Talking Shop: Circuit Race Champ Graham Briggs

VeloUK spoke to the newly crowned British Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs who was in York last weekend resplendent in the white champion’s skinsuit and on an equally white Condor bike. 

Graham has been riding a bike competitively since he was 17. “I was into bikes as a kid, wanted a mountain bike and then I got a job in a bike shop and he said ‘do I fancy racing’ so I started that by doing some cyclo-cross on a mountain bike and getting hammered.”

“Then there was foot and mouth which put paid to mountain biking so I started road racing and picked up a few good results”.

Asked did he work on being a good crit rider, Graham replied “I think my ability as a crit rider is just the type of rider I am. I don’t really have to train too specifically for them and as long as I am in good shape, I can turn out a good crit.”

Asked for a highlight from the season besides winning the title, he says “The Tour Series in Peterborough. The crowds were really good there and getting the hands in the air really helps with the confidence. Hopefully I can get some more wins wearing the jersey this year and next.”

Graham has seemingly had great form all year. He spent the winter doing some cyclo-cross which he says helps his top end strength and also some mountain biking when the weather was bad. He also managed to get in four days of heavy miles in Lanzarote before he got ill.

“I was ill in January at a training camp but I managed to come round and then I rode the South African stage race where I had it tough there riding for Kristian who won. I think racing South Africa has helped my base. I turned myself inside out every day but it wasn’t top end so I got a good eight days of stage racing and built on it from there with another eight days in Normandy and it’s a base that I have been able to fall back on all year.”

“That brought me onto good form for Normandy where I got a couple of top 10’s which I was quite pleased with and that helped my confidence. I then came home to Dengie (Marshes) and was second.”

“I had five seconds in the first eight weeks of the season” he added.

Graham was then part of Rapha’s  ‘crit’ team that dominated the Halfords Tour Series including the win for Graham in Peterborough. After that gruelling five weeks travelling the country for the Tour Series, like many, Graham had a break before he got back into training hard right up until his wedding a few weeks back during the Tour de France.

“I had five days off for that and then it was the crit champs where I didn’t think I had a chance at winning. I was hoping for a podium and felt good after the break I’d had for the wedding but to win was unbelievable and Dean (Downing) did such a great job there to help get me the jersey.”

Graham then went on to finish third in the race at York before travelling to France where he had a crash. Thankfully, he was okay and he wasn’t on the white bike either! Look out for it at a circuit race near you in 2012!

Even the gloves are white to match the champion’s kit for Graham Briggs.

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