Interview: Hugh Wilson (NFTO Pro Cycling)


As the team sees the arrival of a host of new stars, 2013 rider, Hugh Wilson looks forward to a different role in NFTO Pro Cycling’s team

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

The team NFTO is probably now as well known as most teams in Britain after it hit the headlines signing star cyclists such as the Downing brothers, Adam Blythe, Jon Mould and many more including DS Sean Yates.


Hugh in NFTO colours does what many did not – defeat the mighty UK Youth in 2013.  He gets the chance to move up a level in 2014 with the UCI team.

Back in March, the team hit the headlines with a very different rider, Hugh Wilson, who beat Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth) to win the early season classic, the Jock Wadley in Essex. The team has been around for two years, starting off racing lower category events and then moving up a level in 2013 in Elite National B type races.

Prior to the 2013 season, Hugh contacted the team owner John Wood to see if he could get a ride. “Before I knew it, I was riding for NFTO in 2013 and it was the best move I’ve made in my life really.”

Hugh explained that before the Jock Wadley, the team had done a few crits and explained that he didn’t feel there was a lot of pressure on the team with so many of the bigger teams riding. “We turned up and the conditions were miserable and I was just hoping to get round but it turned out I was going really well.”

“We’d had a few good training camps before that and so I’d been training well and turned up at the Wadley in good condition. To be honest, I didn’t want to let John down. I was hoping to get in a good group for the finish but in the end, went up the road and had real good legs that day.”


You could say this is a high point for Hugh but I don’t think he’ll agree! Its the Tour Series at Aberystwyth this year and he gets up close and personal with a teammate of his for 2014, new dad James McCallum.

The victory there says Hugh was a season highlight and admits he did get ill after that and never managed to match that result. Asked what his team boss John Wood is like, a person who is definitely not ‘not for the ordinary’ and known for kicking a few legs on training rides, Hugh says “he’s a tough guy and trains hard. He’s not afraid of a bit of pain and we all want to do well for John.”

“We all went into it with a very professional attitude and John never wanted to cut corners. He’s very much a ‘if you’re going to do, do it properly’ sort of guy which is really good and rubbed off on us who rode for him.”

Hugh though will go from being one of the strongest riders in the 2013 squad to being one of the less well known riders in the 2014 UCI line up which he says he’s cool with. “I think riding for this 2014 team, it will be a lot better for me and help bring me on being one of the less established riders. I’m looking forward to being part of a winning team and being surrounded by what I am sure will be a bunch of winners. It will be a massive step up for me and a few of the boys.”

“When I found out that the likes of Russell Downing was coming, that was a bit of wake up call. I’d watched Russell race and have a lot of respect for him but never got to know him and now I’m on the same team as him and Adam Blythe.”

Hugh admits that with so many top riders signed, getting into a team for a specific race like the Tour Series will be an achievement with a lot of competition within the squad for the five spots. That said, he is hoping that going from a working bike rider to a full time racing cyclist will see him improve and fulfil his potential.

Hugh has worked as a ski instructor doing quite long hours with late nights and admits that doing that and trying to recover and then train was a real nightmare. “Now I’ll be able to train better and we have a top coach in Jon at Trainsharp which means I’ll have structure to my training.”

“That I think will help me move up a level. Eating right, training right, resting right and I think that will set me up for the next season.”

Asked if there is anything he’s looking forward to next season and Hugh replies, “being part of a winning team!”

“Hopefully can I play a part in that and perhaps get some freedom and win some myself which would be brilliant.”

Good luck to Hugh in NFTO Pro Cycling …


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,