Tour Interviews: Bos, Cummings & Hampton

Exclusive interviews with some of the stars of the Tour of Britain, Theo Bos, Steve Cummings & Russell Hampton

Theo Bos (Rabobank) “My road career is going well and I hope I can win here in the Tour of Britain.” Asked for a highlight of what he has done on the road so far, the multi-World champion on the track and former record holder for the flying 200 metres replied “this year has been good because I have won more races than last year and that is the goal, to win more races to get the winning feeling and get better.”

Theo Bos looks up at the gantry to make sure it isn’t about to fall on him at the start.

“When I won in the Tour of Oman, that was a good feeling. There were a lot of big riders there like Mark (Cavendish)  and I beat  them and for me that was a really nice feeling.”

Asked what the hardest thing has been going from the track where he was a rival of Sir Chris Hoy in sprint events, to a road racer, he says “you need to have patience to change from a sprinter to a road rider. It is all about kilometres in your legs and time to transform and that is sometimes difficult because you can’t push it.”

Theo Bos makes a young girl very happy as he presents her with his bike while he talks to VeloUK.

“I have had a nice career on the road so far  and really happy with my results so far. As a sprinter, you train all year to win one race where you have to be really really good  but on the road you have a certain level all year and  you always have next week to make it up if you don’t win. There is always another chance …”

On stage 1 in the Tour of Britain, Theo said “yesterday was the hardest day on a bike for me (others have said the same)  because I was totally frozen on the bike and it was really difficult.”

“My goal is to win a big race in the future.”

Theo signs yet another autograph today at the Tour of Britian.

Steve Cummings crashed on stage 1 and said of the incident, “I just came round the corner and I didn’t feel like I had slipped but there were a lot of holes in the road and I think the bike grabbed on one and I high sided on one. I was a bit dazed afterwards.” Steve explained that him, Mick Rogers and Matt Hayman were swapping turns on the front of the race to chase Russell Hampton and his Belgian breakaway companion.

“It was a long hard stage. You look on the map and it doesn’t look hard but it always is. The roads and weather are part of that and the team is so small too. I am pleased to be racing though and hopefully I’ll get to ride the Worlds and the race in China too.” Asked can he repeat his second place he had a few years or better, he replied “it depends on the circumstances. You need some luck too but I think I have condition so it will depend on how I recover from this crash.”

Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport Specialized) “It was really hard out there, a headwind all day. I had good legs and trusted myself to go out there and go the best job I could. It was good to get on the podium as well as that is what I am here to do and been looking forward to doing all year.”

Did he have to pace himself in the break? “I was kind of reassessing my goals right through the race. The first goal was to race the first 60k and the first two KOMs. And then it was to maximise the points by getting over the third one in front but it was getting a bit tight time wise as they took some chunks out of us”.

“So I started pulling pretty hard to just get over the King of the Mountains (which he did) and then with the tailwind finish I was like, ‘I’m here, I am ahead of the peloton, I might as well give it full beans and give them a hard time. I knew Dowsett (Alex, a training partner and friend of Russell’s) was behind chasing so I thought I might as well give him a hard time about it!”

“I am disappointed not to be racing today. We had a game plan to defend the jersey today as it means a lot to the team where the moral is high but rider safety comes first.”

Finally, I said to Russell this result must be very special after the year he has had leading up to it. “It all stems back to last year when I had a year out and seven months off the bike.  I was thinking about that yesterday when I was out front and it is just a great feeling coming from a place where I was an overweight former rider doing a 9-5 job so to get the KoM jersey is just phenomenal really.”

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