Spot Interview: Paul Oldham

Paul Oldham strengthens his grip on the National Trophy in the mud of Bradford

Early in the day at Bradford, after some serious heavy rain, Paul Oldham took advantage of a break in the racing to look at the course and came back pleased with what he saw. Later that day, he showed why he liked the course when he came back from the disaster of a rear mech being ripped off in the mud to winning the final round of the National Trophy before the National Championships at Ipswich in early January.

“The course has deteriorated a lot since this morning” he said after winning the Senior race. Before, he explained, the rain had made the mud wet and it wasn’t clogging the bike up as it had before that rain. Then, after little rain before his race, the mud got stickier and that meant it clogged up many a bike. Ripped rear mechs were common and more than one rider stopped with a rear wheel refusing to go forward.

With Paul powerless to do anything about the challenge of Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles) passing him due to his rear mech having been ripped off, the series leader stayed strong and after a bike change, fought back to win the round and increase his lead over Jody in the series.

“I ripped the rear mech off at the end of the second lap after I’d got a good gap so I was annoyed at that” Paul explained. The series leader in a mud spattered yellow jersey saw his lead melt into the mud as riders such as his nearest challenger in the series, Jody Crawforth, and others, came past him while he ran the course to the pits.

Paul was swapping bikes every half lap and still the bike got clogged which shows just how bad it was and how important those in the pits looking after the riders were. A few weeks back we featured Paul’s bike with its disc brakes from Hope and he explained how they were brilliant in the mud especially after he’d changed the pads in the run up to the race. With nothing to catch the mud above the tyre, he says there was less clogging and with plenty of riders keen to switch to them, he won’t be alone next season with them. Who knows, we may even see more riders with disc brakes at the British champs.

Paul Oldham catches Nick Craig but the veteran Scott rider never gave in for a moment as he fought for the win all the way to the finish.

Paul was also quick to praise Nick Craig saying “Nick was awesome today. He took some pegging back but I got there but was pretty gassed to be honest. I managed to put a gap between me and Jody so that was good for the series. Bradford has been my nemesis as well”.

Paul then explained how this year has been disaster luck wise and he’s looking for better luck in 2012 when the defending champion will be racing against the best in Britain for the title again. “Ipswich I think will be good for me as I have always gone well there” he says.

The championships are only three weeks away and the first thing Paul wants to do is get rid of the cold he’s had for the last two weeks before he added, you never know, “I might even wack some intervals in!”

Series Overall

1 Paul Oldham Hope Factory Racing       207
2 Jody Crawforth Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Spec       193
3 David Fletcher Boardman Elite       121

It was seriously muddy at Bradford …

Interviews from VeloUK

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