Talkingshop: Peter Young Memorial Rider Interviews


Talking to Jake Martin, Elliott Porter and Dr Alex Higham after the cold and wet Peter Young Memorial last Sunday

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Race Report & Result

It was some race on Sunday where the break went from the gun and from that, a break of three dominated most of the race out front and the chasers behind were unable to bring them back. In the uphill sprint to the line, Jake Martin was too strong and after having seen him ride off the front several times to form the break, that was no surprise. VeloUK spoke to the riders afterwards.


Jake Martin: “I love racing in the rain, it makes me faster!” he said clearly pleased with the victory. “I was skin suited up so the cold and wet didn’t bother me. It was good fun. I was pretty much away from the gun before it came back together and then I kept on going again and again and got a little group going.”

“This is my first ever road race win so I am pretty chuffed. I felt strong all day and went away on my own a few times trying to create a split. This is my local road race so its great to win it. I won also last week at Cyclopark, a crit and I’d had a few punctures the day before so it was good to have some good luck today.”

Jake now has the Wally Gimber Memorial RR next week (Kent) and is then off to Belgium to race for Kingsnorth International.


Elliott Porter: A rider fast making a name for himself in his first year at Rapha Condor JLT is the son of former professional Jaanus Kuum and GB international Maria Blower. I’ve had a few emails from one of the most experienced people in pro cycling telling me to look out for him and this was the first time I’d seen him race and what a ride it was by the 21 year old.

Elliott was in the break with another young rider in Jake Martin and the experienced flying doctor, Alex Higham and after having won from a similar break the week before, Elliott was a favourite to do the same in the Peter Young Memorial but was unable to match the power of Martin on that final climb.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to go today because IG-Sigma Sport had such a strong team here with five riders but at the top of the hill early on, a few riders went away and I just followed the wheels. The break was well organised working through and off, no-one was missing any turns and then a bigger group came across with about ten riders. Then another group got across and it just got messy with people missing turns.”

“Up the hill again, a few riders went clear and nobody was really chasing so I jumped across and we just started riding really hard and established such a gap really quickly. We kept the pace high all the time because we were saying IG Sigma Sport could bring us back, get a train going, so we were always working well together.”


On whether he feels any pressure being part of such a high profile team, Elliott replied “There is a bit of pressure because I’m not a first year senior and we have a few good guys like Hugh Carthy, winner of the Junior Tour of Wales, Ed (Laverack) and Will (Stephenson) who are both only 18 while I’m 21. I have only started racing quite late but John (Herety) has given me such a great opportunity getting a ride with Rapha I just hope I can keep progressing. I think I will.”

Elliott explained how despite coming from a cycling family of Maria Blower and the late Jaanus Kuum (Estonian) he didn’t start racing until late in life. Maria, who was with Elliott at the Peter Young Memorial, was a winner of the Cheshire Classic and former Olympian for GB while Jaanus was 3rd in the Young rider competition in the Tour de France (1988).

Elliott explained “I wasn’t really into it (cycling) because my father sadly passed away when I was much younger and I didn’t have any interest in cycling.”

“That came when I was looking at what I wanted to do in life. I didn’t want to be studying and have a normal job. I wanted to be doing something active and sporty and it took off from there. I started racing less than two years ago and it has kind of exploded into place. I won last week and was second today and next week I am riding the Wally Gimber.”

Elliott explained that his team has given him a really good programme of races that he and John Herety have put together where he will be going abroad for some racing. “My goal is to get round the UCI races and just keep getting stronger and maybe get a win and show John that I am going to keep progressing.”


Alex Higham (Dr): Alex won the race three years ago and found himself in a break with two young riders, Jake Martin and Elliott Porter. Alex explained they were riding really hard, perhaps worried they were going to get caught and found himself being the voice of experience , trying to keep control.

“I am pretty pleased with the ride today” he said in the HQ, still shivering like all of the riders in the race. “I have had a hard six months of work and become a GP partner so I am working long hours and only getting about six hours training a week done. So I am pretty happy to be able to hang in there. I am having to use my racing as part of my training and have a few objectives later in the season so I wasn’t expecting to do so well early on.”

“I was part of the second group that got into the break early on and it was such a big number of guys it wasn’t really working but Jake was really strong and was riding off the front. Then John Heaton-Armstrong and I rode across to Jake and then Elliott joined us. I did what I could but they were too strong for me at the end.”

On how this year’s race compared to others, he replied “It is difficult to compare it but I think it was faster given the conditions. A big break tends to go here and then a smaller break towards the end.”

Alex was also an integral part of the Severn Bridge road race, one of two doctors riding in the race who tended to the late Junior Heffernan who crashed and died at the scene. Asked how he felt to be racing again after such a tragic incident, he replied “It was hard for me as I was quite involved in it and I am still getting flash backs but I think everyone today was riding a lot more sensibly out there today.”

“As riders, that is what we need to do. You can close the roads and have as many NEG as you want, but the riders have got to ride safely and they did today, I was quite impressed. Especially the young guys like Elliott who rode very well.”



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