We are very excited to announce Maddy Nutt as our newest athlete for 2023. Maddy, a gravel racer from London, has recently switched to privateer life after racing on the road and gravel for Team Spectra in 2022. We caught up with her to find out more about her plans for this year and what her typical training week looks like.
What are your goals for the 2023 season?
My key goal for 2023 is to continue to grow and improve as an athlete and love racing my bike! I believe that to sustainably succeed at this sport, it’s important to keep the love for what you are doing, as well as constantly pushing your knowledge and limits to keep progressing both physically and mentally. I would love to increase my visibility on the international gravel scene and become a rider people are familiar with’ over this year.
In terms of specific results targets, I am honing in on the new Gravel Earth Series this year, which consists of a series of races across Europe and Africa, with the tougher races scoring higher points. Alongside this, I would love to put in a strong performance at the gravel world champs at the end of the season, and improve on last season’s result!
What does your race calendar look like?
My calendar this year is super international and exciting! I’ll be racing gravel in 12 different countries across 3 continents. As a privateer this year, I had the luxury of building my own race calendar. I opted to build a saturated calendar focusing on all the main big international gravel races. Still relatively new to the sport, I know I have huge amounts to learn and develop, particularly when it comes to racing. The best way I can see myself gaining knowledge and experience is racing against the best in the world as often as I can, which has resulted in a pretty awesome calendar. Some of my most exciting races this year will be Unbound in the U.S; the Migration Gravel Race in Kenya and The Rift in Iceland.
You race multiple disciplines, what’s your favourite kind of race?
Without a doubt, a longer gravel race is my favourite kind of race. Gravel racing takes you to scenic locations and carries with it a much more inviting and exciting atmosphere than my experience of racing on the road. I thrive in endurance environments, and absolutely love a mental and physical challenge, so the longer gravel events definitely suit me to a tee! If part of the challenge is actually getting to the finish line, then sign me up!
How has your winter training gone?
On the whole, I have had a pretty good consistent winter with no major setbacks in terms of injury or illness. My part-time work took me abroad for 5 weeks over Christmas to a tiny 2 mile island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which wasn’t the most ideal training environment, but I did manage to spend a good chunk of that time in the gym. Looking to next winter, I am hoping to spend more time abroad (but somewhere bike-friendly!). I love big volume training weeks and definitely perform better off it, so I am already looking into winter options now, that’ll let me consistently train and develop over the off-season.
What are your favourite local training rides?
I always opt to head out to Surrey over heading West, purely as I am a fan of hills. The trails are also best in this direction, so I can often be found on the bridleways of Surrey. I do head to Richmond Park from time-to-time, but find that it is a little too busy for training purposes, and more a useful location for a recovery spin or catch up with a riding friend.
How many hours on average do you train a week and what proportion of these are on the bike?
My training varies over the year but typically I ride 15 to 25 hrs a week, with normally all of that being outside. My fitness definitely improves off bigger volumes, and I just love riding my bike, so a 20+ hour week isn’t unusual for me. In addition to the bike, I gym on average 3 times a week, which is normally 2 weights sessions and a core session. I also sometimes add some yoga into my week as well and have found the yoga/core work to be beneficial for my off-road bike handling. When I approach racing, my gym sessions will be cut down, but I do enjoy variety in my week.
What race are you most looking forward to this year?
There is no doubt that I am most excited about Unbound. I have never raced gravel in the U.S. and given this is where the discipline originates, I am intrigued to experience ‘true American gravel racing’. I also reckon the atmosphere will be pretty electric! And that the other competitors in the pro field will be truly the best in the world line-up.
Which Parcours wheels are your favourite to ride?
The strade wheels are great! I have set them up on my gravel bike as a set of speedy wheels, and I can’t wait to race on them, as they have felt great out training. They also make a nice woosh sound, which definitely is a win for me.
What ride is top of your bucket list?
I have a few gravel adventures I am keen on doing when I have a break in my racing, and I also plan on doing some FKT attempts when I have the time! The GB-Duro route is definitely something on my ‘to do’ list, and there are also some countries that I would love to explore on gravel. Honestly my ride bucket list is too long, so I have got to stay in the sport long enough to tick it all off! (Retire in 20 years?)
We’re looking forward to working with Maddy, helping to optimise her gravel set up and can’t wait to follow her racing throughout the year!