Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Hi :) my names Amelia Southall, I’m currently 17 years old and I’m obsessed with riding my bike. I learnt how to ride at 7 years old and haven’t stopped since. My dad is the reason why I started, as he inspired me going to and from work on a fixie; going down cannock chase each weekend and making his own trails. When I was 9 years old, both me and my dad would go mountain biking once a week and we would complete a 10 mile loop on the railway walk. These fun, leisurely rides soon developed into training and me wanting to have a go on both the track and the road. On Friday nights I was then going down to my local club Wolverhampton Wheelers, to train at the track. At the start of every day of any week this is the session I would always look forward to!
Once summer came in 2015 I competed in my first ever race at a local West Midlands circuit at Tudor. I’ve never forgotten this day as the weather condition’s were brutal!!! It was freezing and I had no where near enough layers on. Nevertheless I was eager for the next race to arrive! I achieved my first win at one of the West Midlands circuit races as a first year under 12 at stour port, then as a second year I went into competing in nationals: Isle of Man (green jersey), NWYT (3rd gc), Scarborough and more. These races really gave me a drive for the next few seasons ahead of me.
I had an amazing season as a first year under 16, my fitness just felt great in general and I couldn’t wait to get the season under way. The first national of the year was the 2 day crit at pembrey. I knew after the first half of the race it was going to be difficult to break away but I always made sure I positioned myself near the front to watch for any moves. I was correct in thinking this though as no breaks managed to get away and it all came down to the bunch sprint on the last lap. My legs were feeling great at this point and I was positioned myself amazingly. I bagged a 4th on this stage and a top 10 on the next day. Soon came the YTOS. I managed to grab 25th on stage 1, 3rd on the team time trial, and I can 9th overall on gc.
Once my first year of being an under 16 came to an end, I was then into training through the winter. But little did I know that winter training was going to last a whole year. Nevertheless I was still so happy to get an invite onto the GBCT programe. This consisted of daily training planed from my coach on training peaks and multiple track sessions (mainly at Manchester). Unfortunately it was impossible for us all to go down to the track due to covid therefore resulting doing hours on the road (which I really enjoyed). Lockdown also managed to effect me and my training after the GB programe I was on came to an end. I found motivation levels came very low due to having no proper goals at the time to aim for (no races confirmed yet). I still managed to obtain my training structure and get out on the bike each day. Once the race calendar was back up to date, I was once again raring to go and ready for what the 2021 season had in place for me.
I felt super strong coming into my upcoming season as a first year junior. my first race took place up north at the Yorkshire regional road race test event (2/3/4 women). The training during the last year seemed to pay off at club runs and group sessions but when it came to the race my nerves got to the better of me. Therefore this race didn’t show my true form and what I had been training so hard for. Nevertheless I took this disappointment on to train harder and race better. Towards the end of the season I got invited by my team to race the first ever Women’s Tour Of Portugal!!!! I couldn’t turn this amazing opportunity down so I was soon on my way to this 4 stage race over 4 days. On the first stage I felt super strong and I wanted to test my legs out, always placing myself at the very front of the bunch. In the final 15 kilometres I found myself within the top 20 with minor breaks in the bunch behind as we were climbing a technical road. I was feeling amazing until I came down due to there being a few too many pot holes in the road. I soon got back up and was on my way to time trial as hard as I could till the finish (stage 1 - 80km).
Stage 2 soon came and I took a lot of positivity into today seeing how good my form was on stage 1. Me and my bike were lined up at the start and ready to go. Once the race was underway there was a windy long decent meaning I knew I needed to place myself towards the front of the bunch during the neutral zone. Everything was going to plan but as soon as we hit the decent I had a mechanical… My chain came off and got caught in my front chain ring. My team car soon got to me but found it impossible to fix and there we had not spare bikes meaning I had a dnf and that was the end of my tour… As disappointed as I was, I still stayed positive to support the team and took my experience and form back with me home. I needed to compete in some other races to see my form in results.
On the 12th of September, I attended a 2hr road race at the Hitchin Nomads late season road race (woman's 2/3/4). Once again I was consistently making sure I was towards the front of the bunch and constantly chasing down attacks. I got myself a top 20 which I was happy with considering how much work I was putting in during the race. My final race of the season took place at Darley moor on the 25th of September. I was winning the sprint but got rolled for 6th but I was super happy with my performance at this race :)!
For the 2022 season I’m going to be competing in loads more races including all the junior road and track nationals.