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The British Continental

Author: British Conti

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Stories about British bike racing, teams and riders.

53 Episodes
Jake Scott of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling has gone from strength to strength this year, securing a win at the South Coast Classic and then posting second at the Ryedale GP. We were lucky enough to sit down with Jake after a training session 4 days out from the Tour of Britain. We discuss Jake’s approach to training, the rollercoaster of self-belief and motivation, as well as his unique approach to juggling a busy training schedule and working. It’s clear from Jake’s story that his job at the local bike shop is much more than just a job and one of the many factors of support that has helped Jake become the rider he is today.Jake also discusses his future goals, riding the Tour of Yorkshire, what it’s like to coach yourself as a rider on a UCI Continental team and many other topics.Support the show
In this episode, Greg Trowman interviews the Saint Piran rider Joe Evans. As readers of The British Continental website will know, Joe has been keeping a journal for us, documenting life both on and off the bike this season. Before moving to the elite-level Saint Piran team at the beginning of 2018, Joe spent three seasons riding for Madison Genesis. This year, Joe has combined racing with full-time study at the University of Sheffield. In the interview, we hear from Joe about how he balances training with studying full-time, why he thinks it’s important for a rider to have more than one string to his bow, and his unexpected love for racing the Tour Series.Please accept our apologies for the audio quality in the interview. Unfortunately, we had a few technical hiccups, which means there is more background noise than we’d have liked. But please do bear with it, it’s well worth it!Thank you to A-ten in Sheffield for letting us use their space to record this episode.Artwork photo: Ewan ThatcherRead moreRider journals: Joe Evans #4 - On the RoadRider journals: Joe Evans #3 - It's not all about the bikeRider journals: Joe Evans #2 - Why can't I concentrate?Rider journals: Joe Evans #1 - Staying true to who I am Rider journals: introducing Joe EvansFollow Joe on Twitter hereSupport the show
In the third episode of our new podcast, Greg Trowman sits down with Dave Coulson, the manager of the elite-level team Cycling Sheffield. The team was established in 2014 as Envelopemaster – Giant. Set up as a development team, it aims to help riders develop and further their careers as athletes by providing a professional and nurturing team environment. The team has already had notable success: one of their graduates is Connor Swift no less.Uniquely, the concept of the team is about creating a geographic identity, similar to that of a football team. As such, he works with organisations throughout the city of Sheffield to create partnerships that benefit both the city and the team. In a wide-ranging, honest, and open interview, Greg and Dave talk about:- what motivates him to run an elite-level cycling team- creating a marketable team based on geographic identity- the team's approach to rider development- helping riders decide when to stop cycling, and- the team's 2020 squad and future plans.Follow Dave and the team on Twitter and Instagram Read more about Cycling Sheffield in our 2019 feature on the team here.  Support the show
Charlie Quarterman went from struggling to find a team for the 2019 season to World Tour rider in 2020 thanks to in large part to a purple patch of form which culminated him winning the British U23 national time trial championships. In this episode, the 21-year-old takes us through his less-than-conventional journey to the World Tour.In the interview, he reveals he was one of the generation of British riders to get into cycling as a result of Bradley Wiggins' Tour and Olympic success in 2012. He talks about his junior years at Zappi Racing, the junior team set up by former Italian pro, Flavio Zappi. Stepping up to the U23 ranks, he spent a challenging, often isolated, two years at the UCI Continental Leopard Pro Cycling team. Results didn't come his way to the extent that teams had little to no interest in signing him for the 2019 season. With options limited, he was reunited with Flavio Zappi, joining his Italian-based development team Holdsworth-Zappi. The move presented him with leadership opportunities and he was quick to take advantage of them. His fourth place in the prologue at the Baby Giro in June began to turn heads. He followed that up with third on stage 7 of the race with a swashbuckling ride to bridge solo to the winning break. Then, just days later, he beat Ethan Hayter to take the British U23 time trialling crown. Interest from the World Tour quickly followed and not long after, he joined Trek-Segafredo as a stagiaire ahead of a permanent move this season.Charlie talks about his strong start to the 2020 season, how he's found adjusting to life at the World Tour level, and his hopes (and fears) ahead of his return to racing post-lockdown.This show is sponsored by Verge Sport, suppliers of quality custom cycle clothing.More on Charlie Quarterman on The British Continental:To the World Tour and beyond: Charlie Quarterman interviewInside the Baby Giro: Charlie Quarterman’s race diary:Race diary #11Race diary #10Race diary #9Race diary #8Race diary #7Race diary #6Race diary #5Race diary #4Race diary #3Race diary #2Race diary #1Support the show
