Rider profile: Claire Steels
Claire on the podium at the 3 days of Majorca event dated 5-7th April 2019
Ex Peterborough City Ladies Hockey Captain and Double AG Duathlon World Champion Claire Steels is now in her second year racing for Brother Fusion RT cycling team competing in the British Cycling Women’s National Series.
A professional PT, Claire lives in Majorca and runs her online fitness business from a sunny spot in Pollensa. When not training for her own racing she is a cycling guide for a number of small companies who run cycling and triathlon training camps on the island through Spring and summer. She also runs small fitness camps and 1-2-1 fitness training sessions.
Claire started cycling towards the end of 2014 after deciding she wanted a new challenge and had heard of Duathlon from one of her friends. Within 12 months of cycle training alongside her already accomplished running ability she had her first big success winning the Sprint Duathlon age group World Championship in Adelaide in autumn of 2015. That winter saw a switch to focus onto the longer Standard Duathlon event of a 10 kilometre run, a 40km bike ride, and a 5km run to finish. After a really strong spring winning a number of domestic races saw Claire was off on her travels again and this time to Alives in Spain for the 2016 age group world championships. Although it turned out to be a very tough day Claire came away with her 2nd gold to back up the Sprint Gold and a silver she had taken at the European Championships earlier in the year from Kalkar Germany.
Throughout 2016 it had become clear that Claire had massive potential to do something on the bike and backed by the fact that her running had become hampered by a nagging Achilles issue which never really went away. So 2017 became a bit more about the bike and Claire started racing under the British Cycling licence system to see where it would all lead. After a short while and with a bit of race experience under her belt Claire whizzed through Cat 4 gathering the required racing points and it wasn’t a huge amount of time before she had passed through Cat 3 too! This made her a Category 2 racer and brought exposure to racing against Elites and over longer harder courses.
Claire’s big break came towards the end of summer 2017 when she raced in The Tour of Sussex against teams of semi-professional and professional riders with no team mates of her own to support her. After 3 days she claimed a podium spot and also lot of attention form team owners who couldn’t quite believe she wasn’t with a team.
The other 2 ladies on the podium that day would go on to become her new team mates for 2018 as she started with Brother Fusion RT cycling team known affectionately within the cycling fraternity as Terry’s Angels.
Claire’s first year was sadly marred with bad luck and on 3 occasions had race winning positions snatched away at the worst possible moments. This did not dampen her spirits though and as always she battled on and put in some excellent performances both personally and for the team.
The team ended the year with some fantastic results including podium spots in the National Time Trial events, top 10 finishes in a number of the National Series events and an outstanding display in the British Cycling Womens National Road race with Claire and team mate Emma Lewis working alongside Olympic Gold medallist Danni Rowe to chase down a breakaway group.
Claire will be with Brother Fusion RT again for 2019 and the team go into 2019 with high hopes. Her first race back in the UK is the Klondike RR on April 14th.
If you fancy seeing what Claire is up to you can follow her and the Fusion RT team on Instagram by searching for Steels Fitness.