Continuing the team’s commitment to providing a junior rider with a place on the team, Matrix Fitness was delighted to add Isla Rush as its first new rider for 2016. As they entered a new phase for the team, in which they take a side step away from a traditional team environment and focus their support on helping developing riders realise their potential, Isla was one of the first riders that they considered. Isla had been a friend of the team for a long time. She’d attended several team launches, and often watched the team in Belgium. Having chosen to take a different pathway to many others, Isla raced off her own back in Belgium regularly, gaining experience of the fast-moving European peloton as often as possible.
Isla was more than just a new member; she was also confirmation that the team had moved full circle, being the first rider to have joined having been inspired into racing by the “Fan-Backed Women’s Racing” sessions started by Huw Williams in conjunction with the Matrix Fitness team.
“It’s great to hear that Matrix Fitness have signed Isla Rush for the 2016 season,” said Huw. “Isla attended the first of my novice women’s race training sessions in 2012 at Cyclopark as a pretty worried-looking 14-year-old that’d done a bit of triathlon and some local TT’s. Matrix was instrumental in helping set up the initial novice women’s race training sessions, sending team riders to a variety of freezing cold locations in the middle of the bleakest, off-season months and inspiring dozens of aspiring women racers along the way. Isla’s elevation to the team three years down the line squares the circle for me, she’s the first genuinely novice racer to emerge from those sessions to join a major team and underlines the importance of teams like Matrix in providing alternative pathways for non academy riders.”
Isla hails from North Norfolk, was still in full-time education and continued to race around her school commitments. With races planned in the UK, France and Belgium already, it will be a busy 2016 but she likes getting away to race – on signing for the team she said, “I love how the team races abroad regularly, especially in Belgium. I really enjoy racing out there and it’s definitely something I’d like to pursue in the future professionally. The racing scene is Europe is really cool. I can’t wait for an exciting 2016 with a team I’ve admired since I first picked up a road bike.”
“Isla is absolutely what we are looking for in a rider,” commented Stefan Wyman, manager of the Matrix Fitness team. “Enthusiastic, talented and someone who simply loves racing. She races road, track and TT races and is a delight to be with off the bike. She’s even started to help the next generation of riders by helping Huw at his training sessions as an expert advisor. It’s going to be great seeing her in Matrix Fitness colours for 2016.”