Cambridge University Cycling Club’s Hayley Simmonds has had an incredible year of sport that reached a pinnacle this summer. 

It's really paid off - it's been a really hard road but it's paid off

Hayley Simmonds

On the 5th July the Gonville and Caius College student, who is doing a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, won the RTTC 100 mile time trial championship in Wales, but the race that got everyone talking happened on the 25th June, when she produced a superb ride to become British Cycling National Road Time Trial Champion 2015.

In the race Hayley, who moved from rowing in 2009, took the lead from early pacesetter Ciara Horne over the 33.6-kilometre course, and no one could come close to her winning time of 51:39:89. Liv Plantur's Molly Weaver finished in 52:58:18 to win the Silver medal, and multiple Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey stopped the clock at 53:00:61 for the Bronze, meaning Hayley finished more than a minute ahead of her nearest rival.

Both this and the 100 mile time trial are the latest in a long line of wins for Hayley, who was the 2014 10-mile and 50-mile time-trial champion, and is CUCC’s most successful female cyclist in the club’s history. Hayley has also been President of the Women’s Blues during her time at the University, and won an astonishing 8 gold and 2 silver medals during the 2014/15 BUCS season.

"It's completely overwhelming - I've worked really hard for this," she said. "I hoped it was going to be really close and I just went out and did the ride that I thought I could, did the effort I thought I could and obviously it paid off.”

"I was just trying to focus on getting out the ride that I was capable of and not necessarily concentrating on the other big names that were starting after me."

"After I finished and I was half collapsing over my bike I could just hear the commentator say my time and then say 'will anyone go under 50 minutes'. Dame Sarah and Katie Archibald are both capable of going under 50 and at that point I wasn't even sure that I was in the lead, let alone that I was going to win by a minute."

The win has vindicated the massive amount of work that Hayley has put in, as well as the hard work of her coach Mark Holt, who Hayley credits with helping her and Edmund achieve their many cycling successes.

"Cycling has just changed my life to be honest," she said. "I'm so glad that I'm good at it! It's completely changed my life - I've lost loads of weight and I've pushed really hard to drop those extra few kilos, ready for this, ready for that climb on the course and the climb on here.

"It's really paid off - it's been a really hard road but it's paid off."

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