This bonus episode of the podcast is a snippet of our forthcoming in-depth interview with April Tacey. The 19-year-old Drops rider has become something of an e-racing sensation this summer. Over the last couple of weeks, she has beaten some of the world's best riders to win two stages of the Virtual Tour de France. Not only that but she's done this after coming back to racing from a fractured patella. It's a story we'll recount in detail in our full interview. For now, with Sunday's final stage of the Tour de France coming up (on the Zwift's virtual Champs-Élysées), we hear April's thoughts on the course and whether she thinks a third stage victory could be on the cards.Support the show
An in-depth interview with Rory Townsend, arguably the best rider in the domestic peloton in 2019. The Irishman races for Tim Elverson’s Canyon dhb p/b Soreen team. In fact, he’s ridden under Tim since 2013. His feats last season included two UCI road race wins, a further four UCI road race podiums, three National Road Series race wins, winning the Tour of Britain sprints jersey, a Tour Series win, 4th in the Irish national road race and selection for the World Road Race Championships. Not bad considering he’d come close to quitting at the beginning of the year after a crash at the Challenge Mallorca.And yet, whilst many of his domestic peers earned contracts with World Tour and Pro Continental teams – including Matt Holmes, Jon Dibben, Gabz Cullaigh, Alex Richardson, Scott Thwaites, James Shaw, Mark Donovan, Ethan Hayter, Charlie Quarterman and Fred Wright – Rory narrowly, painfully, missed out. As he explains in the interview, he was very, very close to stepping up himself, only to be flicked because of his nationality.He’s 25 now, an age at which some riders might be having second thoughts about their future. But Rory says seems more determined and more self-confident than ever. In the interview, he recalls a number of setbacks which have posed existential threats to his racing career and explains how each time he has come back stronger than ever. It would be no surprise to us if we see him making a step in the next year or two.GlossaryClassic Loire Atlantique. An annual UCI 1.1 road race in the Loire Atlantique region of France. See the results from 2019 here.Damien Clayton. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling coached by Rory. Damien went from being an architect to a UCI race winner in just three years. See our interview with him here. Grinta Coaching. The coaching company Rory coaches for, run by Simon Holt, DS at Canyon dhb p/b Soreen.Klondike Grand Prix. National Road Series race in East Cleveland, won by Rory last season, ahead of Connor Swift and Scott Thwaites.National B / 'Nat B'. A British Cycling road race classification. Read our race race classification explainer here.National Road Series. The premier road racing series in the UK for men and women. Read our explainer here.Pedal Heaven. A bike shop.Perfs Pedal. The traditional season-opening road race in the UK.Tim Elverson. Team manager at Canyon dhb p/b Soreen.Support the show
At the age of 22, talented Welshman Peter Kibble took the tough decision to retire from racing in May this year. Deciding not to pursue your pro cycling dream must be a difficult moment for any talented young rider, so we were really grateful when Peter agreed to speak about his career and why he decided to hang up his metaphorical wheels.Peter showed promise as a cyclist from a young age. In his first year as a junior, he took an impressive 6th overall in the Junior Tour of Wales, a race regarded as Britain’s premier junior stage race. He followed that up with a stage win and 4thon GC in the same race.He started his under-23 career at the Zappi Racing Team, before moving to the Wales Racing Academy, where he stayed for the rest of his career. Despite injury troubles, Peter continued to show his promise. Last season he finished second in the early season Betty Pharoah road race to Connor Swift and came close to bagging top tens in National Road Series races. He also produced an aggressive ride at the notoriously tough Tour de Bretagne stage race, coming close to securing the polka dot jersey.We interviewed Peter for the website at the beginning of the year, ahead of his final year as an under-23. It’s a time in rider’s career when the pressure can mount, with riders often seeing as their last opportunity to snag a pro contract. Indeed, Peter described 2020 as a make or break season for him.He made the best possible start, taking