“Meet the team” This month we’d like to introduce team rider Nicky Rolls

How did you first get into riding?
I rode my bike to and from school and upon leaving school, did triathlons. So I’m used to riding a bike but the last 3-4 years have been a very steep learning curve in regards to bicycle racing. Criteriums are particularly challenging for me, as everyone is so close at speed and zooming around corners. It can be scary and the crashes aren’t very pretty. I’ve never had a coach before either, so the training I do now on the bike is far more structured, and has more variety, than what I used to do.
Why do you like road racing in general?
Road racing is an opportunity for me to compete and keep fit. “The old, grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be”. I can’t run anymore, so cycling gives me the opportunity to train hard and not break down (touch wood). Why Splatt Lawyers Racing? I’ve raced either with, or against, all of these girls and it’s exciting to be offered the opportunity to race with them in an NRS team. About how many days a week do you ride your bike? 5 on the bike and 2 gym days (sometimes 6 days on the bike)
If you had to pick a favourite cycling moment, what would it be?
That’s a hard one, trying to think of a “moment”. Cycling has given me many joys and opportunities, mostly through the friendships I’ve made and shared experiences of suffering eg: descending Passo della Stelvio in the snow. I’ve never been so cold in my life. It took immense concentration to negotiate the countless switchbacks and control the bike while I was shivering and shaking. It took me 45 min to stop shivering once we got back down to the village of Bormeo. That day will stick in my mind forever. One of my friends was so cold she could hardly talk once she got to the bottom. We were all elated that we’d made it down without incident.
What is the funkiest bit of kit you own?
I am not cool (and weirdly proud of this). I wear sun sleeves with holes in them. You would not use the word “funky” to describe me. “Endearing and lovable” maybe.
If you had to pick the best hill climb across the globe for cyclists, which one do you think wins first place and why?
I don’t know all of the hill climbs across the globe but, out of the ones I have done, I loved Col d’Aubisque in the Pyrenees. After struggling up Col du Solour, the rest of the climb up to d’Aubisque isn’t too hard and the scenery is spectacular. We “had” to do it twice, as the first time was so misty and rainy that we literally saw diddly squat. It was well worth going up a second time on a beautiful, clear day with breathtaking views. If you could cycle any route in the world tomorrow, where would you go? I’d need to research that. As a safe bet, I’d head back to Europe. I’d like to do Passo dello Stelvio again as I was sick the first time/s I did it (we did it three times in one week, each a different route).

FourPL sponsor Splatt Lawyers Women’s Cycling

FourPL are proud to sponsor and support the Queensland based NRS cycling team, Splatt Lawyers Racing, which incorporates the FourPL Queensland Road Teams Series team.
FourPL’s company values and strong community focus align closely with what the team promote – that is, addressing the gender and diversity issues in sport by supporting women to race bikes from grassroots to national level together.
FourPL have supported the team on their journey since inauguration in 2016 and we are excited to continue to be part of building a solid platform for the development of women’s cycling. By encouraging more woman to ride bikes, FourPL hope to bring together a diversity of ideas, perspectives and experiences. FourPL Diversity Statement

An Armchair Guide to Competitive Cycling

You may be wondering what is involved in competitive cycling and what the girls from the Splatt Lawyers Racing Team will be up to this year…. hopefully this will give you all an idea of what the girls do and a guide to some racing event lingo!

Look out for updates during the year…

The girls will be racing in several events, from local club events, through to state
level open events, such as the Queensland Road Team Series(QRTS). Some of the
girls will also be racing at national level in the National Road Series (NRS). The
NRS provides riders with an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a
national audience, including selectors for the Australian team. Many riders who are
now riding professionally got their start by racing in the NRS.

What events? There are several events that can be contested in road cycling. These
include criteriums, individual time trials, team time trials, kermesses and road

A criterium, or crit, is a bike race consisting of laps around a closed circuit, the
length of each lap or circuit ranging from about 700-1500m. It is typically fast and
furious and events can last between 30 to 60 minutes, and can include sprint laps
known as primes (pronounced “preem”). Typically the final laps are counted down,
ie a crit can be 30 + 2 laps, meaning that it is 30 minutes long, with two additional
laps after the thirty minute point is reached. The winner is the rider that crosses the
line first.
A kermesse is a longer version of a criterium, conducted over a circuit that is
longer (up to 5km). Typically, kermesses also last longer than a criterium.
An individual time trial (ITT) is a race against the clock. Individually, each
rider attempts to ride a marked course over a specified distance. The fastest rider
wins. Time trials can vary from a prologue, which is typically less than 10km,
through to longer distances. Team time trials (TTT) are a variation where a
team of three to five riders work together over a set course to produce the fastest
A road race is the discipline of competitive cycling that is held on paved/
bitumened roads. Road races can vary in length, and include several climbs, where a
“Queen of the Mountain” jersey is awarded to the fastest up the hill. It can also
incorporate sprint sections. Within road racing, there are a few terms you should
know. The peloton are the main group of riders in a race. A breakaway is a
small group or rider that has moved ahead of the peloton. The chase group is a
group attempting to catch up to the breakaway. It can consist of one or two riders or
the whole peloton.