Rider Interview – Diane Nettleton

Published on November 15th, 2018

Our November rider interview comes from Diane Nettleton of Kilsby Williams, who headed up one of just two all female teams that took part in our recent challenge at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales. Kilsby Williams set a new laps record in our 2017 Welsh challenge, and still remain within our top ten of all time laps results.

We asked Diane what it was like taking part.

How did you hear about Cyclone24?
Back in 2017 team KilsbyWilliams won the Newport Cyclone24 setting a new record for the Velodrome. Simon Tee, our managing partner, suggested that this year Kilsby Williams should enter the first all girl team to ride in Newport.

Why did the challenge appeal to you?
I had never done anything like this before and this wasn’t something you could just try anytime. Cyclone24 is something special, a chance to work both individually and as part of a team. Someone said, if something excites you and terrifies you at the same time then you should probably do it; that’s what life is about isn’t it, experiences, challenges and seizing the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary.

How did you prepare for the challenge?
I had no idea how to prepare so I used the Watt bike in the gym, I turned up both the magnetic and air resistance settings for intervals to try and strengthen my lungs and legs. I attended a few extra sessions with Jason from PDQ Cycle Coaching and Garrie from the Velodrome to learn to ride on the track with more confidence.

What are your stand out memories from taking part?
At one point I wobbled my start and couldn’t seem to get going, a member of another team grabbed me and ran with me giving me a huge shove off; there was such an atmosphere of all working together. I loved chatting to the girls in the team in the time we had. I think my best memory though was being cheered by my family, I tried so hard when I saw them doing a Mexican wave and heard them banging on the boards to cheer me on.

What was it like coming into the final few hours? What were your emotions?
I had given it my all and was ready to finish (and have a shower), I couldn’t stop talking though and cheering on the girls bringing us home. There was so much happening, records were close to being broken, everyone was talking to each other and giving it that last push to try and gain a better position on the finishers board, the atmosphere was electric.

What advice would you offer to somebody thinking of taking on the Cyclone24 challenge?
Do it! You are well looked after. The music is pumping. You know you’re part of something special. Oh and be nice to yourself, take something soft to sleep on and wrap up in when you do rest or sleep. I took a really nice shower gel, the smell livened me up and helped get me ready to go again in the early hours.

What three words best sum up the Cyclone24 experience for you?
Seizing Life Hard!