Talkingshop: BMC’s Adam Blythe


BMC’s 23 year old Adam Blythe had fourteen top tens including two victories and seven podiums in 2012. VeloUK talks to him about 2013.

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A long time ago, far far away from Monaco, a very talented young rider from Sheffield decided to go his own way after a short time on the GB Academy and now lives the dream with the likes of Philippe Gilbert in Monaco.


Adam Blythe won two races in 2012, Binche–Tournai–Binche and stage 1 of Paris–Corrèze and is looking to step up to winning some bigger races in 2013. He began his season on January 5th by riding the British Madison Championship with Pete Kennaugh where they were second to Jon Mould and George Atkins.

Talking about that race, Adam said afterwards “we (him and Pete Kennaugh) have both been doing long hours every day, four or five hours and I think we got our gears wrong. I think if we had had a bigger gear on, without trying to sound big headed, we’d have probably won it. We were there in the sprints but didn’t have the acceleration to get past them in the final but it’s the first time on this track in a while so it’s alright!”

“It’s good to come back and ride the track now and again. Pete sent me a message a month ago asking if I’d like to do the National Madison Championship so I thought why not because there is nothing else on. It’s a quiet time on the road before training starts properly hard so I thought why not give it a go and have a bit of fun!”


Adam riding the Revolution 39 meeting with an SI bike with 3T bars (click here for more on them)

The serious stuff on the road for his star studded trade team, BMC, begins soon and looking back at his journey to a life in Monaco as a cycling professional, Adam admits he does get people saying to him how lucky he is to be living there. “You make your own luck in the sport though and I did it my way by going to Belgium and trying hard. Now I am living the dream in Monaco.”

“It’s a beautiful place and I have got a lot of friends there and am very happy but the dreams not complete until I have won more bike races.”

Adam has had some big wins in his short career. Four wins in 2010 including two stages of Franco-Belge helped his move up the rider rankings but he had to endure a 2011 without any victories. He then started 2012 off with second on stage 1 of the Tour of Qatar but it wasn’t until August the first win came on stage 1 of Paris-Correze.

He came close yet again to winning in Franco Belge with second on stage 4 and then a 4th in the semi classic GP d’Isbergues won by John Degenkolb. In October, the second win for Adam came in Binche-Tournai-Binche (Memorial to Frank Vandenbrouke) but despite the victories, Adam still describes his season as average.

“I had a good start in Qatar and after that I didn’t get enough racing. I need to race quite often to get good fitness so I had a pretty steady middle of the year, nothing spectacular. One win at that time but it wasn’t such a big win and then towards the end of the year, I got good form and was going quite well. I did a good ride in Paris Tours but just made a bit of a stupid move (Adam tried chasing down a break with 10k to go) and then I won Binche-Tournai-Binche (Memorial to Frank Vandenbrouke)”.


Adam (left) riding the British Road Race Championships with Endura Racing’s Rob Partridge.

“I saw what I could do though when my form was really good and that I can be up there in the big races where I should be. This year is about getting the form I had at the end of the season all through the year.”

Adam’s first big race of 2013 is in Qatar where he says if he can repeat his performances from last year, he’ll be happy. “I’d like to then carry that on and get in the Classics team but the team we have got is so strong. It’s like trying to get in the Tour de France team or the Worlds; it’s hard work!”

Adam’s director sportif is former GB manager Max Sciandri who is said to have been asked to be the Italian manager for the Road Worlds. Adam explained “I am always in contact with him and he’s more a friend than a director. When he needs to be hard he’ll be hard but I get on well with him. We can talk about all the other stuff apart from cycling which is the main thing”.

Sprinter Adam though admits he doesn’t see much of his ‘rouleur’ teammate Steve Cummings who won a stage of the Vuelta this year. “I don’t see much of Steve except for training camps and races every now and then. Steve’s a good guy and he’s like no matter what the situation, he’ll put a smile on your face. That’s Steve, he’s just a good guy you can have a laugh with”.

Asked for a highlight from 2012, Adam very quickly replies, “Lizzie (Armitstead) getting second in the Olympics. Being part of what she did in a tiny way was something special for me.”


Lizzie Armitstead on her way to second in the Women’s RR at the Olympics. Photo: Rob Lampard.

And his goal for 2013? “I’d like to be up there in some of the classics. Paris-Tours is a good race for me to get stuck into as well as Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Gent Wevelgem. They are big big races so I have a lot of hard work to do so one step at a time.”

Adam explained there is plenty of work to do on his strengths and weaknesses. “ I have work to do on my bunch sprint. Cav is so hard to beat and there are a lot of riders coming up, like John Degenkolb who can climb and Peter Sagan who can also climb so it’s not just about sprinting but also about getting to the sprint as well.”

“I am not an out and out sprinter but do have a fast sprint so I have to work on things around my sprint and get them done first. Get to the finish and then work on the sprint.”

Post interview, Adam headed back to Monaco for more training before heading for Belgium where he’s spent today at the team’s launch. Two weeks in Spain then follows as the serious work for 2013 gets underway and we wish Adam lots of luck and look forward to hearing about his successes during the season.



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