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Ailbhe Carroll | Going Full Circle. The future is bright.

Hi All,

The last time I wrote I had just finished a block of 3 races back to back which all went pretty poorly. I had a decision to make that was a make or break so I took some time to think through where I was heading and made sure anyone I contacted for help was a wise decision.

I went through a pretty tough mental battle with having had a succession punches to the face that really tore me down. It’s a tough game this world of sport! But, its one we love. It’s one I love anyway and I am so glad I am lucky enough to be embarking on this journey, be it rough or smooth.

At the start of July, I joined forces with a new coaching team based in Ireland called HupHup. This team consists of Gavin Noble and Eanna McGrath. Gavin was Ireland’s first Olympian for triathlon in London and was a childhood hero of mine. He was the first person I wrote to when I was 16, and starting the triathlon journey. He took time out of his athlete lifestyle to email me back – and for that, I always had a huge respect for him. It’s a little weird now, how my childhood hero is now making my programme, but I have full trust in him to help me. Full circle. Eanna is a man of numbers and stats. Two things I am a big fan of. Together, their knowledge and experience are world class and something I am very lucky to be a part of.

We decided to keep me away from racing in order to make sure I had time to adapt to the new programme. It’s been over 7 weeks, but finally, this Saturday saw my return to the field at the Irish National Champs – a race I was super excited to challenge.

And well, the pictures say it all… What a race!

The women’s race today in DCT was set to be a cracker and in my opinion, it did not disappoint. We all know each other fairly well and we know where each other’s strengths and weaknesses lie. We had strong bikers, speedy runners, and all-round strong athletes across the board in the mix today. Carolyn was the running threat and we knew that going in. Orla and I tried all we could to break the group and keep it stochastic in nature in an effort to keep it from being a run race. Carolyn is a pocket rocket on the run and we didn’t want a run race to unfold!! Our efforts, of which there were many many many, came to no success and so, a run race it was! A group of 5 of us entered t2 together.

It went to form and Carolyn put in a fantastic run split to dance her way to the top.

The excitement the race had around it beforehand was still unfolding for the podium spots. The British girl Lucy Byram ran her way to second and then myself and Erin were in a battle for 3rd. We were together until 4km. A small gap opened up and Erin had a few meters of a gap on me. I closed it. This process then repeated itself another 2 times until the elastic went kaboom and I was unable to respond. Erin ran in for third and I finished with the chocolate medal!

My emotions coming over the line were of bitter disappointment but upon reflection, I’m quietly pleased. I had a solid day from start to finish. I gave what I had today, and today it wasn’t enough. That’s racing. Such an exciting thing!

As Lucy Byram is British and it was our national champs, I will get 3rd in the national champs race but obviously, I was 4th over the line. It was a super close battle with only 29 seconds separating 2nd and 4th.

It was absolutely class to be part of such a stacked Irish field. The tactics were on fire today, and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to race within such a dynamic race. The Irish super series is growing and with more international athletes getting stuck in, it really is turning the races into some exciting viewing.

A massive thank you to, I’ve only been working with them for 7 weeks and I am so happy with the progress I have made in such a short time. I feel, for most, the season is drawing to a close, but I’m only starting to get going! It’s going to be a fun winter!!

A massive congrats also to Chris and Kieran on a cracking display of sass from the gun to the tape. A great day out for athletes. The future is bright👌

Next for me is a French grand prix on Sept 22nd. My first GP of the season but the finale of the series. I am super excited to get going in this race so keep in touch for more race reports in 2 weeks time!

Ailbhe X


From US Postal Team to Head of Product – Meet Jamie Burrow

We got pretty excited when we saw that  Geraint Thomas started his cycling career on a Ribble. We’ve had a few champs ride a Ribble, Chris Boardman, Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas… what we didn’t know is that our very own ex-US Postal Team Pro turned Head of Product Jamie Burrow also started his journey on a Ribble. From family hand-me-downs to pro-team handouts, we sit down with Jamie to find out a bit more about his cycling history.

He’s a man with a million stories to tell, but Jamie tells us we’ll have to wait for the book on that one!! Continue reading From US Postal Team to Head of Product – Meet Jamie Burrow

Q&A with Team Ribble Triathlete | Ailbhe Carroll

Team Ribble sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll is aiming to be selected by Ireland for the 2020 Olympic Games and you’ll be able to follow her progress here.

