Interview with Ottilie Quince by Dan Marsh
Having ridden a few times with Ottilie Quince and heard snippets of her inspirational of her story, I really wanted to know more… I hooked up with her at her new Service Course in Pollença, to find out a bit more about her and her new project… Strange as it was, my first question had to be kidneys!
DM – So tell me about your kidney story..
OQ – Back in 2006 I was diagnosed with stage 5 (out of 5) end stage kidney disease. I was unaware that I was born with a kidney disease and with a maximum functionality of only 20%. At the time, I was within 6 months of needing either regular dialysis or an actual transplant. My Uncle had lived life on a dialysis machine, with my Dad finally donating a kidney, so I knew that was not a life for me!! I wanted the transplant ASAP. To cut it short… My three older brothers & my mum were tested to be my donor, the docs whittled it down to my middle brother and my mum. My eldest brother was wrong blood group and youngest brother found out he was only born with one kidney, so in August 2007 I got my mum’s kidney. It’s now it’s 67 yrs old!
The transplant meant that my kidney had been put in my lower abdomen and therefore not protected by the ribs like normal kidneys. I was told that football was too dangerous for me and I looked for another sport… I started to cycle! My Dad bought me my first ride bike as my wedding present and that outlasted my marriage!
DM – How did you get into sports/physio?
OQ – Just before my transplant I played third national league football for Luton Town Ladies, but due to not being able to play again I thought the next best thing was to work in professional football. I began working as a Physio for the mighty Hatters (Luton Town FC – the second best team in Hertfordshire).
After working in pro football I started building my sports therapy business in the UK ‘OQ Sports Therapy’ where I built a base of clients from all walks of life, mainly helping people overcome the injuries that were effecting their day to day life. It was awesome to be able to help ‘fix’ people so their lifestyle could be unaffected.
DM – Do you feel impaired by being born in Luton and supporting such a second rate football club?
OQ – Only when I get people telling me what an awful place it is…. but honestly I was educated there, worked there and my family live there so it’s good for me!
DM – How long have you been here in Mallorca?
OQ – I had been here a few times & I returned back to the island in 2012. I was inspired by the cyclists going to the London Olympics and other pro riders. I had only started competing in races in 2011, when I won my first world Championships (in the World Transplant Games) in Göteborg, Sweden in both time trial and road race. After that I was hooked. I came here regularly to train with my GB team and stayed up in the north in Puerto Pollensa for a week.
Following the removal of a cancer tumour and a change in my personal life, I finally moved here in 2015. So I split my time between Puerto Pollença and Luton, you can see the likeness!
DM – v similar settings!
DM – How would you describe the business you have set up?
OQ – Service Course is a hub for cyclists, providing support for every ride; nutritional products, sports massage, guided rides, daily shop rides, cycling apparel and somewhere for people to meet other riders/athletes over a free coffee.
When I started to ride here more in Mallorca I thought there was something missing. There was a need for more support for cyclists and people in general; you can hire a bike and buy equipment in so many shops across the island, but there aren’t many places that make sure the rider is good in terms of training/race prep’ nutrition, massage, relaxing etc.
Plus when the professional riders come over in winter, they often come on their own, without their support team and are going to need a massage therapist and somewhere to hang out.
DM – Your selfie wall?
OQ – Ever since I started commentating on TV back in 2014, I wanted to try to collect a selfie with everyone I have interviewed, worked with or ridden with. It was a way of remembering all of the awesome riders and cycling support staff.
DM – What TV have work do you do?
OQ – I have commentated as a motorbike reporter and pre/post race interviewer. I also do live race commentary, pre/post race interviews and voice overs for the highlights shows.
DM – Who are the more interesting people you have interviewed?
OQ – My favourites are probably Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, as well as Belgium legends Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Boonen. I also have to mention the most well renowned cyclist in history Eddy Merckx (live during a race, from the back of the motorbike, whilst he was driving one of the race directors cars).
DM – Earlier you mentioned the World Transplant Games…
OQ – My very first bike race was at the British Transplant games in Bath. I had never raced before and I was representing my transplant hospital Addenbrookes, Cambridge. I won both the TT and Road Races and went on to be selected to represent Great Britain in the World Transplant Games the following year. One of the missions of the Transplant games is to help raise awareness of what organ donation means. In the UK 3 people a day die waiting for an organ transplant. By competing each year at the British Transplant games we can train and focus on racing against other similar athletes as well as hopefully qualifying for the European games and the World Transplant Games both biannual event. We can also show to others that health is the most important thing in life, without it you are very limited and unable to do the things you enjoy. Hopefully we inspire Transplant and Non-Transplant people along the way too.
Ottilie has competed in 6 British championships – winning 12 gold medals. She has won 4 European gold medals – in 3 Championships. Last year the women’s races was cancelled so she raced against the men and came 12th out of 35 (4th in my age group). In terms of World Transplant Games she has won both the Time Trial (5km) and Road Race (20km) in Sweden 2011, South Africa 2013 and Argentina 2015. This year’s the world championships are in malaga, Spain.
DM – What are your plans for the next year?
OQ – Next year I want to work more in professional cycling and continue to build my business at OQ Service Course in Puerto Pollensa. My long term dream is to speak fluent Spanish, give Mallorquín a crack too and develop an apprentice style scheme where I can help develop university graduates from across Europe. I would like to help them gain experience working in rehabilitation and help them build their own business.
For more information about Ottie see her website www.ottiliequince.com
20-25th National Road Championships Spain
22-25th National Road Championships UK
Ongoing Tour Series UK
Dan Marsh – Founder