Staying Focused

The 36-year-old optician from Jesmond has been training in the Majorcan sunshine for the past few weeks as part of preparation for the cycling season.

Anna works as a locum optician so she can concentrate on her training and racing – she has achieved Commonwealth level with the Scottish squad – by virtue of a mum from Glasgow.

In July 2014, she was cheered on by thousands in a packed-out Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, representing Scotland at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

She came to the sport relatively late via triathlon, she explains.

“I started triathlon in 2009. Initially I thought it would just be a one-off thing or a fun hobby but I really enjoyed it and I was much better at it than I expected.

“I read in a magazine that doing cycling time trials was good training for triathlon so I decided to give it a go. In 2013 I did the CTT (cycling time trials) British National Championships and finished second in the 25 mile and 50 mile time trials and people started saying ‘you should be a cyclist’. My initial reaction was ‘don’t be daft, I’m too old!’, but then when I looked at successful time trialists like Julia Shaw, I realised that it was possible to compete in your 30s, 40s and even 50s”, she says.

Finishing second in the national championships meant she fulfilled the selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games and Anna approached Scottish Cycling to ask if she could compete in games for Scotland.

“The coach asked if I had ever ridden on the velodrome. I said ‘no, but I’d love to try’. So I started practising on the velodrome and was selected to ride the individual time trial on the road and the individual pursuit on the velodrome.”

Despite the initial trepidation, Turvey finished 12th in the Women’s 3,000m Individual Pursuit during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She also competed in the Women’s Individual Time Trial, finishing ninth.

 The rigorous training means she now works as a locum optician to be able to combine training and work.

It was brilliant last year. The set up and support from the race organiser and locals was amazing

“I cycle four to six times a week and go to the gym twice a week. It is difficult in the winter at home as the weather is awful and its dark after work, so much of the training is done on a static bike in the garage, unless I get the chance to go away. I work as a locum so I can have flexibility in how many days I work. At the moment I work 2-5 days a week.”

Her cycling club is The Tyneside Vagabonds and she rides for a road team called Ford Ecoboost. She also cycles on the new outdoor velodrome at Middlesbrough when possible.

Her hero is Julia Shaw, “a really successful rider who is basically an amateur who came to the sport late. She beats a lot of full time, funded riders but has a full time job.”

Anna is looking forward to participating in the Tour de Yorkshire.

“It was brilliant last year. The set up and support from the race organiser and locals was amazing. I am really looking forward to riding again this year.”

And as for the future?

“I’d like to get back on the track and do some more road racing with my team Ford Ecoboost and of course some time trials.”