The race around Britain is already underway, having departed from Colchester this past Monday. Last year’s Tour was a tough six-day event which raced through Oxfordshire on the opening day – this year, Oxfordshire once again hosts the event, but this time it will be the final stage of the race that finishes in the centre of Oxford itself.
This year, you might spot a familiar face in the peloton. Danielle (Danni) Shrosbree is an Oxford Brookes University graduate, and former member of the Oxford Brookes University Boat Club. She is riding for the CAMS-Basso team – a British UCI Continental cycling team.
Those already following the Tour will have spotted Danni’s solo breakaway in the opening stage – an effort that earned her the Ayden combativity award.
Originally from Dorset, and currently based in London, Danni was kind enough to take time out of her busy racing schedule to answer a few questions for us.
What is your background in sport – have you always been competitive?
Sport has been a massive part of my life. My dad is a former elite athlete who has represented GB a number of times, so you could say it’s in the blood! I started as a swimmer then naturally fell into triathlon when I was super young.
When I moved to university I joined the rowing team – Brookes being one of the best in the UK for it – and quite quickly developed there, representing Brookes at the European University Games and achieved Senior Women’s 8 Gold and a Henley Women’s title! I’ve always cycled to keep fit, but after rowing and moving to London there is an awesome cycling network there, and I just naturally got more and more into it.
How did you get into cycling competitively, and did your time with the boat club help?
Rowing 100% helped with developing my engine for cycling. The two sports are a typical transition. Two very savage sports may I add! After joining the London bike scene and chasing people down around Richmond Park, my first Team’s DS (Directeur Sportif) Ian Watson spotted me in the park and persuaded me to race. He’s a top bloke!
How did you get the opportunity to ride in the Women’s Tour?
After some good results last year I moved onto my current team CAMS Basso who are a UK UCI team which was why I got the opportunity to race The Women’s Tour
What are your biggest challenges?
It’s a long 6 days, so staying well fueled and following the right moves in the peloton is essential this week. The first stage I managed a solo breakaway for a long period of time and came away with the combativity award, so that was cool!
Road cycling is growing at Oxford Brookes – what would you say to anyone who wants to give it a go, particularly female students in a traditionally male-dominated sport?
Women’s cycling is growing and more and more opportunities are opening up for us! Follow your dream, train hard and you can make it happen!
What are your ultimate goals in cycling?
I would love to step up to a world tour team and race Strade Bianche or the women’s Tour de France which is happening this year!! Super exciting!
We would like to thank Danni for taking the time to speak to us, and wish her all the best for the rest of the Tour, as well as with all her future goals in cycling. You can find Danni on Instagram.