two wins from two races – the Evesham Vale road race and the Betty Pharoah - before lockdown arrived. Then, at the end of May, Peter announced his decision to retire, declaring he no longer had the inner drive required to chase his dream of turning pro.It was a brave decision for a rider who had been showing such great form and so we were keen to find out more.Supporters' teesWe’ve teamed up with the clothing brand Band of Climbers to produce British Conti supporters t-shirts. Designed by our very own Greg Trowman, the t-shirts are made 100% ringspun organic cotton available in two colourways and in both men’s and women’s fits.Band of Climbers are kindly donating the profits from the sale of the t-shirts to us, so if you’re in the market for a new t-shirt and want to support what we do, please do check them out on the Band of Climbers website at: the show
In the latest episode, we move our focus away from riders and onto the delicate juggling act of domestic team management, as we interview Matt Hallam, rider-manager at Crimson Performance – Orientation Marketing. Matt’s story is fascinating and one we’ve featured in-depth on our website over the last couple of years. The short version is that in 2017, Matt set up a new business, Crimson Performance, “a platform for power-based testing, training and professional bike fitting”. And to help promote the new business, he decided to set up an elite-level cycling team at the same time. This was no straightforward task. For a start, he had no experience of running a bike team before. He was also doing this all by himself, alongside his day job of running his newly-established business. Oh, and he had just eight weeks to get things in place so that he could register a team for the 2018 season. Eight weeks. To find sponsors, to find a team of riders, to sort out paperwork, admin and lots more besides. Eight. Weeks.He accomplished this challenge with aplomb, gradually building up the team’s experience and sponsorship levels to the point that they started 2020 as arguably one of the strongest and best-supported elite level teams in the UK. It felt like the team could be on the verge of a breakthrough season.The most eye-catching changes for the team came in the form of some big new signings, including the capture of former Team Sky and Great Britain rider Joshua Edmondson was a real coup. But some of the other, less obvious, changes were just as noteworthy. Matt had brought in three new sponsors for the team, whilst also securing increased funding from existing sponsors. Impressive stuff at a time when sponsors seem to be leaving the support. In fact, the team had 45% more funding this season compared to last. This allowed him to have a bigger squad this year (14 men and 6 women), a more ambitious race programme (including races in Belgium and Spain) and better infrastructure to support the riders behind-the-scenes.Not a bad achievement for someone who essentially runs the team in his spare time.But then of course lockdown hit and the team’s challenges changed from trying to compete with the UK’s best on the roads to maintaining motivation, keeping sponsors on board and thinking about how to creatively market the team without any road racing happening. In this interview, we go back over the team’s history, how Matt has grown things from small beginnings, how the team has addressed the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at them, what Matt thinks about the state of domestic road racing and the team’s plans for next season.Find out moreThe rough guide to starting a bike team: Matt Hallam interview, part 1The rough guide to starting a bike team: Matt Hallam interview, part 2The rough guide to starting a bike team: Matt Hallam interview, part 3The revolutions will not be televised: a sponsor’s viewCrimson tide: Matt Hallam interview and 2020 squad revealSupport the show
In this latest episode, we interview April Tacey, one of the summer’s eRacing sensations. The 19-year-old Drops rider has made a name for herself this year after some sensational e-racing performances, most notably when she beat some of the world’s best riders to win two stages of the virtual Tour de France. What made her success particularly noteworthy was that it was achieved after coming back from serious injury this year. Media attention ensued, some of which implied that April had come from nowhere. But that’s far from being the case, as we discover in the interview. She was the first-ever women’s national junior road race series winner in the UK and then, in her first year as a senior last season, she was already making in a name for herself, including an aggressive ride in the national championships, where she eventually finished 21st,  and then second in the Curlew Cup, one of the premier women’s road racing events in the UK. In this interview, we discuss April’s journey into cycling, her time as a junior, her transition to senior-level racing, the knee injury which set her back for the first half of 2020, her e-racing success and where she hopes to take her career next. Support the show
