TalkingShop: Big win for Simon Yates

VeloUK talks to Simon Yates, Richard Handley and Matt Cronshaw about the Twinings ProAm road race last Sunday.

Part 1: The result


Part 2 – Talking shop with Simon Yates, Matt Cronshaw and Richard Handley
Last year, not far from Salisbury, a junior called Simon Yates won the Junior Peter Buckley Trophy race at Somerton. It was one of several victories that year on his way to winning the National Series overall. Another victory was the World Madison title for Juniors with Dan Mclay.

Whilst the latter is in Belgium with the Lotto feeder team, Simon is part of the GB Academy, a first year senior finding his feet having stepped up a level. The win at the Twinings ProAm is certainly a milestone for the North West youngster who was really pleased to have won his first premier Calendar event and also to have got one over on his more ‘senior’ teammates Luke Rowe and Mark Christian who are normally the ones getting their hands in the air.

It’s nice with all the work I do for them to get a bit of glory every now and then” Simon says. Simon then explained that going from the junior ranks to the senior ones, was not an easy transition. “The first couple of races were really hard and a big shock to the system. Not just the distance but the way they race. It’s totally different to the junior races. Once we got into it though, we adapted and you understand the racing more. The last few races I have been doing, I’ve been able to get stuck in.”

And that is exactly what Simon did in Wilton for the Twinings ProAm. After his teammate Luke Rowe had spent a lot of time out front in the break, the end of the race saw him and Mark Christian get in the move that would stay away. The Academy riders haven’t done a lot of Premier Calendar races but Simon admits he didn’t have any problem going from the races in Belgium to the top road races in Britain.

“The race wasn’t too bad. I have been doing a lot of races abroad recently and I think I have picked up a lot of form. It was good to race at home today in front of a home crowd though. The course here was great, especially on that big lap. The climb was real hard and it was a grind up there every lap.”

“Because there were two of us in the break, we tried to work them over and Mark (Christian) was going real well and going with all the moves as well as making his own. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have got away at the end.”

“Richard and I got away with two k to go and I had enough in the gallop to win.”

Winning the sprint against Richard Handley of Raleigh was probably a sure bet as Simon has plenty of speed from the track and Richard is more known for his climbing. Like Simon, he’s also a youngster which bodes well for the sport. “I knew I was up against it” Richard explained. “Sprinting is not my thing but getting second here is good. It’s the first time on the podium for a Premier so that is good too. The race was really good and the circuit was not as flat as they were making out. There was quite a headwind on the far side of the circuit which made it even harder.”

Richard explained that the group of seven that dominated the closing laps of the finishing circuit came about with a split on the back of the course and that initially there had been more riders in the break but it split again before the break reached Wilton. “It was good having two in the break and we had a few digs before Simon started the move. I did a turn and found myself on the front with a k to go and ended up having to lead it out.”

Another rider happy with his place on the podium was Matt Cronshaw, also from Raleigh. “I broke my wrist five weeks ago, so to come back from three weeks off the bike, training on the turbo, to a podium  in a Premier Calendar leading up to the Tour of Britain, I don’t think I could have asked for more.”

Asked what he has managed to do to be in such good form, Matt replied “panic training. I was doing a couple of sessions a day on the turbo with some endurance work on the mountain bike resting the wrist on the bars. My motivation having not raced for a while was pretty strong today”.

The National Series for the Star Trophy now moves back up north for the Richmond Grand Prix which will for many, be their final hit out before the Tour of Britain. With only a few points between teammates Ian Bibby and Jon McEvoy, the series could go to either way and as all the riders I’ve spoken to will say, its all about the race and a result for the team and not about the series!


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