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

Save the nod. Don’t be a non-nodder!

Convicts of the road. The fellowship of the wheel. Cycling is a broad church and it is a congregation united by the pleasure, fitness and memories gained aboard our self-powered transport. Racers or tourists, rough stuff riders or commuters we all share the invigorating enjoyment and freedom of the open road or trail.

You’ll already know or will have noticed that many cyclists acknowledge each other with a nod or raised arm when they pass each other, but it’s an action that seems to be increasingly neglected or unadopted by some riders.

A few years back I was lucky enough to ride in an area populated by numerous World Tour racers, including Giro D’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin, and one misty morning on a climb used in the Amstel Gold race we passed each other and naturally nodded. On roads between the Ribble HQ and home I’ve also had a cheery grin of acknowledgment from one of Britain’s top road racers out on a spin. Yet strangely I can also be out on quiet roads, in pleasant sunny weather and be completely blanked by numerous riders. If the ‘nod count percentage’ from my fellow cyclists drops below 50% I am dismayed, but luckily there are still enough of us nodders out there to maintain my faith in cycle kind.

Fair enough if you are doing a training interval but nodding is one of the cycling customs which must not be lost. If you think you’re too pro or cool to nod, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Pro riders nod so why don’t you?

The year I had to endure a 30-mile commute and could not cycle to work I bought a classic Volkswagen and discovered that Beetle owners raise a hand to each other out on the road. Similarly, motorcyclists often nod to each other and ramblers say hello.

So, let’s unite to save the nod. Don’t be a non-nodder!

Team Ribble


Thinking of heading to the NEC Cycle Show this September? Save on your tickets with Ribble here…


Not sure on the difference between A Sportive or Endurance bike? See what Ash our Mailbox Store Manager has to say on choosing between the two…


 

Why should you choose an Endurance or Sportive bike?

Endurance or sportive-specific bikes might not look especially different from a regular racer, but there are subtle differences in their geometry which benefit the non-racing cyclist.

The typical endurance bike frame has a more relaxed geometry, making it more comfortable when spending long periods of time in the saddle. The relaxed geometry makes a longer wheelbase for stability and comfort, while bringing the handlebars closer and higher so the rider is in a  less extended or aggressive position.

The difference in the geometry of these bikes compared to a bike designed for racing are quite subtle, but if you really want to get into the detail here goes…

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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