Tom Murray: A pretty surreal day

Larry Hickmott talks to Tom Murray who was one of the three British heros in the break last Sunday …

UCI races in Britain are few and far between during a domestic road season and when its one in London and has many of the contenders for the Olympics in 2012 riding it, the Worlds media, unsurprisingly, are focused on the likes of Cavendish, Farrar, Boonen and so on.

It was therefore very pleasing to see the British based pros take centre stage once the racing had begun.  Kristian House, Liam Holohan and Tom Murray were in the spotlight for most of the race until on the homeward leg of the race, with the distance starting to take its toll after a summer of crits, Murray had to give best to House and Holohan.

“It was more of a Tour of Britain type stage than a Premier Calendar” said Tom Murray who rides for Sigma Sport Specialized. “It was really hard at first to get in the moves and it was pretty hectic. The roads were quite wide but there were lots of corners and road furniture so it was quite tricky following the moves. We had Russ Hampton away for a bit and then there were a few counter moves before we got away.”

“It was pretty full on at first in the break and while we were still in the built-up area, we were jumping out of corners and taking a few risks to get that gap open. The first twenty k was as hard as we could go really. The first time gap we got was about two minutes and from then on, we settled down and concentrated on keeping that really.”

Tom Murray talks to Jon Herety in the Rapha team car during his break last Sunday. Photo Mike Brampton.

“It didn’t appear they were doing much behind so we went full gas again for another 20 or 30 k to try and get the gap up and it then went out to over six minutes. The crowds were unbelievable and I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to be riding the Olympics because it will be even bigger but I’ve never seen anything like it. A lot of our sponsors like Sigma and Mercedes were down there and there was a lot of cheering for us. It was pretty awesome to be honest. ”

Talking about the climbs on the course, Tom explained that the first one before Box Hill was quite tough and steep but because he and the others in the break had such a big gap, it wasn’t that hard for them. “The hardest bit was the rolling false flat at the top of it with a few kicks in it. Probably the hardest bit in the race” Tom says.

Tom then said he felt great right up until the moment his legs went pop and he had to go back to the peloton with about 30 kilometres  to go when Kristian and Liam were pressing on to try and stay away to the finish.

“I think it was crit syndrome kicking in as I haven’t had that much road work in the last few months and I think the stages races the others have done helped them in the last hour. I was happy to have been out there though and would like to have stayed out there a bit longer”

Tom agreed that it showed that there was a high standard of racing here in the UK,which is a real credit to the riders who like Tom, work full time. For Tom, Kristian and Liam though, making that break and showing off their sponsors names was a great move by them and showed they could compete on the big stage when asked to.

Finally, two of the four in the break were from Yorkshire, Liam and Tom. This didn’t go unnoticed by them either and it was a topic of discussion between them in the race. “We grew up riding for the same club, Batley CC and we trained together for 10 years before Liam moved away” says Tom. “It was good to represent Yorkshire down there as well ourselves and sponsors. It was a pretty surreal day actually”.

Tom now goes into a training camp with his team for the forthcoming Tour of Britain where they will be looking at some of the stages in the country’s biggest pro race which is now less than a month away.

Tags: ,