Shannon McCurley represents the peak in athletic performance, making her a very special athlete to have as a Premax Athlete. Born in Melbourne, but a Dublin girl through and through, Shannon created history five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, when she became the first Irish female track cyclist to compete at an Olympic Games. As a junior cyclist, aged just 15, she won the Burnie criterium in Tasmania, beating the Elite Australian criterium champion, as well as many other internationals, and also won bronze in the scratch race at the u23 European Championships. While Premax CEO and Founder, Randall Cooper, was talking to Shannon about preventing injuries, looking after skin, and recovery, she was waiting to find out if she would be going to the Olympics. We at Premax could not be prouder to announce that Shannon was in fact selected to compete at her second Olympic Games, and represent Ireland for track cycling in Tokyo. We wish her the best of luck, and are so excited to see everything Shannon accomplishes!

It is theorized that the British GB team probably lost two or three medals in cycling at the London Olympics because of saddle-sores. What is your take on this?

Firstly, if you've got the wrong chamois cream you're in trouble. So, the fact that you've made a women's specific chamois cream has been an absolute lifesaver for me, and I've been using the products for well over a year now. Now, the issue of saddle sores, and similar problems, is obviously a sensitive topic. Of course, when you're in a team environment, it's a lot easier to discuss things of this nature, especially when we're surrounded by female teammates. However, cycling is a very male-dominated sport, meaning sometimes it's not so easy to talk about these things to all of the male coaches, or even other staff present. So, I always try to look for a female physio, or female on the team, that I can raise these issues with. Because so many girls have similar problems, I really feel like it needs to be spoken about more publicly to raise awareness. A bad saddle-sore could put you out of training for weeks, and ruin future races, which is really unacceptable.

Shannon Olympics

Prevention is always better than cure. Other than using the Women's Premax Chamois Cream, what else do you do to make sure that you stay healthy?

Well, the truth is the Chamois Cream is the biggest aspect of prevention. For me, a bad Chamois cream, or no cream, means a bad day on the bike. I also need a good pair of shorts.

Shannon Cycling around a track

You chase the summer as part of your job, so how do you look after your skin?

I do love the sun a little bit too much, but obviously sunscreen before, and even during, a ride is so important. This is why I love the Premax Sunscreen. It’s so handy because of its size, meaning I can throw it in my back pocket before heading out. When you have a long day on the bike, you're very susceptible to getting tan-lines, which I'm not really a fan of, even though getting them comes with the territory in cycling. Some people in cycling love them, and wear them as a badge of honour, but I do try to avoid getting them. For example, right now we're heading into a really hot week, so training early in the morning is a big thing for me, and a good way to avoid the sun when it’s at its harshest, and therefore when the UV is super strong. I'm also an early riser as it is, and don't like being out in the hottest part of the day at the best of times, especially during training.

We've just launched a new product called Recovery Cream. What are your thoughts on it?

I've been using it every day. I don't know if I'm over-using it, but it doubles as a nice moisturizer for me as well, so even when I don’t feel that I need recovery per say, I apply it. However, after a big track session or gym session, I’ll use it with recovery in mind, and rub it into my legs as a sort of massage. It's nice to have something that I know is actually doing the job, and helping me. This product doesn’t have a heating component, and you're not trying to warm up the muscles to prep them before a session, like with the Warm Up Cream. It's focused solely on helping you after a session, to soothe the skin after you've been on the bike all day, and restore hydration and conditioning. I'm definitely going to be using it for the next couple of months, as I have so many double track days coming up, so I do feel like it's going to be in my bag constantly. I feel like this product was really made for someone like myself.

Shannon Cycling round a track preparing for the Olympics

You do both road biking and track cycling. What are the differences between the preparation and recovery for both?

Track is a lot harder in every aspect, which completely affects both the preparation and the recovery. It’s because track is very intensive, breaking down your muscles, and also mentally draining, while road is pretty steady, easy riding in comparison. So, for track I take a lot more care over my nutrition, as I know it will tire me out, so I need as much fuel as possible to keep me going. Then, after, I need more physio and massage to help me recover from track than I do from being on the road. After a heavy track block I also need a lot more physio and massage to help me recover. For recovery generally, I think sleep is important, but this is something that comes very easily to me. I'm the teammate that sneaks off straight after dinner and goes to bed, while the other girls stay up a lot later. I like to be more mellow and in my own space. Then of course nutrition and hydration are key. At home I also have my recovery boots that I love, but I don’t have them here unfortunately.

You can watch the full interview here.