Talkingshop with Andy Hargroves Crossing to the Road

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Eamonn Deane writes Andy Hargroves will hope to put a difficult winter behind him as he starts the 2013 season at the Perfs Pedal race.

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Eamonn Deane writes  Better known as a cyclo-cross rider, Hargroves will make his debut for new team, Felt-Colbournes-Hargroves RT at the classic season opener in Hampshire. The 20 year old has struggled with illness over the winter but is fully recovered, back on the bike and looking forward to a new challenge this season.

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“I’m looking forward to working and helping my new team mates as well as taking my own opportunities when they arise. I will be part of the team that is riding more road races than crits. I will be riding a few of the Premier Calendar races as well as a host of other road races including the RAS Mumhan stage race in Ireland. My first race will be Perfs but I won’t be racing for another three weeks after that.

I’ve already been on training camp to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands but I was only able to be there for four days due to the end of my ‘cross season. I will be going for a big training camp to Tenerife in the middle of February to really get fit and put the final miles in before the season starts properly.”

Hargroves studied business, Economics & Accounting at Brockenhurst College in the New Forest and works in the family business, Hargroves Cycles. Deciding not to go to university, he took an opportunity to move to Belgium and ride Cyclo-Cross full time. The Hargroves name is synonymous with cyclo-cross! What does he prefer and is there any family pressure?

“I enjoy them both! Each of them have their own merits and parts which I enjoy. I’ve been quite successful in it and have a lot of my riding skills thanks to cross. But for this year I felt like a change I want to see how far I can push myself on the road as I haven’t really raced properly since I was a junior.”

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My season has always been very cross orientated and I am still planning on riding cross next winter but it will be a reduced calendar and will start later. There is no pressure at all from Hargroves; it was actually my dad’s idea to have a look at doing more on the road.”

Coached by Mark Adams of British Cycling, Hargroves enjoys getting the miles in through the winter months, especially out to the sailing town of Lymington on the edge of the Solent. “A nice two hour loop on recovery days!” Longer rides always include climbing some hills; “a weakness” admits Hargroves.

“A typical training week for me is a day off Monday, long ride of some sort on a Tuesday, turbo on a Wednesday as I have to fit training around a full day at work. Thursday will be long ride again, Friday will be a shorter ride with structure.

Saturday and Sunday will be long rides if I’m not racing on either day. My winter has been very up and down. The season started really well, but I got tonsillitis at the most important part of the season and had to kiss away riding a world cup for GB, 3 national trophies and regional championships in 5 weeks.

I never really recovered fitness and got ill again just after Christmas and was only able to get back on the bike 3 days before nationals so I gave that a miss this year. Saving it all for next year!“ The Southampton-based rider is under no illusions as to how tough cycling is and already appreciates his back up team. Where does he see himself in five years?

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“Five years is a very long way away and I don’t really know how far I can go in road cycling at the moment. But ideally I would like to be riding full time. The world of professional cycling is a tough one to crack though and at the moment there are more teams folding than starting up!

I have to thank my parents for karting me around the country for the last five years and Mark Adams for coaching me throughout that time. There are many people that have given me advice along the line and I’ve tried to listen as much as possible. Finally thanks to Hargroves Cycles, Saddleback, Felt, Shimano and Specialized for sponsoring me.”

Felt-Colbournes-Hargroves RT has entered a five man team for the season opening Perfs Pedal Race on February 10th. The 48th edition of Perfs will cover 46 miles on the Portsdown Hill circuit and as always will provide a tough early season test.

 

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