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Katie Toft

Katie Toft.

Katie is a 23-year-old cyclist from Chinley who competes in the para-road and track disciplines. The Mossley CRT rider won the National Para-Cycling Time-trial and Road Race Championships in 2016 and is a member of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) programme.

Katie says: "Over past two years I have said in my bios that one of my ambitions has been to become National Champion in the C1-3 Women's Para-cycling Category - and this year it happened.

"I won the Time-Trial, the Road Circuit race and the Para-series, and I even came third in the Time-trial series. In 2017, my plans are to retain those titles, although that will not be easy as in September of this year I started PCGE in Primary Education.

"As part of the course we spend most of our time at placements basically learning on the job therefore my training plan has changed slightly. For example, my sessions are shorter, there is focus on quality not necessary quantity, although the actual training programme is similar as it continues to have turbo, gym and road sessions in it.

"The gym sessions now focus on my nervous system rather than lifting big weights, doing small movements that need a high level of control can be very difficult for me, but I like a challenge so I'm really enjoying the sessions.

"I'm so pleased with my progress as an athlete over the last year, it has given me confidence in myself not just on the bike but off it too. Winning the National Championships was amazing, but it was made even more special because shortly after I was reclassified - which basically means I have been racing against competitors which are much stronger and able than I am.

"So roll on 2017 - I'm sure it will be just as interesting and exciting! Thank you everyone who has supported in 2016, as it really wouldn't have happened without you."