Cycling Weekly is counting down the 30 British Riders of the Year thoughout December. The top 10 will be revealed in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.
30: KATIE COLCLOUGH
World team time trial champion
At the World Championships in Italy, Katie Colclough announced that she would be retiring from cycling at the end of the season.
The thing that made this announcement so unusual was that Colclough is only 23 years old and will not turn 24 until January.
Losing such a talented rider at such a young age says a lot about the current state of women’s cycling, particularly its structure and economics.
Having previously been part of the British team pursuit squad – a World Cup winner and a European champion at senior level – she had begun to develop into a strong road rider.
And she bowed out from the elite level of the sport in the best way possible – by winning a world title.
She was part of the Specialized-Lululemon squad that won the 42.8-kilometre team time trial in Florence, beating the star-studded Rabo cycling team, featuring Marianne Vos and Annemiek Van Vleuten, into second place by an impressive margin of one minute and 11 seconds.
The Specialized-Lululemon team included Evelyn Stevens, Trixi Worrack and Ellen Van Dijk – three of the most powerful riders in the world – but Colclough fitted right in alongside them.
Although it is a shame for women’s cycling that Colclough has decided to pursue other goals in life, she can at least enjoy winning a rainbow jersey – the ultimate prize in cycling – which is something many riders race an entire career dreaming of without coming close.
Katie Colclough (bottom right) celebrates Specialized-Lululemon’s World Championship TTT win with her team-mates. Photo by Graham Watson