TalkingShop: Sam Harrison – Still chasing Olympic Spot

Last weekend, a young 19 year old, Sam Harrison from South Wales, rocked up to the Rudy Project event in Northamptonshire and came with 14 seconds of beating Matt Bottrill on his ‘Giant fighter jet’.

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It was a classy ride from Sam to get so close to Matt who himself rode with GB in his early days. Since turning senior last year, Sam has won World Cup omniums which are a major test of a rider’s ability and until a knee injury forced him out of the Olympic squad for the Team Pursuit, he was in the running to ride the Team Pursuit for Great Britain in the London World Cup.

Having lost that opportunity, his team also decided not to send him to the Tour of Normandy where the GB Academy have been racing as have Endura Racing (two stage wins) and Rapha Condor Sharp in a tough eight day UCI event.

Sam explained that going to Normandy would have been throwing him in at the deep end and instead, they decided it would be better for him to walk before he runs and so he’s had a heavy training week capped off by a great ride in the Rudy Project.

At 19, he can time trial, road race and is very handy on the track… Sam Harrison is one of those riders who will probably be representing GB for many many years to come.

Asked how the injury was, Sam replied “I’m all good now touch wood. It has been a bit of a nightmare coming at completely the wrong time with the London World Cup etc. As I had no fitness for the Worlds, we decided to give that a miss as well. It is a bit annoying but I have changed my focus a bit now and am starting to get some good form.”

“I haven’t freshened up for this and just done it off the back of a pretty hard week and I’m feeling good and enjoying my bike riding again; that’s the main thing.”

“I have sort of set time trailing as a bit of a focus this year. Since I was a junior, I have been pretty decent at time trials and while my main goal is the track for this year, in the back ground I have decided to pick up this time trial focus ‘cause it’s good for the track. It gives me another aim as well and I’m going to try and target the Under 23 Euros and maybe the Under 23 Worlds.”

“This (Rudy Project) being 20 miles is a couple of miles short of what the Worlds is and I had only ever done 10s before so I have had a good weeks training and this finished off the job of getting some more time trial experience with the Rudy Project.”

Sam Harrison on the attack in the Jock Wadley. Having followed him during his junior days in a race from a motorbike, Sam is one of those riders never afraid to have a dig for three.

Is the London Olympics still an aim? “It is still the main goal. Dan (Hunt, Men’s Endurance coach) said to me that they have a little camp in June and if the four is looking pretty much selected, he’ll tell me but if not, I can jump in and give it go.”

“For now though, we have the Under 23 Tour of Flanders coming up and things like that which I am I’m building up for and hopefully maybe nick a result over there. I know (Simon) Yatesy is going really well so hopefully I can help the team to get a result and crack on with the road racing and have a bit of fun.”

Asked if he has any more time trials, Sam replied “that’s it for the time trials for now. I have Dengie Marshes (Maldon Dengie Tour) next weekend and then we’re off to Flanders, Picardie, ZLM, Tour of Brittany and a few others things.”

“It’s been good to do all the time trials I’ve done this week to get the feeling in the back of my mind ready for September or July if the track doesn’t come off.”

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