A TRAINEE doctor is celebrating after winning a world championship cycling medal for Team GB – the day after finishing a shift in A&E.
Zoe Langham, from Thornborough near Ripon, clinched bronze in the UCI 2022 E-cycling World Championships on Saturday (February 26).
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Her achievement is all the more remarkable as the 23-year-old fitted her training in between preparing for her final medical exams, just two weeks away, and spent the day before her race working in A&E.
She also moved house to Birmingham the night before the race, having finished her placement at Lincoln Hospital on Friday.
The E-cycling championship involved riders competing on fixed turbo trainer bikes while their avatars appear on screen racing against each other virtually.
The turbo trainers can read watts / the power cyclists are putting through the pedals, combined with their weight and height to calculate how fast they would be up certain gradients.
Zoe has excelled in the sport although she was not always so proficient on two wheels, joking that when her dad took her on her first 70-mile bike ride aged 14 she found it so challenging that she cried.
But she stuck with it, juggling working in the NHS throughout the pandemic with her punishing training schedule to compete on the world stage.
Zoe, who only took up E-cycling 18-months-ago, said: “It’s unbelievable to come up against some of the best and still compete with them.
“Just to be on that start line was a huge achievement and I could not be prouder.
“I have a lot of people to thank for getting me there and the amount of support I had was phenomenal and heartwarming.
“It’s not every day you get to don the Team GB jersey and I hope I did everyone proud.”
The overall race winner was Loes Adegeest of the Netherlands.
Zoe, a former Ripon Grammar School student, cycles for Wahoo Le Col and hopes to go into a road racing team next year if she can cut down her foundation doctor training.
She said: “If that’s not possible then I will have to choose between taking a few years off and just cycling or pursuing a medical career – not an easy decision to have to make.
“I would definitely like to take it further and go on to race abroad if given the chance, but It would mean leaving medicine, as you have to have completed your junior doctor foundation training within a couple of years of graduating.”
She added that her ultimate ambition was to be happy no matter what direction she takes, whether cycling or staying in medicine.
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