Defending a league championship title, Grace Hitchcock ’20, a member of Andover Cycling, continues to encourage and support her team in hopes of repeating the team’s successes last year. Hitchcock’s love for the sport and emphasis on self-care during practices help her during races that test endurance and skill. Her dedication to the team and her skill as a cyclist has earned her the title of The Phillipian’s “Player to Watch.”
How long have you been cycling for?
Last year was my first year ever racing, but I did cycling as training for swimming about five or six years before that.
What type of races are your favorite?
There’s a couple different kinds of races within the type of cycling called road cycling, which is what we do here at Andover. There are circuit races, individual time trials, team time trials, and road races. They’re all super fun. My personal favorites are the road races because you go from point A to point B. They’re much longer, and more about endurance and strategy.
How do you get ready for a race?
I think warmup is the most important in terms of cycling. Eating and dieting, you’re gonna be on a course from anywhere between 45 minutes and close to two hours, so being ready and having your body warmed up and having enough food in your system is really the most important thing. In terms of sport psychology, there’s really not a whole lot I do for cycling. I love the sport so much, so I’m honestly just really excited to get out on the road and race.
Who is your biggest support system?
The team at Andover, is without a doubt my biggest support system within the sport of cycling. The coaches, the captains, and my teammates are all incredible people, and they make the team feel like home in a sense. We are all super supportive of one another, we all want to see each other do the best we can, and we want to see the team do the best it can.
What are your goals for the season?
For a couple years in a row now, Girls A has been winning our league championships, so this season we want to keep that up and and keep winning the championship. This just means having really strong races throughout the season—everything that you do throughout the season really counts. Right from the get-go, we are looking to come out strong and show our strength from the front.
How did you get into cycling?
My dad cycled in college and continued to do so afterwards, so I’ve grown up with someone who is passionate about the sport. I got into it as I learned how to ride a bike and started going on rides with him. It ended up being really useful cross training for swimming, which is what I did for eight years as a club sport. I’ve been on a bike here and there for a while, and realized that I just loved the sport so much.
Do you have a favorite sports team?
I don’t really follow professional sports that much. The teams here at Andover are my favorite teams!