Beth Crumpton is a familiar face in the British women's peloton having represented Great Britian on numerous occasions. She finished 9th in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Cross-country Mountain Bike competition, was 5th in the World Junior MTB Championships in 2012 and has been the Under 23 British XC Champion 3 times. She first caught the cycling bug riding Go-ride events, when she was 10 years old.
When Beth isn't studying at the University of Worcester for a BA Hons in Sports Business Management (or watching Netflix box sets), she can be found engaging in her love for off-road racing and, as will have been hard to miss if you are up-to-date on your CX, is currently engaged in a nail-biting battle with Ffion James for the womens HSBC National Trophy cyclocross crown which will be decided in Ipswich next month.
We caught up with Beth to ask her a few questions...
Could you talk us through your typical training week?
A typical training week in between races through the winter looks a bit like this..
Tuesday Endurance Ride and Core
Wednesday Split Day, CX and Intervals
Thursday More Interval work
Friday Recovery Ride
Saturday 1 hour Prep ride
We noticed that you didn’t represent GB in the European Championships earlier this year despite leading the National Trophy and having just beaten Eva Lechner? Please tell us you had made plans that weekend!
This was one of those confusing and miscommunications with British Cycling, no published criteria and having no reply from BC in advance. I was told the day before the entry deadline that to go I had to fund and support the whole trip myself which was something I was unaware of (being slightly naive), which me and the team couldn’t secure the funds and support in such short notice to make possible without affecting the rest of my planned calendar. It was a shame but I still have the races planned to ride in the upcoming season.
We mentioned that we were going to interview you and it was suggested that we ask you “where the hell do you find all that grip?” Can you tell us where the hell you find all that grip? (or at least tell us a little bit about how you practice your technical skills! You obviously have a big XC background - are the skills required for CX similar?)
I’m a light rider which I think physically helps but I have a great deal of technical riding experience from my Mountain Bike background. I love a technical track and finding the grip is about being savvy with your line choice. I rarely follow the lines of my competitors, you also have to be adaptable on line choice, because conditions can change so quickly within a race time and between practice sessions. Confidence in your tyre choice for course conditions and tyre pressure is also key in finding all the grip you need!
Could you talk a little about technical preparation for specific races? Tyres, pit crew, set up etc?
My dad (aka Pappa Crumps) is my number one pit man, also Barney Storey (my team DS) has also been mucking in this year and have made an ace team with changes and jetwashing! If it is wet I normally pick a grippy set of tyres and low pressures of around 16psi, I then change frequently to make sure i’m not carrying extra mud weight with me and my tyres don’t clog. For a dryer course, I pick a faster rolling tyre choice and a bit more pressure of about 20psi. Apart from that my setup doesn’t change much, my Boardman CXR Elite 9.4 is set up perfectly for any conditions.
You’re currently holding the National Trophy yellow jersey and looking strong. Who, in the league, are you most afraid of?
I have one round left, and my closest competition for the title is Ffion James. Although she missed the first round it is best of 5 and she has been very consisting, equalling the wins i have had as well. I had a mid season blip with managing an injury alongside HMT hospitals who support Storey Racing, so I am more than happy to still have yellow, I would love to be able to win the series but it is going to be a real nail biter of a final round.
We are all for promoting women’s racing, an area of the sport that we think has been slightly neglected… Could you give us your opinion on the matter? Have you seen much of a difference since you started out?
Since I started, the amount of women racing and enjoying cyclo-cross has definitely increased which is amazing! The number of women competing abroad has increased and competition is fiercely fought out now. I can only see this continuing too as more talent keeps coming on through. It’s great!
Storey Racing look like they are going to be a formidable team next year! Could you tell us a bit about the team and how you are finding it? What are the team’s goals for next year in terms of Road vs CX?
Storey Racing is an ace team to be apart of and next year with 3 of us being cyclo-cross specialists whilst working towards our team's road goals aswell is going to be ace! As a team, we each have individual goals and of course team specific goals, but with the road calendar yet to be planned, these are to be decided. The team want to develop riders and young talent and help shape them into the athletes they wish to be, it’s a great environment to be a part of and with mentors such as Barney and Sarah Storey, we are all in great hands!
What are your goals for next year?
I want to get selected for the 2018 Cyclo Cross World Championships in February, that is my big goal! On the road, I want to become a stronger climber and a stronger domestique too so i can help support my team mates the best I can. For the following cyclo cross season, i’ll decide on those goals once this one is over with.
The National Trophy decider will take place on the 7th of January in Ipswich. Details can be found at British Cycling.
To find out more about Beth's Team, Storey Racing, click here.