About Bex Rimmington

Born:14 January 1983 Grantham, UK
Home:Burnley, UK
Nationality:British
Nickname:Bex
Education:HND Sports Performance & Coaching
Occupation:Cyclist / Sports Massage Therapist / Sales Administrator
Language:English
Sports Heroes:John McEnroe, Jens Voigt, Krisztina Egerszegi
Proudest Moments:Wearing GB Cycling Jersey for the first time.
Winning bronze at the World Para-cycling Road Race Championships.
Racing for a professional cycling team

Biography

Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, I have always been active from a young age. At 3 years, I was already swimming and happy to roam the pool by myself. Whilst back at home I began to get increasingly competitive spending afternoons after school racing the other children in the neighbourhood around the block at running and cycling. Although I could never understand at the time why controlling my pink bike going down the hill and into a 90 degree left hand bend with my right knee up always posed such a problem. As a youngster I remember my mum carting me to and from school on the back of her bike, and top of my list every Christmas would always be the newest mountain bike so I could keep up with everyone else on the street, whilst trying to copy my youngest brother’s tricks on his BMX!

At the age of 8 I joined Grantham swimming club and had my first experience of standing on the top step of the ‘Winners Podium’. Following this success I was invited to compete for the club and County. Swimming was my life and that was what I would begin to follow. In 1992, I went on a family holiday to Barcelona. With it being Olympic year, we were able to visit some of the facilities, yet the only one that was open for us to visit, was the velodrome. A few months later, I remember sitting in front of the television, completely captivated watching Chris Boardman winning his Olympic Gold medal in the pursuit.

However, at the age of 12 I moved to Melton Mowbray, and swimming became an increasingly bigger part of my life. I was invited to join the City of Leicester Swimming Squad and travelled an hour each way by bus every day to get to training. As my swimming continued to improve I qualified for Midlands and Nationals, and was starting to gain a large trophy collection. From qualifying for these events I then began to feature in finals, and then medal. In 1999, I qualified for the World Schools Relay Championships in Toulouse, France and came 4th in the 50m Backstroke and 8th in 50m Freestyle.

However in 2000, I was beginning to try my hand at new events. After a triathlon was being hosted at the local pool in 2000 – the same year that triathlon made its debut at the Sydney Olympics; I somehow got talked into giving it a try. Everyone always remembers their first race, and mine is no exception – borrowing my next-door neighbours mountain bike, and insisting that running around in a swimming costume was unheard of – I insisted on a complete towel down and change into shorts, t-shirt, socks, and trainers which left me with the second fastest overall swim as the time was taken exiting transition. Onto the bike whilst everyone else was disk wheeled up I completed the 20km bike in a comical 1hour and 9mins. Eventually, when I made it onto the run, I posted the 2nd fastest female time and came 3rd in my first triathlon. Two weeks later I competed at the Olympic Swimming Trials in Sheffield and so triathlon lay dormant for a few years.

In 2001, I was invited by some friends to attend an exhibition in London showing the latest offerings in swimming, cycling and running. It was at this exhibition that I came across the British Cycling stand, where they were running timed 500m sprints on a stationary bike. I decided to give it a go, only to find the results were sent to British Cycling and I was invited to attend a Talent Team selection day at Reading velodrome. However, with only having public transport to rely on, it was not possible for me to attend the day. But I always wondered what if…

The next encounter I had with a bike was at a triathlon in 2003, by complete accident. After booking a holiday to Lanzarote, I stayed in the resort of Puerto del Carmen, little did I know that I had booked it at the same time as Ironman Lanzarote. I was completely taken in by the whole atmosphere the whole town was buzzing. On race day I was there from the off at 6am, and until the last person crossed the finish line at midnight. As soon as I returned home, I was straight down the local bike shop to purchase my first stead, a basic Fausto Coppi road bike. I had officially started a new journey, and adventure of becoming a triathlete. In my first full season of triathlon I became European Age Group Champion, and winner of the London triathlon amateur race.

After a highly successful 2005 season in triathlon, I was attending the regular Sunday club run with Melton Olympic Cycling Club, where Gary Coltman was also riding. Gary was a former professional cyclist and now works for British Cycling managing the Talent Teams. After a lengthy chat during the ride, it was suggested that I should have a go at becoming a cyclist, and leave the other two disciplines behind. It was a big decision for me to make, and one that didn’t come easy. I was constantly making progress up the triathlon ladder, but there was something about cycling that seemed to be drawing me. In June 2006, I made the decision to convert to cycling.

With only 4-months of racing, 2006 proved to be a successful debut to the sport. I tried my hand at the different disciplines of track racing, criterium racing, time trialling and road racing taking 5 separate title victories in the Welsh Track Championships, topping the podium on 5 criterium races and taking the BDCA & LCA hill climb championships. My results also gained me a place in 2007 to race for one of the UK’s most prestigious clubs, VC St Raphael, who count amongst their former riders world champions Paul Manning and Vicki Pendleton as well as current World Junior Champion Anna Blyth and GB sprint rider Ross Edgar.

In January 2007, I decided to take on a new challenge of piloting the tandem for blind and visually impaired riders. Thanks to the help of Neil Smith and Federation Disability Sport Wales, the 3-hour drive to Newport each week to ride the track and learn my trade prooved valuable as within 6-months I was representing Great Britain at the European Cups followed by the World Championships that same year. During my time as a tandem pilot I had the privilege of workng with some great stokers. My proudest moment had to be in standing on the podium and claiming my bronze medal at the 2009 World Para-cycling Championships after only riding with my stoker for 6-weeks.

Following on from the medal winning performance I was selected to join the newly formed Para-cycling Academy program based in Manchester allowing me to train full-time receiving lottery funding. My season in 2010 was my most successful becoming ranked World number one on the road and winning the British Para-cycling Road Race Championships as well as stages and general classifications in the European Cups. Despite these performances at the end of 2010 my funding was cut due to not achieveing a medal at the World Championships, this was a bitter blow and one that would result in having to return home. Further bad luck followed when a freak accident on a training ride resulted in a neighbouring rider falling onto me and breaking my scaphoid bone and in turn my contract to race in Europe with a professional team.

However an opportunity arose at a talent ID day where a series of anthropometric measurements were taken by UK Sport and they suggested that my size was ideally matched for rowing. Relishing the thought of a new challenge I set about trying my hand at a new sport – within 16-weeks of learning to row I was competing at Henley Womens Regatta as well as winning my first event in a single scull at Ironbridge regatta.

My journey in the different sports has made me the athlete that I am today. To stand on the start line representing my country is one of the proudest moments I have ever had. In my journey to become the best athlete that I can be, I am under no illusions of the hard work there still is to be done and the many lessons to be learnt but it’s only the beginning of a journey and adventure that I am really looking forward to.

I hope you continue to check up on the site to see my progress… Bex.