Former Heanor Clarion youth rider Saskia Hook has sent us this update:
“I was only a member of Heanor Clarion for about a year but have been riding with club through the go-ride and youth coaching system since I was 7 years old. I have come up through the RSR and NSR system and have been competing for the East Midlands youth team for the last 2 years. This would not have been possible without my coach and Heanor Clarion. The club has supported me greatly through the last year and I have managed to achieve some good results (e.g. winning a national circuit series race in Wales) in my last year in youth racing.
Now I have to move up to the womens category which meant signing to a team was probably the best option.
Sunday saw the launch of the new Shutt – Squadra Donne Ladies CRT in Oxfordshire. It was a great day meeting all the team. I am deffinately the youngster of the group as all the other women are much more experienced. It was great to meet all the sponsors as well. I couldn’t believe the amount of kit I was getting, skinsuits, helmets, race food. I felt like such a professional!
I was signed by the team only this year after I got in touch with them over Christmas. After some brief contact with the team manager (Jon Miles), they decided to take me on. As a part of this, the team travel over to do the Tour ta Malta as an opener to the season in late March. Jon is very excited about taking me over as the last 16year old he took over there was Nicole Cooke! “No pressure” he said. It will be my first womens race but also my first race abroad so it is going to be an amazing experience, although I’m definitely no Nicole Cooke just yet …
Also, in connection with our frame sponsor (Cello bikes) we have all been invited by the Korean government, as special guests to ride the Tour de Korea to promote womens cycling over there in April. This would mean a 10 day all expenses paid trip, leading hundreds of other riders across South Korea. I have not yet made a decision on this as it is just a few weeks before my final GCSEs start but it is certainly an amazing opportunity.
After these two events I will be competing with the team in the Womens Team series, National Road and Track Champs, Track omniums and other events throughout the season.
It is going to be a busy year and a completely new experience but I can’t wait to get racing.”
You can follow Saskia’s progress here Shutt – Squadra Donne