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2023 Season Round-Up: Rebecca Woodvine

Evie Strachan's 2023 Season Round-Up

Well what a year! As the year went by, it just got better and better and looking back i am very pleased with my year.

First would like to say a huge thank you to all the sponsors this year, giving endless support to us all! I wouldn’t be here without generous support from Madison, the endless supply of Schwalbe tyres, chains from Taya and all the selfless support from Matt Williams of Run & Ride.

The first half of the year was pretty steady. By the end of the CX season I was feeling very tired so took a few weeks to recover. Thankfully, by the time of the Scott Sports Winter Classic in February I was in the swing of things. It was great to earn a team RR23 clean sweep with a full podium. Bu the time March arrived my eyes where firmly focused on the National MTB Series.

I had a good first few rounds, but the luck wasn’t on my side. I punctured at Round 1, crashed at the start of Round 2. Round 3 was a marked improvement when I finished 6th. Round 4 was bang in the middle of exams meaning my lack of training and feeling quite overwhelmed mentally, I slid into the top 10. 

Round 5 was at Cannock which is the home race for the team so I was super excited! It was great to have all the support from the team, and was thrilled to see Evie win the overall. I had an OK race at Cannock, however my pacing was off, I pushed way too hard on the first 2 laps and paid for it later, finishing top 10.

I also quite enjoyed throwing in a handful of road races this season. With a 10th at the Junior Tour of Wales, 4th at the Budsworth Road Race and 11th at the local handicap league. These experiences really helped with my confidence and tactical knowledge that I knew I could draw on during the winter CX campaign. I surprised myself, being up there with the full time roadies so I'm looking forward to doing some more road races next year.

Summer was all about training hard and recovering properly. Was great to have some downtime in Turkey but then put some graft in at the Alps, France. I managed to crash in Glentress which set me back a bit but I was soon up on my feet again working hard.

September means cross season!! The Hope UCI opened up the season. I managed 3rd at Round 2 and 5th at Rounds 1 and 3, finishing 2nd overall, which shocked me a lot! I was over the moon with these performances but was hoping for more at the CX Nationals.

CX Nationals arrived. With help from Schwallbe, supplying the best tyres ever, perfect for sand and mud at Round 1 in South Shields, coming away with 5th, which I was happy with but determined for better. I felt quite tired at this race but learnt I need to fight for it and not accept my position when i’m in it. i finished 9th at Round 2 which i was really disappointed with but learnt so much yet again. I knew I was strong on the climbs but the raw power needed on the flats left me struggling - time for some work before the next round!

End of October and 3rd at Derby (Round 3)! What a day, first national podium! I’ve never felt so happy! I felt so mentally calm pre-race and everything just seemed to go really well on the day. I liked the course, tyre pressures were perfect and I was in a calm environment.

2nd at Torbay (Round 4)! The clam approach worked again! This year I’ve learnt so much, that if you’re mentally in it you can perform so much better. It all felt so smooth and everything came together perfectly.

December was a month I'll never forget, I got the GB call up! If you had told me at the start of the year that this would be a possibility I'd have laughed at you.  Sadly though, I didn’t have a great day on the bike. I felt very overwhelmed with it being my first World Cup race, but overall I didn't think I could be much happier. Lots of people to thank for getting me to here, especially 'Ride for Charlie' for the funding that enabled me to get there.

The penultimate round of the Nationals came at Cyclopark, Kent! I put quite a lot of pressure on myself to do well and was really wanting to fight for it. I steadily found my feet in the race and found the grit and determination when it mattered! I was thrilled to come away with 3rd meaning I had a hat-rick of podiums this year.

With a couple of West Midlands Series wins and the Champs overall in Wolverhampton it was a perfect way to approach the season's end. There are currently a few races left, one on the Continent over Christmas at Hulst.

With an eye on next year, I’m looking forward to smashing it up at the CX National Champs and maybe a World Cup call up? Who knows... Then a nice long break before it all starts again with MTB XC and Road race seasons.

I'd like to say massive thank you to everyone who believed in me and supported the RR23 girls this season! Our sponsors have done wonders in helping our development. With all 3 of us earning GB Jerseys it's been truly amazing!

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