expected the step up to be hard work, but didn’t expect the early season Belgian classics to be as full on as they were. Also, I didn’t expect to be given so many opportunities to race as I was given in my first professional season. I enjoyed riding the Route de France and GP Plouay World Cup. They were huge learning experiences for me going into next season.”

Anna Christian (17)

With the recent signings of Emma Johansson, Lucy Garner and Amy Pieters, the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team has add more strength to the already impressive team roster which includes other stars as Jolien D’hoore, Elisa Longo Borghini and Giorgia Bronzini. But Christian is convinced that the team can have another great season.

“Wiggle Honda has always been such a strong team and it’s even stronger this year. We have riders who excel in all race scenarios and terrain. 2015 was an amazing year for the team with all their UCI wins. I think they can have another successful season, especially with it being an Olympic year. I think if the TTT is focused on then they can definitely win a medal at the Qatar Worlds.

“The new signings are great for the team. They’re all such strong riders and bring so much class and experience. It’s great to have Lucy joining the team. She’s such a talented bike rider and sprinter. It’s also great to have another Brit on board!”

For Christian it won’t be easy to get a regular spot for (big) races next season with the star roster the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team has but she is determined to give her best and prove she can be a valuable asset to the team in the stage races and races with hillier profiles.

“If  I’m honest, I didn’t get on top of my form last season. I like racing stage races and races with hillier profiles rather than flat. My goal next year will be to start the season with good enough fitness to play a bigger part in supporting my team mates in the early season races. My aim is to build good form for the stage races in May and June which will suit me more.

“I’d love to be able to ride the Aviva Women’s Tour. It is great to see it being such a successful race in Britain and a World Tour race. The Amgen Tour of California looks like a race I’d really enjoy to get stuck into. I’ve always had the Giro Rosa as a race I’d love to race. “

Anna Christian (1)

Like most of the athletes the Olympic Games in Rio is something Christian is dreaming of. The team youngster hopes to get some early season results to make it onto the GB team.

“It’s my dream to be a part of Team GB for the Rio Olympics. Hearing about the RR course its sounds like a really hard circuit so it’s going to be an exciting race – just like London was. I think Lizzie [Armitstead] can win and be Olympic Champion so I’d love to help her towards that goal. With the talk of it being a climber’s race, hopefully with the right race programme I can show my climbing abilities and achieve good enough form to make it onto the team.”

To start the season well prepared Christian is already in full preparation for the new season. She’s working again with her coach she had in her successful 2014 season.

“At the moment I’m back home on the Isle of Man preparing for the 2016 season with my coach I had in 2014. It’s such a great place to train for me and with the other riders here to train with. I’ve planned some warm weather training camps, because as lovely as the Isle of Man is, I’m not a fan of the rain, wind and cold for nearly 4 months!“

One of the warm weather training camps will be the first team winter training camp in Spain at the end of the week where Christian will be joining most of her teammates for the 2016 season.



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