Talkingshop: Young rider going places – Erick Rowsell

After years in the GB Academy playing a supporting role, Erick Rowsell was taken on by Endura Racing and the former British Junior Road Race Champion flourished and will ride for NetApp-Endura in 2013

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

In 2012, his wins included stage 5 of the Tour of Normandy (France) and the first stage in the Tour DoonHame (Scotland). Many other top tens made the season an impressive one for the London based rider.

A very French win … Erick gets a stage win in the Tour of Normandy in France.

The 22 year old was showing again and again he had what it takes to race at the highest level and he was one of only eight riders selected from the 16 strong Endura Racing team to join the new NetApp-Endura team for 2013. “It was a tough team to get into” Erick explained recently when talking to VekoUK.

“We had sixteen riders at Endura Racing who would have all made the step up so to be one of the eight was a real honour. I think I had done enough to deserve it but then there were others in the Endura Racing team who also had good results who didn’t get a place. I’m really happy though I did manage to make it.”

His place in the team was the good news. The bad news was the collarbone be broke in the European Road Race Championships. It was a nasty break as Erick explained. “It broke into five different pieces so it took them three hours to operate on it to work out where each bit needed to go. They described it as being a jigsaw after I came out of surgery.”

“It’s all back together with seven different pins in it and a plate holding it all together. So far it hasn’t given me any trouble on the bike. It’s a little bit sore and tender so I don’t want to do too much with it but I am sure once I come to racing it will be fine.”

Erick in Yellow at the Tour DoonHame which will not be held in 2013.

Like a lot of riders, Erick can’t remember the crash which could not have come at a worse time as Erick was hell bent on making the Endura Racing team for the Tour of Britain where competition for places was intense. As ever, Erick was keen to get back on the bike post crash but the Tour of Britain was no longer going to be an option which was a big disappointment as he explained.

“The 2012 season has been one of my best years but then it has also been one of the worse ones with the crash and missing the opportunity to ride the Tour of Britain, especially with JT winning it. That would have been great to be part of that so missing it was very disappointing and missing the Worlds after that too. I did though have a great start to the year winning the stage in Normandy and then a few second places so it’s been a really good year.”

Erick’s last race for Endura Racing was the Tour of Alsace (July) which was won by Jon Tiernan-Locke but who was in 6th place… yes, Erick who had two top ten places in the race on stages as well as that fine overall position.

“I thought after that performance, I was expecting to get a place in the Tour of Britain team and then the crash happened. The crash means too that I’m going to have a longer winter so when everyone is having their breaks, I’ve been training and that means I’ll probably just be that bit more hungry to start racing when the season comes.”

Erick in 2011 at the Eddie Soens with the GB Academy team

Does Erick feel the apprenticeship is over and he can be relied upon to bring the team results? “I started off with the team feeling like I was in a learning role but then I developed into the sort of rider I was for the rest of the year which was a rider who can go into races and support the team or get a result when the opportunity arises.”

“I feel in a similar position going into NetApp-Endura in 2013 where I expect to have a working role when I am told to but also to get the opportunities for myself as I think I have shown I can do that and not just be a domestique for the year.”

“I am though one of the youngest on the team so do expect to be helping the older guys out when I can in the bigger races.”

Asked what sort of rider he feels he is developing into as a professional, Erick says “I think I’m a stage race rider and prefer the hilly ones. Maybe not the massive mountainous ones but the ones with the hills, the week long stage races. I think they are my forte.”

“At the same time, I think I can do a good job in the classic one day races so I’d be looking to have a mixed programme with the team next year, one day classics and stage races.”

Junior Tour of Wales and Erick, wearing the stripes of British Champion, digs in during a stage of the race a few years ago.

Erick is also the brother of Olympic Champion Joanna Rowsell and says that with his crash and her post Olympic break, they have both been getting back into the swing of training at the same time. “I have been doing quite a bit of training with her as she’s been home in Surrey a lot since the Olympics.”

“It’s unusual we have found ourselves in the same place at the same time so it’s a nice to spend time with her after the Olympics which has changed her life.”

Is there a family secret having produced two champion cyclists? “I don’t know how the family has produced two successful cyclists” says Erick. “Neither of our parents are sporty and it was Joanna who got into cycling first and then I followed her. Since then we have both committed to it and our parents have supported us all the way.”

“They haven’t been pushy but without them we wouldn’t have got to where we are. They’ve been taking us to races since we were young and even now they enjoy coming to watch us race.”

“Once we find something we’re good at, the key to the success is we commit 100 per cent and when you do that and put in as much work as we have, you get the results. Our training is completely different as she’s a track rider and I’m on the road but we always bounce each ideas of each other.

“Even just simple things. Like I have been told I’m using Speedplay pedals next year and she’s been using them for a while so I have been able to get feedback on what they are like”.

So while Joanna continues to pursue success on the track, Erick is looking to take a step up in 2013 in the races he gets to ride and the challenges he faces to add to the success he has already had on the road. Good luck to Erick and NetApp-Endura in 2013 and thanks for the chat.



RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,