THE RISE AND RISE OF ROWENA
What a start to the season for Team Viking’s Rowena Price. So many times in the past she has had to settle for silver or bronze, but on the cobbles of Dublin she finally struck gold. We look back at her career to find out how it all started for the Viking Pro Series newest Gold medal winning rider.
2015 ROWENA MAKES HER AMATEUR RIDER DEBUT IN HER HOME TOWN OF WORTHING
Rowena first tried riding the steep sweeping banked corners of Insync StreetVelodrome when the tour visited her home town of Worthing back in 2015. Competing as an amateur in the Rider’s Cup Rowena battled her way to the top step in front of thousands offering enthusiastic support for their newest local hero.
By winning her local event she qualified to race at that year’s SuperFinals held in London’s Broadgate Square in the heart of the City.
In damp conditions she put on a fantastic performance of speed and control to win the overall amateur female title.
2015 SUPERFINALS - ROWENA WINS THE AMATEUR TITLE
Such was Rowena’s performance she was offered a Pro Rider contract for the 2016 Series riding for the newly created South Coast Rollers team and partnering Jack Ravenscroft. The two were consistently one of the front running pairings in qualification. Rowena bagged a promising bronze medal on her pro rider debut at the first round of the series held in one of Eden Project’s iconic biomes.
She followed this up with a further bronze in Hillingdon and Belfast. But in the downpour of Ballyclare she slipped and crashed out of her semi-final against Jess Stone.
2016 - EDEN PROJECT, ROWENA GETS BRONZE ON HER PRO DEBUT
The next time she would face Jess Stone would be in the glorious sunshine of her home event in Worthing. The very place it had all began the year before. She went on to gain her best result so far with a Silver.
That year’s SuperFinals were held in London’s Green Park. High on the success of her Silver in Worthing, Rowena went on to win another Silver, finishing second to that year’s Pro Female Champion Jess Stone.
2016 SUPERFINALS - ROWENA FINISHES 2ND OVERALL TO CHAMP JESS STONE
For 2017 she remained with the South Coast Rollers team as the tour kicked off on the cobbles of Dublin’s Smithfield Square. In the challenging conditions she once again managed a valiant Silver medal in her head to head against debuting pro rider Sophie Bagnall.
Her wait for that illusive gold medal appeared to be coming to an end by the time the tour reached her home town of Worthing for the third time. Could she finally win in front of her fantastically enthusiastic home town support.
“There were even posters of me in the car parks around town to promote the event” Rowena recalls. “I was definitely living the dream.”
2017 - ON TOUR, ROWENA MEETS ENGLAND FOOTBALL PLAYER DANIELLE CARTER AND MAKES NEW FANS ACROSS THE UK
Unfortunately, it was not to be. She lost out in one of the Viking Pro Series most dramatic female races.
Lining up against 2014 Champ Anna Glowinski, Rowena had the complete support of the crowd willing her around the track. In the heat of battle she over stepped the dreaded Johnson line receiving a penalty from referee Nick Jeggo. But moments later so did Anna. The two crossed the line in a photo finish that kept the crowd, and riders, guessing.
But despite both riders receiving penalties Anna was declared the victor. Rowena had to settle for the bronze medal race, which she duly won. But it was no consolation.
The 2017 SuperFinals once again saw Rowena facing her nemesis Jess Stone. Jess was defending her title and was in imperious form. After the first of three laps Rowena was already losing ground and it was clear she would, once again, have to settle for Silver.
2017 - STOCKTON, ROWENA MEETS ONE OF HER CYCLING HEROS DANNI ROWE
Fast forward to 2018 and now racing for Team Viking, Rowena lined up in Dublin to face Italian elite rider Virginia Canceillari. Both riders giving it their all over the unforgiving cobles of Smithfield Square.
By lap two of three Rowena started to forge a slight lead. And by the end of lap three she was finally a Gold medal winning rider.
2018 - ROWENA STARTS THE SEASON RIDING FOR TEAM VIKING
With her win she is lifted in the rankings to 7th giving her a much better chance of a top seeding at the 2018 SuperFinals in Canary Wharf on 16 August.
Can she continue her successful start and win the Viking Pro Series?