Talkingshop: Wilkinson back to try again for stage win


Just making the UK Youth team for the Tour of Britain is a victory for Ian Wilkinson who’s back to try and win a stage

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Second on a stage in 2011, and winner of the UCI ranked CiCLE Classic in 2013, Ian Wilkinson was one of the chosen six in Team UK Youth’s squad for this year’s Tour of Britain. Just getting selected was a race within itself in a team that had so many riders capable of doing the event.


Superman… Ian Wilkinson looking forward to the Tour of Britain starting Sunday

“I’m really really happy to have made the cut and that makes it all the more special” he explained at the team’s hotel in Peebles.

Ian well knows the highs and lows of being selected for the race and last year with Endura Racing experienced the low of not getting selected and then not making the Net-App Endura team for 2013. The silver lining as he explained was being picked up by UK Youth.

“I found myself in an absolutely brilliant team in UK Youth with Nigel and his vision for what the team should be.” Up to Peebles with plenty of time to get settled before stage 1, Ian and the rest of the UK Youth team are looking forward to continuing to promote the name of the charity and do their team boss, Nigel Mansell, proud.

Asked about managing to make that selection, Ian explained “It was similar with Endura Racing last year when you have such a strong roster but that I think that raises the level within the team and it’s been fantastic all year with all the riders having their own success.”


Winning the UCI CiCLE Classic this year.

“During the recce of some key stages we did a few weeks ago, there were the eight of us that were on the short list and in that recce we were doing through and off and things and there was not a great deal to pinch between us.”

Ian explained how they were also all on power metres which he says is the perfect medium between a rider and the coach. “Steve, Nigel, Pov can all see where a rider is at and we have that power data to back everything up.”

“It became apparent on the recce this was not your average Tour of Britain. It is going to be a pretty savage uphill battle but we’re hoping there will be stages that will come down to a finish for me and Opie (Chris) perhaps. One of my other strengths though is I can also ride for Marcin, Rob or Yanto on GC and do a good job. I think that is an important asset for me.”

“At Endura I used to ride for Iker Camano and help keep him in the right spot and so I feel I have lots of things to bring to the race for the team. Selection for the race has been the same with a lot of teams and riders having to pick it up a bit to make that selection.”

“Everyone of the six who have made the team (UK Youth) feels very happy to have made the selection because the Tour of Britain is a massive, massive event now. I missed RideLondonClassic being a bit ill and that was another massive event to miss and so I am even more happy to be selected to come here. At Ipswich last weekend where a lot of the British Tour of Britain teams were riding, everyone was getting focused and thinking about it.”


2011 Tour of Britain and so close to the stage win for Wilkinson (right)

Having raced the event before, been second on a stage, Ian knows what it’s like to race the event and says there is nothing for the riders in his team to be scared of. “There are some very high class riders in the field” he admitsbut adds “when I nearly won that stage in 2011, Cav’s boys were not fast enough to chase us down that day.”

“It’s a very different race this year but that could happen again.”

Talking about the melee of trying to get in that break at 0 kilometre which is when the action really is full on for as long as it takes for a break to be established and a team to take control of the chase, Ian admits success can come down to ‘race instinct’.

“You can try and go with every move under the sun and then the one you don’t go with ends up sticking; that’s bike racing all over. In this race, it is so much different to what we do in Britain in that it’s raced like a pro continental race where something will be allowed to go, and a team will ride so you get that structure.”

“So there is that fight of ‘I want to be in that breakaway’ but you have to be a bit cunning as it’s not always the first move or even the hardest move. Sometimes the race just goes round a corner and four will slip away and everyone shrugs their shoulders and a team takes over. Its done. If you’re not in it, then its frustration. So you need a bit of luck as well as judgement and instinct.”

Good luck to Ian in making his mark on the race in the next week.




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