Sky Sports Scholarships - Lucy Garner ends great year on a high

Last Updated: 20/09/13 9:05am

Lucy Garner: Will compete for Great Britain at the Road World Championships in Italy later in September

So, my first year as a professional and senior rider has nearly come to an end.

At the end of September I will have around four weeks off just being a bit 'normal'! I can't wait to catch up with friends and family and make the most of my rest period.

This year has been a great experience and to even come away with one professional win was very unexpected. I had a hard winter before the season started with a lot of training ready to head to my first race in Belgium in the middle of February.

I also had a completely new challenge, moving to a different country, Holland, and leaving my family and friends behind. It was tough, but I have had a lot of support and I'm finally settling down.

Progress

I have a very strong team (Argos-Shimano) with one of the world's best sprinters, so being able to train and race with them has been great for my riding. I have worked a lot for them for their wins and they did the same for me in China, when I won my first race. I have had no setbacks this year, apart from a couple of crashes, but I have really progressed because of that.

The last part of the season I wasn't certain on the races I would be doing. I was let down by being told I wasn't racing Holland Ladies Tour (a race which would suit me) but a couple of days later I was told that I will be competing in this year's Road World Championships on the September 28.

I couldn't believe it as realistically this course isn't suited to my abilities and also because I am in my first year and I wasn't expecting to be selected. But now I have been, it has given me that extra drive to help the team and gain as much experience as possible.

Training is going well at the moment, a lot of hours on the bike and all sorts of efforts ready to prepare myself for my last stage race in Toscana from September 11-15 before heading out to the worlds.

This year has provided me with a lot of new experiences and opportunities. One being that I am now a proud Sky Sports Scholar. A few weeks back I had the chance to meet up with the other athletes, which was great to hear their stories, and a bit about their sports. By the end of the day - yes, I was tired - but I couldn't stop smiling. It was such a great day! I also came home with a few cool goodies...

I am really looking forward to being on board with the team and making the most of the opportunities that come my way.