Lizzie Holden: Isle of Man rider reflects on strong 2019 season

Lizzie Holden of the Drops Cycling Team
Lizzie Holden (Drops) finished the British Championships with three medals

Isle of Man cyclist Lizzie Holden has credited a change of coach as a reason for her career-best season in 2019.

Holden has been working with fellow Manx rider Andrew Roche since the start of the year.

The 22-year-old said the increased "motivation" she has had in training has paid off in races.

She took two medals at the British championships in June and recently won the youth classification at the Giro della Toscana.

"It's been a while since I won anything so that was really nice," said Holden. "It was a good way to end the season.

"A lot of people have told me that I need to have more confidence. It pays off because you believe in yourself more. I do think it has a massive effect."

Holden's performances earlier in the season resulted in selection for the under-23 team at the European Championships.

It was the first time since 2015 that she had worn the British jersey in competition and a rare chance to race with her peers.

Few events have an under-23 category for female riders, forcing them to jump straight from junior to elite races.

"Usually it's all in one with the elites," Holden explained. "It was really different but it was good to be able to actually race and be aggressive."

She is currently enjoying her off-season in Spain but is beginning to look towards 2020.

After three seasons with the British Drops squad, she will move to a new, as yet unnamed, team next year.

The switch will allow her to add some new races to her programme, including Spain's Clasica San Sebastian.