BDOVELO 2024 Season Launch | An evening with Monica Greenwood

An evening with Monica GreenwoodWednesday saw the official launch of BDOVELO’s 9th season. We headed to a new venue, VIA Atelier, the cycling concept store in the uber-trendy, Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. VIA is best described as a gallery-style showroom, featuring a mix of the world’s best cycling brands. Adorned by Flemish Lion flags and showcasing retro cycling artwork and jaw droppingly beautiful bikes, alongside an array of mouthwateringly stylish kit, VIA is a sanctuary for cyclists and a great venue to launch our 2024 season.

BDOVELO Chair, Chris Grove, opened proceedings by announcing plans for the season, before introducing Michael Sodeau, co-owner of VIA, to tease us of their plans for the 2024 VIA Criterium which is launching very soon.

Chris was then joined by Natalie Creswick of Iconic Cycling Events to welcome our guest speaker for the evening: Monica Greenwood. The former Women’s Endurance Podium Coach at British Cycling, now pro-cyclist, gave an inspirational talk, sharing anecdotes from her somewhat unusual career in cycling.

Monica was a talented young rider from Cheshire, who at the age of just 18 “got fed up with always finishing fifth”...for the record she came third in the junior Nationals! After pivoting away from a job at the local corner shop, via a short spell in journalism (although she is back writing a column for Cycling Weekly), she found herself working as a coach for British Cycling. Roll-on a decade and she had worked her way through the ranks to become the first female to secure the top job - Podium Coach to the women’s team at the Tokyo Olympics.

Monica had a humorous, openness to her, regaling us with stories of young teenage riders from Yorkshire and their notebooks filled with childish graffiti. But one rider stood out, a young Tom Pidcock, who’s notebook included more detailed training programmes than some of the coaches provided.

Monica was extremely humble, attributing much of her success to luck, hard work and perseverance, but what was abundantly evident was that she had a will to win, real determination and a work ethic that set her a level up from the rest, and a level of emotional intelligence that allowed her to get the best out of riders - not getting lost in the data. Going into the Tokyo Olympics she told us she wasn’t stressed because she knew the team had done everything they needed to do to win that day… and win they did, by a street.

After Tokyo, having won pretty much everything there was to be won as a coach, she realised there was an itch to scratch and perhaps there was still time to have one more crack at racing bikes herself. Following a departure from the BC coaching staff in 2022, she went on to win the National Road Series in 2023, take multiple victories and top 5 performances in the UK and Belgium, along with a top 15 finish in her first World Tour race. This season she has an exciting race calendar (including the possibility of the Tour de France) with Norwegian team Coop - Repsol. We will be watching her progress closely and wish her the very best of luck as she takes on the Belgium classics over the coming weeks!

View the photo gallery here.

Next up, and duly inspired, the BDOVELO team head to the Olympic velodrome on Wednesday 6th March. And yes, one or two among the group were spotted having a quiet word with Monica looking for some marginal gains - we will have to wait and see if she really does have the midas touch. Our first outdoor event is on Wednesday 10th April - “Into the Chilterns” from Harleyford Golf Club; watch this space.