Talkingshop: Ian Wilkinson in a better place


After an up and down 2012, Ian ‘superman’ Wilkinson is in new colours and looking to have consistently good form in 2013 for his new team, UK Youth

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Speaking to the Barnoldswick rider at Southwick near Portsmouth, he explained how 2012 had its highlights and low points. “I had a really strong start to the year with some wins in Belgium and France and podiums in UCI races and then ended the year with podiums in more UCI races like the Baltic Tour. There was the Newport Nocturne as well so it wasn’t a bad year but I faltered by my own standards in the Tour Series which is one of the main aims.”

“We’ll rectify that this year and get back to good form with UK Youth.”


Despite his UCI wins and podiums in 2012, Ian was not selected for the NetApp/Endura team and instead signed for UK Youth. “There was a lot of talk going on at the back end of last year about Endura and Netapp merging, lots of talk and nothing happening which usually means nothing is coming your way. Fortunately, I still have tons of miles and wins left in the tank and UK Youth have been savy enough to snap us up in putting together what is a really strong team.”

Having spent two get togethers with the team, Ian is full of praise of how great it has been with the squad. “It’s been fantastic so far with the team. We had a get together just before Christmas to meet Nigel Mansell and a few of the staff from the business. It was great to meet someone who has achieved so much. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, to be that successful you have to be pretty special and Nigel is that.”

“The training camp was also really good and a good litmus test. ‘Pov’ has put together a really good group and everyone had the same humour level so we’ve had some great mickey taking and enjoyable training out there. We went out there to put in some consistent hard training to find out where we are and I’m in a lot better place than I was last year. Fingers crossed that will continue!”

Ian has spent a few seasons with Endura and had a chance to do a training camp with a different team. Are they all the same VeloUK asked? “We had some really good training with Endura and the DS (Alex) Sans Vega knew his stuff and was good at bringing individual training into a group ride. I was curious to see what we would do and Steve Benton (team coach) brought in some different things which were equally good. Once we got it together, I had some good drills going out there.”


Pre-race at the Perfs (his first ride in the Southern event), Ian from Lancashire was asked how it felt to be pinning a number on again. “This is the first Premier this!” he said with his usual upbeat humour. “It certainly feels long enough since we pinned a number on. I’ve done a few cross races in the winter but I am nervous again and that’s a good feeling to have, to get the heart going.”

“You go all winter and it doesn’t matter what the race is, you pin a number on and you want to do well. These smaller races, they can be some of the hardest to compete in and it’s a tough circuit…”

As it happened, Ian, like all the UK Youth riders, was in good form, making the break with his teammates and then finishing the race 5th. Ahead lies another seven months of racing and you can be sure, the name Ian Wilkinson will be in the headlines again and again … Good luck to superman for 2013.


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