Alice Sharpe

Alice Sharpe rides for DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK, a UCI Continental team.

Alice Sharpe is an Irish rider who joined DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK from Israel-PremierTech-Roland in 2024. Twice Irish National Road Race Champion, she also races on the track. This year she’s hoping to be selected for the Irish track squad at the Olympics. Here’s how her first road race of 2024, the Région Pays de la Loire Tour, went.

The Région Pays de la Loire Tour is a UCI 1.2 race and this was it’s first edition. The circuit sounded tough with a 9% climb every lap. So Alice Sharpe, how did you find it?

The climb didn’t feature too much on the large laps. The wind neutralised the race a lot; you needed to be well positioned. I knew if I was to come away with any sort of result I needed to get over the climb on the finishing circuit in the front group – which aptly, was called Hospital hill! I got over the climb with ten other riders and that group stayed away to the finish, which was only four kilometres after. The climb suited me as it was under two minutes; so more a track effort that a climber’s climb.

Alice Sharpe has twice been Irish National Road Race champion
Alice has twice been Irish National Road Race champion

How was the racing, were teams working tactically, or was it just ‘on’ all the time?

The wind placed a big part, as really all attacks were neutralised quickly enough. A few teams were active in the QOM competition, but weren’t strong enough to split the peloton. The most dangerous move came as we entered the finishing circuit, but the rider was caught as we hit the bottom of the climb.

Team picture at the finish of La Feminine race at the Pays de la Loire

What was the team plan for the day and did it pan out?

We had Lucy, Robin and Morven covering the moves in the early part of the race. Meanwhile myself and Mia were to save our legs for the final climb and sprint. The three girls and Nora did a great job of looking after me. They Rode together at the front, closing down anything with potential to be dangerous. I was really proud of how the girls rode and I’m super excited for the rest of the season with them.

What was going through your head when you made the winning break?

Bit of relief! It was my first road race of the season. So although I knew I needed to be in that position, I wasn’t too sure if my legs would let me. But once I’d made the split, I just wanted to make it down the small descent safely and set myself up for the sprint.

I understand Mia crashed, how was she?

She did, on the sweeping descent into town. It had been on and off raining all day, so the surface was really slippery; every lap girls came down. Luckily Mia came away with just bruised ribs and a broken shifter, I was worried it might have been a collarbone. Morven worked really hard to get Mia back into the bunch, but Mia’s injuries were too much and she had to pull out.

What are the new bikes like and did you get to choose your own colour?!

At the moment I’m waiting on my new Handsling, so currently riding last year’s frame, but I’m really impressed with the Handsling! They’re really comfortable and responsive. Not too sure which colour I’ll get. I’ve been eyeing up the pink one, but to be honest I’ll be happy with any; they’re all such lovely colours.

Alice Sharpe is riding on Handsling's A1R0evo
Alice is riding on Handsling’s A1R0evo

And finally, it’s an Olympic year, are you going and what will you be riding?

Just waiting on qualification confirmation which closes in a week or so. I hope to be riding the Team Pursuit and Madison in Paris.

Thanks for taking some time to answer these questions Alice and good luck for the rest of 2024. Alice Sharpe will be heading off to Luxembourg for two days racing at the CERATIZIT Festival Elsy Jacobs. Read about the DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK team and another of Alice’s team-mates, Caoimhe O’Brien.

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