The 7th episode of the series features an in-depth interview with Colin Clews, someone who in our view should be regarded as a true legend of domestic road racing. Founder and director of CiCLE Classic promotions, a UCI race commissaire, an anti-doping control officer and a member of British Cycling’s road commission, he’s a man who lives and breathes cycling. And at 70 years old, his passion for the sport seems absolutely undiminished. He’s probably best known as the organiser of the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic, Britain's only UCI 1.2 race. Taking place on roads and farm tracks across the undulating landscape of Rutland and East Leicestershire, it is one of the most spectator-friendly races on the British calendar. It’s often compared to a Belgian classic and it’s easy to see why. Year-after-year, the race produces images of dust-covered pelotons, rowdy roadside BBQs and riders scrambling for spare wheels after untimely punctures. Colin seemed too modest to admit it in the interview, but after 15 editions, the race has become a true British monument. Through his CiCLE Classics promotions vehicle, Colin has now added a women’s edition as well as a junior men’s version of the race, and last year he also ran the inaugural Bourne CiCLE Classic. In this interview, Colin recalls the early beginnings of the race and how he’s transformed it into one of the most cherished races on British shores. He discusses the challenges of organising elite bike races in the UK, explores how we can improve the domestic scene and recounts some his favourite editions, including some incredible tales from the infamous rain-sodden 2012 race won by Alex Blain.Support the show
Baby Giro preview with Lewis Askey & Harrison Wood. Presented by Continental.Whilst most of the cycling world will be gazing at Nice this Saturday for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, about seven hours drive away, in Urbino, Italy, the grande partenza of the U23 Giro d’Italia will also be taking place. In a season with barely an under-23 race to its name, the race affectionately known as the Baby Giro, takes on even greater significance for the world’s top young under-23s this year. It’s a race that has helped propelled many a rider to the professional ranks in past years. Previous winners Aleksandr Vlasov, Pavel Sivakov, Joe Dombrowski and Carlos Betancur amongst others. It’s also been a happy hunting ground for Brits in recent seasons too. Ethan Hayter, Fred Wright, Matt Walls, Charlie Quarterman, Stevie Williams and Mark Donovan have all either won stages in the race or put in eye-catching performances. All of them are now either at, or headed for, the World Tour. Two riders that are hoping to follow in their footsteps are Rayner Foundation riders Lewis Askey and Harrison Wood. Lewis first shot to our attention in 2018 when he won the junior Paris-Roubaix as a first-year junior. 2018 also saw him finish 5th in the junior E3 Harelbeke Juniors, 2nd in the Junior CiCLE Classic and 2nd in the British junior road race championships. Last season he consolidated his position as one of the most exciting junior talents in the cycling world. He ‘only’ finished 8th in Paris-Roubaix and 2nd in Gent-Wevelgem. But in stage racing, he really excelled. He won the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Junior Tour in May and then took victory the UK’s most prestigious junior road race at the end of August: the Junior Tour of Wales.This year he joined Jake Stewart at the Groupama-FDJ Continental team, one of the best development teams around. Wood is a second-year under-23 at SEG Racing Academy, arguably the most successful development team around. They are regular winners at the under-23 level and have helped numerous riders onto the WorldTour. Relatively new to competitive cycling (he’s only been riding seriously for three years), he’s a rider with plenty of potential. He spent last season in France at AVC Aix-en-Provence. Starting on their reserve team, he quickly picked up top results in amateur races in France. In June he was second overall at the Spanish stage race Volta a Castelló and then backed that up with 10th in the under-23 time trial at the national road championships. He rounded out the year with 9th in the under-23 Chrono des Nations, underlining his ability to time trial as well as climb. This preview episode features short interviews with both riders as they look to their debuts in this prestigious race. They will also be keeping audio diaries for us during the Baby Giro, which we will edit together for a special episode that we’ll publish once the race is over.If you want to find out more about the route for this edition and which riders to look out for, under-23 cycling expert Joseph Doherty, who runs the excellent U23 Cycling Zone blog, has put together an incredible preview of the race on our website here. Support the show
