Further Personal Information
||Biology - Nottingham University: Nottingham, ENG
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||She began competitive cycling at the age of 27 in South Africa.
|Why this sport?
||To train for adventure racing.
|Club / Team
||Cervelo Test Team : Switzerland
||She trains seven times a week including swimming for six or seven hours, paddling for two hours; riding 20 hours or more
||Camping, hiking, swimming, diving, kayaking and anything outdoors (cervelo.com, 31 Dec 2009)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Placing second and beating the 2004 Olympic record holder Sara Carrigan at the Australian Road Race Championships in 2008. (facebook.com, 01 Sep 2010)
|Most influential person in career
||South Africa adventure racer Phillip Swanepoel. (NOC, 29 Jul 2008)
||Prior to the Olympic Games, she was involved in filming for the BBC where she had to simulate chasing down an attack with running commentary. During this, in wet and gusty conditions, she hit a pothole and crashed, resulting in a badly gashed nee and a broken fibula. She required an operation where the doctors inserted a metal plate and six screws into her leg. (bikeradar.com, 05 Dec 2009)
In April 2009, she fell down stairs, dislocating her shoulder and tearing the cartilage, requiring surgery. (bikeradar.com, 05 Dec 2009)
|Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
||Eating the same food or wearing and item of clothing used in the last successful race (facebook.com, 01 Sep 2010)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||Have fun! (Cervelo, 31 Dec 2009)
||As a child, she played hockey at county level and also involved herself in middle distance running, which she continued when she was working in Zimbabwe and Uganda as a volunteer. (Bike Radar, 05 Dec 2009)
Her background is in adventure racing and mountain bike marathons. She won the 2004 Cape Epic, an eight-day, 500-mile mountain bike stage race over extremely rugged terrain in South Africa's Cape Province. (Telegraph.uk, 01 Jun 2008)
||To participate in to 2012 London Olympic Games (bikeradar.com, 05 Dec 2009)
To contribute to the success of the team, to personally improve and to complete the full season with no operations. (cervelo.com, 31 Dec 2009)
During a spell of work in Australia in early 2008, she entered the country's National Road Racing Championships which, unknown to her, doubled as Australia's Olympic trials. She finished a surprise second behind 2006 Commonwealth Games time trial champion Oenone Wood, but ahead of 2004 Olympic Games road race champion Sara Carrigan. The surprise result created lots of interest and her mobile was ringing within hours, including a call from Australian officials who said a place at the Olympic Games was hers if she committed to the country. British Cycling's performance director David Brailsford had also heard about the ride and got in touch urging her to delay any decision on Australia's offer. He arranged a professional contract for her and she duly committed to Great Britain saying that the offer from Australia was flattering, but Britain was her home. "I am British through and through," she said, "So the nationality thing was never an issue." (telegraph.uk, 01 Jun 2008)
After completing her degree and before taking up cycling, Sharon went to the African countries of Zimbabwe and Uganda to work as a volunteer where she set up programmes to help train locals to live more sustainably. (bikeradar, 05 Dec 2009)