After meeting Dani King at the opening of the Odd Down circuit in Bath, Laura decided that riding a bike was the way forward.
She really grew to love it, and progressed from her flat bar “cruiser” to her first drop bar road bike under the careful guidance and nurturing of the coaches at Sulis Scorpions.
Come 2014, Laura decided that as her brother Morgan was going to be racing, she would also like a go, and so she too was entered in to the Easter Classic at Castle Combe.
On the morning of the race Laura was delighted to receive a good luck message from Dani, her sporting hero, and despite not knowing what to expect, she took to the start line for her first experience of a race.
Whilst the race wasn’t one to remember for the result, Laura finishing some distance behind the winners, she did at least finish and immediately declared “I want to do that again”.
Over the course of the year Laura continued with her Scorpions sessions, and raced whenever she got the chance, eventually winning the u12 girls series at Castle Combe – the scene of that first race, along with the Odd Down series, and the Ludgershall series.
She ended her first season with a British Cycling points tally that placed her in the top ten for u12 girls, and the determination to kick on and place higher the following year.
With confidence from the previous year, Laura headed in to the 2015 with the ambition to get in to the top 5 for u12 girls.
The 2015 early season was full of incident, with sickness causing Laura to pull up in the Easter Classic, and then two crashes in subsequent outings. In all races she stuck to task though, picking herself up, repairing her bike and finishing the race – often getting back up the field and in the points.
February saw the acquisition of ‘Azzura’, Laura’s Planet X track bike, and entry in to the Regional Youth Omnium series. After the qualifying rounds Laura was 2nd in the regional standings and so qualified to ride the National finals at Wolverhampton. Despite it all being new, she rode well and finished 11th overall, with a fantastic showing in the Scratch race.
2015 also saw Laura compete in her first National Series road races, one at Milton Keynes and one at Hillingdon. Quite a change from the local circuit races, with a large fields of 60 riders, but this didn’t phase her and she rode well in both, finishing 6th at Milton Keynes and 7th at Hillingdon.
By the end of the year Laura was at home on both track and road, enjoying taking part in Newport Velo’s mini-league and drop in sessions at the Velodrome, and working hard on both endurance and speed on the road.
She retained both her Castle Combe series and Odd Down series crowns, adding to them with wins at Henstridge, Paignton and Chard – where she won all three disciplines in the 1st Chard Wheelers stage race.
Possibly the highlight for Laura was to win the Inaugural BANES schools cup for the u12 age group, and also taking a 2nd place in the u14 age group. The day was all the more memorable as her favourite Dani King won the womens race, part of the Tour Series.
Laura gained her dispensation from British Cycling as an under 12, enabling her to race in u14 races. She took part in three such races at the end tof the 2015 season, and picked up a win and two 3rd places.
Wanting to be ready for 2016 and her first year as an under 14, Laura has been training over the winter and is now looking forward to all the season has to offer…