We’re back after a short break with an in-depth interview with the youngest ever stage winner of the Tour de l’Avenir, Ben Healy.  Ben currently rides for the new British development team Trinity Racing alongside a whole host of promising young riders, not least of which is Tom Pidcock. Growing up in the Midlands, he started his cycling career racing mountain bikes and was good enough to be on British Cycling’s Olympic development programme. But he was dropped from the programme just before he moved up to the junior level. He decided to try out road racing instead, and almost by accident ended up at the Zappi Racing junior team. The team gave a good programme of international racing and Ben excelled. Not only did he finish second in the Junior Tour of Wales, he also won the junior Tour of the Basque Country beating Remco Evenepoel in the process. Not a bad start to his road racing career. Despite his success, the British team overlooked for selection to the world championships. This led him to decide to switch to an Irish racing licence, a decision he says he hasn’t regretted at all.Riding for Wiggins-Le Col, last season was his first an under-23 rider. He finished 11th in the U23 Gent-Wevelgem and 15th in the U23 time trial at the worlds in Yorkshire. But undoubtedly his standout result was his Tour de l’Avenir stage win. Not only was he the youngest ever stage winner of the race, he was also the first Irishman to win a stage since Stephen Roche in 1981. Like most British-based riders, his season has been stunted by the postponement and cancellation of races across Europe in the wake of COVID-19.  The interview was recorded just before his recent racing exploits but in the few chances he has had since then, he has already impressed in the few chances he has had. He supported Tom Pidcock to his baby Giro win at the beginning of September and then finished second on stage 1 of the Ronde de l’Isard, a race which is still ongoing as we recorded the intro to this podcast. To top it off, he’s also been selected to represent Ireland in the world road race championships this year.Big thanks to our new title sponsor Continental tyres. It’s lovely that a brand that is such a big sponsor of the Tour de France is also backing our humble podcast too. Support the show
Today’s episode is with James Shaw. You might not know this, but not long after we set up The British Continental, towards the end of 2018, the very first interview we did was with James. Back then, he was still reeling from the news that Lotto Soudal had decided not to renew his contract, despite quietly impressing with two seasons of reliable, diligent work as a domestique in some of the world’s top races before finishing 10th in the U23 world road race championships. As the year was drawing to a close, he told us that time was running out to save his barely-begun cycling career. Eventually, he joined the newly created UK Continental team SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, hoping to earn the results that would enable him to return to the pro ranks. A successful season followed, with wins in the National Road Series and 5th overall in the Tour de Yorkshire, helping him to secure a one-year contract with the Pro Continental Danish team Riwal Readynez.This year has been a tough one for James, not just because of the pandemic-hit calendar, but also because his team hit financial hard times, meaning the riders had to forego wages in order for the team to continue racing. Despite the interruptions, he’s put together a very a solid year, including selection for the worlds road race. But now, with the team’s future uncertain, he has ended his season once again looking for a contract. With the search not going well so far, James said in a recent Instagram post that he may even have raced the last race of his career. In this interview, James looks back on the last two years of his career, from the tough rejection he faced at Lotto Soudal, his season at the domestic level with SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, joining Riwal this year and the sense of déjà vu he now has as he once again faces an uncertain future in cycling. Apologies for the sound quality in this one. Despite trying for ages, James and Denny weren’t quite able to rectify a slightly dodgy line, one of the perils of remote interviewing. Do bear with it though, because James’ candidness and honesty is well-deserving of a listen. This podcast is sponsored by Continental tyres.Support the show
