Countdown to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Laura Wasley

Athlete profile: Laura Wasley

Sport: Cycling, Road Race

Hometown: Onchan, Isle of Man

Commonwealth Games Achievements:

2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Cycling - Road - Road Race - Women

Cycling - Road -  Individual Time Trial - Women (50:07.14)

When did you first represent Team Isle of Man at a Commonwealth Games?

My first experience with CGA IOM was at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, for Cycling in the women's road race and time trial. 

How did you first begin Cycling? 

I began riding at age 9 through BMX racing. My brother raced, I had to go and watch him every week and I got bored watching so decided to have a go too! I then joined the Youth League at the NSC. I was one of only a couple of girls that did it at the time. The boys used to tell me my wheel was buckled so I would slow down to check and they could then beat me!

Why do you compete and represent Team Isle of Man?

I compete as I enjoy it! I love the buzz you get from racing especially when you do well, I love the feeling of feeling fit, and I love riding my bike around beautiful countryside, especially on the Isle of Man.

How does it feel to represent Team Isle of Man at a Commonwealth Games?

Amazing! I felt so proud to be part of Team Isle of Man! I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to line up next to some of the best athletes in the world. It was something I have always dreamt of doing and to be there and achieve it was a fantastic feeling.

I think about what a great experience it was to be able to compete at that level, from living in the athlete’s village, to racing, to watching Kylie at the closing ceremony! The whole thing was brilliant!

What has been your favourite sporting moment whilst involved with Team Isle of Man?

Lining up on the start line for the time trial and the road race at the Games. Although this was the most nervous I have ever been, it was a ‘wow’ moment for me and one I will never forget!

What has been your ultimate achievement in sport?

Competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was a huge achievement for me. Lining up to some of the best female cyclist in the world was surreal and made all the commitment and sacrifices worth it.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

I became pregnant quite soon after the Commonwealth Games and had my daughter Annie in June 2015. As a result I haven’t been training or competing since the Commonwealth Games Road Race. I have been doing a lot of walking with the pram though, and took part in the Parish Walk this year!

When I was training for the Games, time was quite precious as I was working full time, so I think the key for me was being focused in training sessions and making sure every session counted.

I have two mottos, both from my boyfriend;

‘There’s no such word as cant’ which he would repeatedly tell me when I said ‘I can’t do another effort’, or ‘I can’t keep this speed up for much longer’ whilst trying to hang on to his wheel!

He also gave me a cutting from a training magazine that said ‘it won’t last forever’ referring to the pain during a hard bit of a race or training. So if I am in the middle of an effort or hanging on to the bunch for dear life in a race or training, I try and tell myself this and dig in a little more until things ease up.

Have you had any key role models growing up? 

My Mum and Dad. Always there for me no matter what and always so proud even if I came last!

What has been the most significant challenge you have faced in your preparation leading up to a sporting event?

Working full time and training for the Commonwealth games was definitely the biggest challenge! I just had to be organized and motivated. Coming home from work and then having to go and do long rides in the dark during the winter was sometimes hard to get motivated for but I was lucky that my work and family were so supportive and this made things a bit easier.

What would be your advice for a young aspiring athlete aiming to represent CGA IOM?

I think something I have struggled with is confidence and nerves, so I would say learn to channel your nerves in a positive way and be confident in yourself and your abilities, it is half the battle.

Where do you see yourself in the future? What aims do you have?

Now I have Annie my time for training is a little more limited so I am not sure I would be able to compete at Commonwealth level again, but I do miss the buzz of racing and would like to be competitive at some level in the future. I still help with the children’s youth league, running turbo training sessions for them during the winter which I really enjoy!