Talkingshop: Mike Northey & Steve Lampier


Last weekend Mike Northey & Steve Lampier showed that Node 4 were a force to be reckoned with after a season so far of near misses

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RELATED: Report from the Welsh GP

In 2012, Mike Northey came to the UK to race for Phil Griffiths and Node 4 and did okay, saving his biggest trophy win for a race in France. A trophy so big it sits in the reception of his bosses business and not back home in New Zealand.


In 2012, Mike won this trophy in France. Suffice to say its still in England 

At the end of 2012, a lot of the top British talent from Node 4 including the Sprints winner from the Tour of Britain Pete Williams, found new teams and Yellow Ltd boss Phil Griffiths decided after success in a stage race in New Zealand, to bring a team of Kiwis to the UK helped out by a New Zealand local on the team, Mike Northey who returned for his second season here.

So far in 2013, the team hasn’t made the impact that many perhaps expected with the most successful Kiwi being Tom Scully over on the Raleigh team. Names though like Dan Barry and Roman van Uden however have been well noted in many of the races. Both were at the front of the race on Sunday as well (the Welsh GP) but it was Mike Northey who flew the flag with not one but two wins.


Mike Northey wins the Welsh GP.

Mike Northey first won the crit in Abergavenny on Friday night and then followed up with victory in the Welsh GP. Not only that, on the Sunday there were only two riders left at the front of the race and both were from Node4-Giordana with the other being Brit Steve Lampier.

“To win is awesome” Mike explained after the Welsh GP. “Last year I would love to have won a Premier Calendar race but didn’t get the opportunity to so to win a crit and the Prem on the one weekend is perfect really.”

It was a pretty special ride by Steve Lampier as well finishing second and he was, for me, the rider of the race just ahead of Mike for two reasons. First, Steve was in the original break while Mike was biding his time back in the peloton on the Tumble. I remember seeing Mike on the mountain climb and thinking he’s going to have go some to get to the front which he and his teammates did.

Steve though was also coming back from having had surgery on his elbow. He explained that he has two pins in his arm with a wire between them and that snapped whilst brushing his teeth requiring surgery. “I had to miss a load of races but was rested for today” he explained. Whilst the elbow didn’t seem to be hindering him at all, even when climbing out of the saddle, his legs were certainly in great form which was just as well as he explained.


Steve Lampier attacks and Mark Christian cramps up

“At the start of the year I wrote down the races I wanted to do well in and they included the RAS where I was 11th because of some misfortune and this one as well. While I live in the flattest part of the UK (Peterborough) and have fat legs, I can climb and people forget that. This race was targeted and it worked out.”

Worked out indeed. When Mike Northey crossed to Steve at the front with two others, it was two Node 4 riders versus one from Raleigh (Mark Christian) and one from Rapha Condor JLT (Mike Cuming). Steve takes up the story. “I attacked on a little kicker and got rid of Mike Cuming and then said I was going to attack again because I knew Mike (Northey) was going to be the quickest if it came to a sprint.”

That attack saw off Mark Christian leaving just Steve and Mike to fight out the finish but despite looking very strong on that final lap, Steve wasn’t keen to take on his teammate for the win saying his legs were screwed by then. So it was Mike Northey who took the victory, his second in three days. “I was feeling really good out there like I was last weekend” the Kiwi explained.

The week before at Stockton on the finishing circuit, Mike had attacked after only a few laps of the finishing circuit and was doing a great job of holding off the chasers until the distance and head wind got to him. “I lost that because I didn’t use my head and also the race was longer than they said it was. I thought I had 14k to go when I attacked but it was more like 30k.”


Mike Northey on a lone attack in Stockton two weeks ago. That escape didn’t work out  but it showed the form was there

Stockton was a distant memory in Wales though and after his win on Friday night, the race was all falling into place on Sunday. “We had Marcin Bialoblocki and Ian Bibby isolated Mike explained, adding, “they were jumping around a bit and just as there was a lull when we were getting caught, I thought they’d be waiting for their teammates and that was my opportunity to go so I went, I felt good and got across.”

“I knew I had good legs for the sprint so Steve said he’d have a crack on the climb and when he went, Mark (Christian) went to go with him and cramped and so I just countered over the top and from then on it was just the two of us.”

The victory is a long overdue one from a team that has been knocking on the door of the top step for a while. “I think we are finding our feet here. You get used to a different style of racing in different countries and when you come here, you have to learn about the riders, the races and how things unfold. I have tried to help the other guys as much as possible but experience is so important. It was the same for me when I came here last year.”

With the victories to their name, the second half of the season beckons after a break which seems to have done them a world of good. “When the British had their nationals, a lot of us had a break as there wasn’t a lot of racing on. I went off to Croatia with my wife and family and had five days off to freshen up”.

“Since then it’s been a hard slog training. During the Tour Series it was hard to train through it because you need to be fresh each night so it’s been good to get some miles back in the legs.”

Mike saved the last word for his sponsor Phil Griffiths who sponsors the team because of his love of the sport. That is appreciated by the Kiwis with Mike saying “Phil’s been awesome helping all of us to live the dream racing internationally. We’re all very grateful and it’s been really good so far…”.

With the Tour of the Britain the big goal, they all know there’s a lot more work to do but based on the ride in Wales, it certainly seems Node 4 are on the up with the big races to come…


The early break last Sunday with Steve Lampier on the right in the orange of Node 4




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