In this episode, we bring you the first part of a feature-length interview following Stevie Williams' remarkable cycling journey.The 24-year-old Welshman joined the pro ranks after a sparking 2018 season. That year, Stevie won two stages and the overall in one of the most prestigious U23 races around - the Ronde de l'Isard. If that wasn’t indication enough of his talent, he followed that up with a stage win and 5th overall at the Baby Giro. The results earned him a WorldTour contract with Bahrain Merida – now called Bahrain McLaren – but his debut season with the team was virtually over almost before it had begun. Towards the end of 2018, he began to suffer from sharp knee pain every time he got on the bike. Whilst the cause of the pain was unclear, it was an injury which effectively derailed his season. Despite aborted attempts to race at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie, most of the year was spent trying to get to the bottom of the problem. The issue was eventually discovered in September 2019, when he was diagnosed with a rare condition called fabella syndrome. Stevie underwent surgery to rectify things and then began a long process of rehabilitation, supported by both his team and the Sport Wales Institute.After many challenging months, he eventually made his return to racing in August this year at the Czech Tour. Since then, he’s gradually been edging his way back into shape, culminating in selection for this year’s Vuelta. In this first part of the interview with Stevie, recorded not long after his comeback race in the Czech Republic, we chat about how his bike racing career first began, his years riding at the domestic level for Pedal Heaven and JLT Condor, his switch to the SEG Racing Academy and his career-changing ride at the Ronde L’Isard.Part 2 of the interview, focusing on his long fightback from injury, will be out soon.This podcast is sponsored by Continental Tyres.Support the show
Our latest podcast episode is the final part of our interview with Bahrain-McLaren rider Stevie Williams. Those of you that have already listened to Part 1 will have heard about Stevie’s late beginnings to bike racing, his years riding at the domestic level for Pedal Heaven and JLT Condor, his switch to the SEG Racing Academy and his career-changing ride at the Ronde L’Isard.In this second part, Stevie discusses his successful Baby Giro back in 2018, his transfer to what was then called Bahrain Merida and his fightback from an injury which threatened to derail his pro career before it had even begun.It was a long, challenging road back to recovery for Stevie, and we're especially grateful to him for being so open about both the physical and mental battles he has fought. The interview took place not long after his comeback race in the Czech Republic earlier this year. Now, Stevie has just ridden in his first Grand Tour, finishing ten stages of the Vuelta before retiring from the race. He may have been a little disappointed to leave the race early. But nonetheless, considering what he has been through, it should be regarded as a very successful end to his neo-pro years, given all he has gone through.Thanks, as ever, for tuning in. This show is sponsored by Continental Tyres.Support the show
Our latest podcast episode features an exclusive interview with Harry Tanfield. Harry has signed for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in what might well be one of the transfer coups of the close season. He has just spent the last two years competing at the World Tour level, first for Katusha Alpecin and then for AG2R La Mondiale. In many ways, it’s been a challenging period for the 25-year-old from Great Ayton. His first year about adjusting to the top tier of the sport and then, just as he was beginning to find his feet, the news dropped that his Katusha Alpecin team was folding. AG2R swooped in to rescue his World Tour career, offering him a one-year deal. But confined to a domestique role this season, and with the calendar severely interrupted, Harry has had few opportunities to prove himself. And when AG2R declined to renew his contract, he was left searching for a team once again. In a tough contract year, his hunt for a World Tour or Pro Conti deal wasn’t looking hopeful. Then in stepped Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. It’s a team Harry knows well – he’s competed with and against many of their riders. And with a solid UCI race programme being planned for next season – coronavirus permitting – the team can offer Harry a platform to return to the highest levels of the sport, much in the same way as James Shaw and Scott Thwaites did after their stints at Continental level in 2019. What’s more, the team has agreed they will let Harry move to a bigger team should he get a better offer over the next few months.Harry is no stranger to the domestic scene of course. He spent a year with JLT Condor and then three years with Tim Elverson’s Canyon team before stepping up to the World Tour. Arguably his most memorable moment during that spell was winning Stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire when he became the first UK rider (and the first rider from Yorkshire) to win a stage of the race. Our interview with Harry took place just a week after he’d finished the Vuelta, his first Grand Tour, an experience Harry recounts in detail. He also told us about his (perhaps unfair) reputation for missing the start of races, how he felt about not getting his contract renewed this season, the lessons he’s learnt after two years in the World Tour, the adjustment it might take to race again at the Continental level again, his plans to work on his sprint finish for 2021, and why he’s missed domestic-level racing.This show is sponsored by Continental Tyres.Support the show
