New Coach | Monica Dew
We're super excited to announce a new member of our coaching team, former pro rider, Monica Dew. We think Monica's endless enthusiasm & infectious personality will make her an instant hit at our coaching sessions. Monica's also got some brilliant ideas around encouraging more female riders into the sport, so stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the near future.
Read on to find out more about Monica & her journey in the sport so far...
Where/how did you get started in cycling?
First started cycling on the Velodrome at Manchester, some taster sessions and then joined the local club SportCity Velo and then started competing in track events such as Track league, Omniums, Nationals and Revolution series.
Then took my hand to a bit of Track Sprint, just did a bit of everything on the track. Tried it all out! Then through a friend of mine who raced I got in touch with Sarah Storey who was looking for some Junior rides to join her development team! Jumped at the opportunity to race and learn from such an iconic female role model within the sport. Joined her development squad, raced on the UK scene and was lucky enough to be a guest team for Tour of Yorkshire, an amazing race to be a part of and learn from the riders around you.
Following on from that I then made the natural progression to join her own race team Storey Racing and we were UCI registered for a couple of years so I rode the UCI Women's Ride London classic, Tour of Yorkshire, races in Belgium. I then stayed with the team until deciding to stop racing and pursue coaching in 2020.
How did you first meet Graham Briggs.
The first time I met Graham Briggs, I was working an event for a Tour company in Ibiza and Graham and his wife Sam were there with their friends and I knew Graham's name from cycling so I knew of him but had never met him. We got introduced by my partner who knows Graham well and anyways chat got flowing and I took to Graham and Sam's personalities so well, so bubbly, driven and loved bikes! so we had a lot in common. I enjoy being around people who share the same drive and passion for cycling so once we started chatting we basically didn't stop!
Tell us more about your u23/ senior career – you were on the GB academy/ uk pro teams. What was your racing highlight?
My U23 and senior career was fantastic. I was with Sarah Storey on her team for those years. I loved learning from Sarah and my fellow team mates. Sarah had such a wealth of knowledge from her own days racing and competing at such a high level that I just absorbed everything she said and learnt as much as I could. Being UCI registered meant we were able to enter the big races and that for me was a whole new learning experience, riding shoulder to shoulder with the world's best female athletes was pretty cool!
From my U23 and senior career i’d say my racing highlight would have to be the UCI Women's Ride London Classic, racing down the mall towards Buckingham palace was a real pinch me moment, riding on the wheel of Chantel Blaack who at the time was the World Champion, I was a young girl who had only ever dreamt of competing in a race like that and then to be sprinting alongside the world's best riders was something very special. Also, being in such a prestigious race I took all the pressure off the result and just told myself to enjoy it and get stuck in with moves etc and I ended up enjoying the race more and doing better than I expected!
Now you’ve retired from racing (if you have stopped for good?), do you still ride your bike much? If so is it only road bikes or anything else?
Now that I don’t race I am still very much bike mad! I still ride in the week and the weekends for fun, I still do the odd sprint now and again! I think once you’ve been a racer you always have that little bit of motivation to get outdoors still just with less pressure and more chill.
I grew up riding the Mountain Bike with my brother who went on to pursue a career in Downhill Mountain Biking, so now I don’t race, I enjoy going back to my roots and getting out on my MTB with my brother and dad for a fun day out getting muddy and having a laugh!
How did you get involved with Clancy Briggs?
I got involved with ClancyBriggs through chatting to Graham and Sam about their plans going forward with the company and what they do to give back to the sport. When I was deciding to stop racing it was hard knowing who I was off the bike as I'd always been a bike racer! But the one thing I knew was I wanted to encourage as many young kids to get into cycling and achieve their goals and live the life I was lucky enough to live through cycling, races at the weekend, being a part of a race team, traveling the world with my bike. It gave me a great life as a kid and I knew I wanted to be a part of giving more kids that opportunity. So to join ClancyBriggs when I heard what they were doing to encourage that and give kids the environment to learn in I was totally hooked and couldn’t wait to get started!
Have you coached much before?
I finished my coaching qualification early this year and I haven’t done any coaching since finishing however when I was riding and competing on the track I used to help out on some evening track sessions alongside my own coaches with the younger kids and this gave me a real insight into the role on the other side of the fence and how rewarding it is to see the effort and passion other kids have for the sport. I loved this and it gave me a real bug to one day take up this role and help other kids achieve their dreams.
What are you most looking forward to/most excited about when it comes to coaching with Clancy Briggs?
I am most looking forward to passing on the knowledge that I've gathered over my own time racing to the younger generation of the sport with ClancyBriggs. I have been fortunate in my career to have been mentored/coached and given advice from some of the best cyclists in the world and I am excited to take all of that and put it into our next generation of future stars!
Where’s your favourite place to ride a bike.
I have two favourite places to ride a bike. My family has always had property in Mallorca, Spain so as a little kid prior to cycling we would spend school holidays over in Mallorca and it just became my home away from home and somewhere so special and sentimental to me. So then when I became a cyclist it quickly became my favourite place to train, the community, the cafe’s, the roads, the lack of traffic, everything is just so simple there and I really do love it!
On the other hand to that, in the UK I grew up in the Peak District with my family so being a cyclist the peak district is the perfect back garden for anyone with an ounce of adventure in their heart! So to ride in the Peaks on home roads is also my favourite place to ride as it’s hard riding but the view at the top of the hills is so rewarding!
If you could give us 1 piece of advice for young riders or racers, what would it be?
If I could give one piece of advice for young riders or races it would be to get stuck into everything, don’t choose one sport too soon, focus on your skills. MTB, CycloCross, Track Cycling, mix it up and keep it fun! At the end of the day that’s why we started! To have fun!
Monica will be present at all sorts of our sessions over the next few weeks. She'll be joining the coaching group for our 1:1 packages, helping out with our online sessions and making an appearance at our talent development centre sessions.