REBECCA Richardson is hoping for a successful season following the end of the latest Welsh lockdown.

The Llanfyllin cycling star was unable to defend her British Hill Climbing Championship title in Oxfordshire due to the English lockdown and despite her disappointment she is hopeful she can now press ahead with her season.

Richardson did not meet the Welsh Government’s criteria as an elite athlete and was not allowed to travel to Oxfordshire last month.

Rebecca paid tribute to her sponsors for their support during a tough time for athletes who have been denied a chance to compete for the past eight months.

She said: “Tony Brooks, of Brooks Cycles Welshpool, invests his time twice a week to provide strength and conditioning coaching to help me prepare.

“I have other sponsors too, such as my coach, Liam Holohan, ex pro cyclist based in Shrewsbury and Brother Cycling UK.

“Locally, Wayne Peter, massage therapist has also been helping me.

“Unfortunately though, even with these sponsorships, I am not considered an elite athlete by Sports Wales or that it is my ‘job’, so I didn’t qualify to go to Oxfordshire.

“Having said that I really was willing all the other competitors on to do their best on the day, it is a brilliant community of men and women to be part of, and whilst I couldn’t be there, I kept a keen eye on the results.”

Rebecca has also adapted to the strains of lockdown.

She said: “Lockdown isn’t a holiday, but it isn’t a waiting room either. Rather than attempt to make old methods fit, the important thing is to find a way of living that protects physical and mental health, built around exercise, healthy sleeping patterns and eating well.

“I’ve been blessed throughout this period. My principal sponsor, Brother UK, has assured me that my contract for 2020 will be honoured.”