Our latest podcast episode features an in-depth interview with Jim Brown, the first of five new signings for the Canyon dhb SunGod team.In our minds, Jim is one of the most under-rated young British riders around. He dreams of winning Roubaix one day but after a difficult first two years at the under-23 level, the Yorkshireman hasn’t yet had the opportunity to show his full potential. As a junior, he grabbed our attention with plenty of top results without ever quite grabbing that big win. In 2018, for example, he was 2nd in the Keizer der Juniores, 4th in the E3 Harelbeke, 6th in the Guido Reybrouck and 7th in Gent-Wevelgem. A fine tally, especially considering that more often than not he was up against Remco Evenepoel that year.  In 2019, his first as an under-23, the first half of his year was interrupted by injury. But he finished strongly, riding the Tour de l’Avenir – where he grabbed a top 10 on stage 4 – and was then part of the Great Britain team at the Tour of Britain that catapulted Matt Walls to some top sprint results.This year Jim has been based with the French elite team CC Étupes, the team Adam Yates rode for before he turned pro. Like every other road rider in the world, he endured a disrupted race season. Nonetheless, he enjoyed a lot more racing than his British-based peers, picking up several podiums and top tens along the way.His team would have been happy to keep him, but when Canyon dhb boss Tim Elverson came calling, Jim decided to join the British based team. As he explains in the interview, the team will have six under-23 riders next year, and hopes to put together a race programme that will take in some of the top under-23 races in Europe.With a good run of form, the right team support and a set of races that will suit him, it could be that 2021 is the year that Jim truly begins to demonstrate his potential.In the interview, Jim explains how he got into cycling doing club runs on a tandem. He reviews his junior years, explains what kind of rider he is, discusses a tough year at the GB Senior Academy, tells us how he found racing in France with CC Étupes and explains why he decided to join Canyon dhb SunGod. NOTE: THIS VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW HAS BEEN SLIGHTLY EDITED TO REMOVE THE NAMES OF CANYON DHB SUNGOD'S OTHER NEW SIGNINGS! IT WILL BE REPLACED BY  AN UNEDITED VERSION ON FRIDAYSponsored by Continental Tyres.Support the show
Our latest episode is with Canyon dhb SunGod's new recruit Damien Clayton. About a year ago, we published the first instalment of a three-part interview with Damien on our website. The interview traced his remarkable transformation from an architect who barely rode a bike to a UCI race winner.Back in the summer of 2016, Damien's love affair with the bike began. At that stage he'd  barely ridden more than 10 miles in one go on a bicycle, but a company bike ride from London to Brighton suddenly ignited his interest. He may have done it in gym shorts and on a single-speed bike with next to no experience, but he still found himself first to the top of all the hills, including Ditchling Beacon, the highest point on the South Downs. Afterwards, he bought himself a ‘proper’ road bike and then found himself falling headlong into a love affair with the bicycle.Just three years later in 2019,  not only had he signed his first contract with a Continental team, Ribble Pro Cycling, he'd also won his first UCI road race, the Grand Prix des Marbriers. After that he won his first National A road race, the Bourne CiCLE Classic, and grabbed some eye-catching results in pro kermesses in Belgium, regularly mixing it with - and finishing ahead of - World Tour riders.It’s was an astonishing transformation, one we documented fully in our three-part interview. If you haven’t read it yet, we wholeheartedly recommend you do so. A few things stood out to us in that interview.Damien is an exceptionally driven individual. He’s obsessive about his approach to training, nutrition and recovery. Something we wanted to find out more about.He still has bags of potential. He may be 28, relatively old in cycling terms, but nonetheless, new to the sport, he still has plenty to learn and plenty to improve on.He has a special relationship with his coach Rory Townsend, a rider he greatly admires and relies on for support and encouragement.With a contract newly signed to ride with Rory’s team Canyon dhb SunGod in 2021, we were keen to speak to Damien again to find out more about what makes him tick, how far he thinks he can go in cycling and why he’d decided to switch teams. A couple of points of order:First up, the interview was recorded just before Damien found out he’d been selected to race in the Zwift Academy finals. The finals take place on the 19th December and the winner will be offered a contract with Mathieu Van der Poel’s Aplecin-Fenix team. So at the time this was published, it wasn't completely clear which team Damien will end up riding for.Second, we’re really pleased to announce a new sponsor, VeloSkin. For those that don’t know, Veloskin makes an excellent range of specialist skincare products for cyclists. Their chamois cream, soothing gel, shave cream and post-shave lotion are all made using natural products and are designed for and tested by cyclists. This season they have sponsored Damien’s Ribble Weldtite team and next year they will also be supporting Canyon dhb. We’ve used the products ourselves and can vouch for them. They work brilliantly.   