Hi everyone, I'm Alice Monger-Godfrey and I'm riding the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour event in South Africa in a couple of weeks, as part of the new HotChillee Challenge team. We'll be posting regular blogs on BikeRadar in the run-up to the event.
I finished my A-levels last year and now I'm riding full-time for a Belgium racing team called Des Sprinters Malderen. My ambitions for the coming season are to win kermesse races in Belgium as well as finishing highly in professional women’s races.
The first race for me is Omloop Het Volk on 28 February which will be a very tough race but I feel I'm fully prepared from my training. I live almost on the course so I've been training on it regularly, which will help tremendously.
I've recently come back from a week in Mallorca with London-Paris which was fantastic for training but also to socialise with a new group of riders. It has helped me get in form for the coming season. I also went on a week’s training camp in North Wales with my HotChillee team-mate Emma Davies. Although it was very cold, the terrain and partner improved my fitness greatly!
Currently, I'm preparing for the races at the beginning of the season so I'm doing more intensity work after a solid winter's training. I've been busy working over the winter to earn money for the racing season, but have the most help from the Dave Rayner Fund, which I'm very grateful to have. It supports young British riders like me who want to fulfil their dreams of racing in Europe.
The Argus event in Cape Town is a fantastic opportunity for us to encourage women’s cycling in Britain and to try to increase participation. It's a challenge for all of us in many different ways, and each of us has our own goals to achieve. As part of the HotChillee team we can work together and support each other throughout our time in South Africa, on and off the bike. We want this event to help encourage women to take up similar challenges.
I feel privileged to be able to ride as part of a brilliant team, surrounded by a great network of people. I'm really looking forward to racing In South Africa as this is the first time I've raced outside Europe. I'm expecting it to be very hard but I'm hoping that if we work well as a team, we can gain some great experience as well as good results. I hope to come away from the Argus being pleased with my performance and having learnt a lot about racing on a different continent.
I'm looking forward to taking in the wonderful sights and scenery in South Africa, but also being part of such a prestigious event that thousands of people ride. The weather will, of course, be an excellent bonus, which means I'm definitely packing my sun cream! It's extremely exciting that I'm incorporated in this challenge, and I really can't wait for the event to begin.
I'd like to thank Sven Thiele for including me in this wonderful HotChillee team, and for giving us the opportunity to ride the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. It really will be a memorable trip.