To celebrate International Women’s Day, we sat down with former-UCI rider and 24-hour time triallist, Steph Mottram, who gives us insight into her life, cycling career and inspiration. Away from the UK, you’ll find Steph as an expert leader on our Mallorca cycling breaks.
How did you get into cycling?
I got my first road bike to allow me to cycle to my rowing training, it was a mode of transport more than anything. However, following an injury in 2007 I retired from rowing and my focus moved away from competition.
In 2014 I decided to have a go at triathlon, winning silver at the 25-29 age group worlds in Edmonton. I lived for the biking element, which brought me to focus on cycling from that point on. My brother Mikey was already competing on the Road, which is where I first started. I began by riding for Torelli, participating in the national series and UCI races.
My strongest skill was always power, the ability to work as a domestic which lead naturally to Time Trials. This is where I am now competing in endurance events aiming for the national 24-hour time trail in July.
What bike do you ride?
I ride a Ridley Noah or Fenix, my TT frame broke during the 24 hours ride last year, so I’m currently on the hunt for a very small Ridley Dean!
Who is your riding inspiration?
My dad! Back in 2010 he was part of Steve Redgrave’s 8-man team who completed the Race Across America, with no previous cycling experience, a full-time job and 7 kids. He lost weight, trained hard and achieved what many could only dream of doing. He is the inspiration for my goal to qualify and compete in the Race Across America.
At home, who do you normally ride with?
I spend most of my time riding on my own when at home, I find the long solo hours really help keep focus through the long-time trials.
What do you like about riding in Mallorca?
What’s not to like? It’s warm, the roads are amazing, drivers are considerate, and the views are mega. Plus, no matter which village you end up in, there’s always a good cuppa coffee and cake.
What are your favourite things to do in Mallorca off the bike?
Rock climbing! The island has a lot of sport climbing, mainly limestone. We try to get some warm weather climbing trips twice a year. If I find myself there without a climbing partner, I’ll be in the sea having a swim!
Is Mallorca suitable for all types of rider?
Yeah, although it’s a small island, Mallorca has a bit of everything: Coastal rides, flat rides and into the mountain. It’s easy to create routes to suit the rider’s objective.
What is your favourite climb on the island?
My favourite ride (although not a climb) is the coastal road from Andrax, the undulating road by the sea is just beautiful and challenging. If I had to pick a climb, I think it would be Randa, which was the first climb I ever did on the island. With all the monastery climbs, the views are spectacular at the top!
What is your favourite food?
Rice cake with peanut butter and jam!
Tell us one random fact about yourself?
Two for the price of one! I’m a qualified sports massage therapist and in the small amount of time I’m in the UK I foster dogs who are waiting for a home from the Dogs Trust.
What do you think about the current women’s road cycling tour?
Women’s cycling in general is going from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of participating women pushing the standard higher all the time. The cycling tour really helps to raise awareness of the sport and gives the top-level women some very honest races to compete in.
Do you think women’s cycling receives enough public recognition and support?
Yeah, I believe that generally women’s sport is growing not only in cycling, and with this the support grows each year. There are some amazing role models now inspiring the youth coming through, which will only aid the continuous growth of the sport.
In Yorkshire alone there are specific groups for supporting women’s and youth riding and racing. Each year there’s an increase in women’s racing at grass roots and UCI, The Tour De Yorkshire is a great example, it’s grown over the past 3 years to become an extremely competitive event attracting some of the best teams and riders from around the world.
Anyone can always ask for more support within a sport, however, I believe the top athletes perform at their best because of the passion they have for the sport. Should a sport grow too fast there wouldn’t be enough athletes at the level required to fill races, which could have a negative impact on the sport. Currently there’s a wide range of events at different levels across the sport which is a credit to the organisers.
Ride with Steph on our Mallorca Breaks
If you’re looking for a Spring ride in the sun on some challenging but sociable rides, then book your next Mallorca trip with Sportive Breaks. Our packages start from only £499 and run between March and May.