We’ve teamed up with them to offer you 10% off all orders made through their website. All you need to do is head to and use the code TBC-10, which will give you a 10% discount on your first and future orders with VeloSkin. And better still every order will also support The British Continental. Sponsored by Continental Tyres.Support the show
Welcome to the first episode of series 3 of The British Continental podcast! The juggle of homeschooling and childcare over the last few weeks has delayed our return to podcasting here at British Conti HQ but we are back at last.In our first episode, we’re going to take you back in time a little to two interviews we recorded just before Christmas. A double bill, if you like, with Marjolein Van’t Geloof and Alice Towers who both ride for Bob Varney's newly titled Drops – Le Col supported by Tempur team. 24-year-old Marjolein – also known as 'Mayo' or 'Marge' to her teammates - is a Dutch rider probably most at home in the crosswinds and cobbles of her native Netherlands and neighbouring Belgium. She tells us about her pathway into cycling, her family’s ice skating expertise, how she juggles her work as a physio with being a top-level cyclist, her time on the Lotto Soudal and Alé Cipollini teams and why she feels so at home at Drops. Alice, meanwhile, is a first-year senior rider, still only 18. She steps up from the Cero wheels – Cycle Division team but is already no stranger to UCI racing, having rubbed shoulders with some of the world's best riders last season at the La Périgord Ladies race when she was a stagiaire for the Spanish Eneicat -RBH Global team. She finished 32nd in that race. A very fine start to her UCI racing career. She tells us about her cycling career so far, her winter training in South Africa, and how her Dad snagged her the stagiaire contract using Google translate!Finally, we've teamed up with luxury skincare brand Veloskin to offer you 10% off all orders made through their website. All you need to do is head to and use the code TBC-10, which will give you a 10% discount on your first and future orders. And better still, every order made using the code will support The British Continental too.Show sponsored by Continental TyresSupport the show
Our latest episode is with former junior Paris-Roubaix winner Lewis Askey.In our opinion, Lewis is one of the brightest under-23 prospects around. Just 19 years old, and now into his second year at under-23 level, Lewis rides for the Continental-level Groupama-FDJ development team, along with new signing Joe Pidcock, younger brother of Tom. The team is only in its third year, but has already proven to be a centre of excellence for developing young riders, having been home to Lewis’ fellow Brit Jake Stewart before he stepped up to the WorldTour parent team this season. It’s a path we think Lewis has the potential to follow. He first came to our attention back in 2018 when he won the junior Paris-Roubaix as a first-year junior. The following year, he consolidated his position as one of the most exciting junior talents in the cycling world taking victory in the Junior Tour of Wales, the UK’s most prestigious junior stage race. The race is so often a marker for future success, with recent winners including Ben Tulett, Tom Pidcock, Fred Wright, Eddie Dunbar, and Hugh Carthy, to name but a few.Last year, Lewis put together a really solid season, despite the interrupted race schedule, including an attacking display in Le Samyn early in the season, and 10th in the U23 Paris-Tours towards the end of the year. In between times, he rode two of the toughest U23 stage races around: the Baby Giro – where he put in a fine display of teamwork – and the Ronde de L’Isard. And yes, for those of you wondering where they are, we will finally be publishing Lewis’ diaries from that race soon!Talking of diaries, Lewis will be keeping a diary of sorts on the podcast this year. We’ll be checking in with him throughout the season to see how his year progresses. So this episode is the first of a number that will feature Lewis this year.This first catch-up with Lewis was recorded in the middle of February whilst he was on training camp with the team Italy. We take a look back at how things have gone for him over the last few months, his winter dabbling with cyclocross, what team camp has been like, his mad dash to get a Covid test before crossing the border, and look forward to his season goals.If you'd like to support what we do feel free to visit our shop. Support the show
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