My journey to gain Olympic selection for the Tokyo 2020 Games starts this season. I look forward to being able to share my experiences during my preparation with you. If you haven’t seen my previous blog posts for Ribble then I’ll introduce myself.

Who am I? I’m Ailbhe Carroll.

Nationality: Irish. D/O/B: 13/07/91.

What are my dreams? To be the best athlete I can.

How do I plan to make my dreams come true? Train relentlessly and qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Why? Because if life isn’t a challenge and doesn’t excite you then why bother.

What’s next for me in 2018? I’m heading back home for a Irish national aquathon champs in the middle of May. After that I travel to Poland to race a European Cup triathlon so it’s an exciting few weeks as the season really gets going.

My short-term objectives? To always improve on my last outing. To gain vital ITU ranking points and to come away happy and hungry for more.

Keep up to date with my personal journey of trying my best to qualify for Tokyo 2020 over the next 2 years. It’s sure to have highs. It’s sure to have lows, so stay tuned!

See you soon,
Ailbhe X

Disc brake vs Rim brake – Which one is better?

Disc brakes versus Caliper brakes – the classic debate when it comes to buying your new road bike.  Whilst disc has been growing increasingly popular, the old rim brake seems here to stay and rightly so. Unsure what to go for? Ash puts them head to head to see which brakes suit you better…
Continue reading Disc brake vs Rim brake – Which one is better?

Ribble Pro Cycling: Off to a flying start!

This week signified the start of our season proper. Despite a win at Gifford in early March we viewed the UCI 2.2 Tour of Tunisie as our first real goal.

The race proved a turbulent experience for both riders and staff with strong winds, minus temperatures and frozen conditions blighting much of the race – not what was anticipated or forecasted for the North African country which borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. The boys suffered valiantly in the conditions with Gruff narrowly missing out on a better result on Stage 1. With the race splitting in the crosswinds and the team putting four riders in the leading group of twenty, we misjudged the finish slightly and Gruff ended in a disappointing albeit solid 7th which signified the team’s intentions for the remainder of the race. In to Stage 2, in one word, epic. David Hewett the only rider to finish, one of only eleven left in the race, as sleet, high winds and freezing rain battered the race for each of the 172 km. Stage 3 the weather proved to be too much and the stage was cancelled, an excellent decision on behalf of the race organisation. This meant the Tour ended with two stages, David finishing 8th on GC, picking up his and the teams first UCI points of the season.

After a days travel and rest the team rallied for the final race of the trip, a re-organised UCI 1.2 race the 202 km GP Pharmacy. Again a day of heavy rain was forecast. The team set out with the intention of working for Gruff, who duly delivered. Attacking a break of three riders deep into the race he rode the last 12km solo to win – the best way as the only rider in the picture. A fantastic win which topped off a great trip for the team.

Closer to home the riders that remained in the UK produced some excellent performances, undoubtedly motivated by Gruff’s Tunisian success. Due to illness and injury the team was down to three riders at these events. First up was Lancaster University Spring Circuit race at Salt Ayre.

The trio attacking heavily from the outset forced both Si and Alex clear within the first 5km, the duo never looked backed establishing a 30 sec lead that never faltered crossing the line together for a 1,2, Jack narrowly missing the clean sweep in 4th. Onto Sunday the Coalville Wheelers RR the long-running National B over 130 km. A strong Vitus Pro Cycling presence added a further dimension to the race. The pace was high throughout with no group getting more than 20 seconds for the first 90 km, then finally a group of ten managed to forge out a small lead on the peloton. With Alex present for the team and four Vitus riders the break had enough collective firepower to maintain the gap through to the final lap. The final 1 km included a punchy 400m climb before a false flat finish. This turned out to be perfect for Alex as the group of ten contested the win, Alex hit the front towards the top of the climb and never looked back taking a great win. Behind Jack won the sprint from what remained of the peloton.

Also on Sunday still carrying fatigue from Tunisia, Tom and Ronnie combined well for 2nd and 4th in the final round of the Bike Inn Spring Shield in Middlesbrough.

Next up for the team is the 4-day Ras Muhan in Kerry which starts on Good Friday.

Check out the pro team bike getting built here

Been thinking about riding in a group? Check out our latest guide here