Talkingshop: Tom Stewart (Raleigh)


New leader of the competition for the Star Trophy (Premier Calendar) is new Raleigh signing Tom Stewart

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

After fourth place in the Tour of Beaumont to go with his excellent results in the other races so far, Tom Stewart, a new signing for Team Raleigh, is leading the Premier Calendar series.


Before he’d taken over at the top of the Premier rankings from his Raleigh teammate Evan Oliphant, VeloUK spoke to Tom about what it was like to ride for a UCI team, one of the strongest in Britain.

Part of the South Yorkshire chaingang where you will find many a star bike rider from past and present, Tom was picked up by Chris Walker and the RST/Trigon team last year and showed glimpses of what he could in his first season on the road.


Tom at the front at the start of the Beaumont Trophy

Before that, I’d heard the Downing brothers talk about the riders on that chain gang and about a mountain biker who was really strong. He rode for RST/Trigon (Cycle Division) in 2012 and then started out the year riding for Sportscover/Bioracer. In June, Tom, swapped those colours for the red, white and black of Raleigh.

Tom has completed his final year of a masters degree in civil and structural engineering at Sheffield University and would like to race in Europe and certainly seems like he has the talent to do so. Asked what its been liked riding in the Team Raleigh colours for the last month, Tom replied before the Beaumont Trophy, “I’m loving it. I think it’s fantastic and the novelty of staying in hotels, having a mechanic and a couple of bikes and everything hasn’t worn off yet!”

Asked about the Nationals where Tom chased the leaders the whole race, finishing in 13th place, he explained “the guys up front just had a few more gears! We did what we could to get up there and I think we did really well. There was me, Russell Hampton and Tom Moses in the chasing group at the end and having fun taking turns attacking. There was so much that went on in that race that people didn’t get to see; moves coming come together, moves going away and it was such an epic race.”


Tom and a rider from his chaingang, Russell Downing sprinting it out at the end of the British RR Champs.

“I am looking forward to today (Beaumont) and the next few weeks. I have finished university now and I can give this my full attention. This (signing for Raleigh) is the step I needed to take, and I love it so far. I’m still learning.”

“The start of last year I was a third cat, so I want to keep improving at the same rate and I think Raleigh is the right team to help me do that with the calendar they have.”

Tom paid tribute to the riders on the South Yorkshire chain gang he goes out on where the likes of Ben Swift, Dean and Rus Downing, Chris Walker and so many others have been a part of and still are. “In that respect I have it easy” says Tom “because all I have to do is ask their advice and listen to them before I make mistakes! I have got a wealth of knowledge to tap into there and I know how valuable that is.”


Learning – up against the barriers, Tom battles to get on the podium at Beaumont, he was 4th.

At the level he is riding at, Tom is thankful that around him at Team Raleigh there is a wealth of experience to help him read races and get the most from his form and ability. “All the guys we have here can win races and I want to learn from them” he says.

As well as the new kit he wears, Tom also gets a new bike, the Raleigh Militis, “I love the bike to bits. It is light, very stiff and still comfortable so I don’t feel beaten up by the end of a long race which I think is really important. I love the wheels (Cole) too and also the tyres.”

“I keep going on about them with the team because at the crit on Friday it was so greasy and with the 25mm Schwalbe tyres, with not too much pressure, you get round anything no problem.”

Being full time brings with it many benefits he says. “Whilst I was at Uni, I was making sure I was training properly but it’s all the small things that are going to add up like the resting, and stretching.”

Someone Tom talks to and gets advice from is Chris Walker, a former Raleigh rider (Raleigh-Banana) who now has a big part to play in the cycling side of MotoDirect (Cycle Division).


Tom chasing down a break at Beaumont. I can’t help feeling that if ‘measures’ his effort well, he’ll be getting those hands in the air soon.

“I know how good Chris was” says Tom who is racing in a different generation of the sport. “I wasn’t into cycling when he was around (90’s) but I have looked back at the history and there are plenty of stories going round from those days. It is quite ironic that I am with Team Raleigh having started out with Chris (RST/Trigon) and he rode for Raleigh-Banana.”

“Riding for a team like Raleigh is totally different to riding for a smaller team and that is where the learning comes in. I am here to watch and learn from them.”

Well, it seems the student is a fast learner and leading his team in one their aims, that is racing at the highest level and it can’t be long before we see this young rider get his hands in the air!

Good luck to Tom at team Raleigh

Premier Calendar Standings
1. Tom Stewart Team Raleigh 188
2. Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh 171
3. Chris Opie Team UK Youth 140
4. Peter Hawkins Team IG – Sigma Sport 139
5. Marcin Bialoblocki Team UK Youth 114
6. Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth 111

Related Interview: Click here


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , , ,