Interview: No UCI Team for Steve Lampier?


It’s a frustrating time for Steve Lampier who after a second place in the GP of Wales and a good ride in the Tour of Britain, is left searching for a UCI team to ride for

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Steve rode for Node-4 in 2013 along with a group of riders from New Zealand and feels after a solid season where his ride in the Welsh Grand Prix was certainly outstanding, that he’s going to miss out on the chance on riding the Tour of Britain and RideLondon in 2014 which both require riders to be in a UCI team to compete in them. Non-UCI teams can compete in UCI 2.2 events.


Steve grits the teeth as he gives it full gas up a short climb on the finishing circuit in the Welsh Grand Prix 2013.

As yet, Steve has yet to sign up for team in 2014. Node4, expected to be called Motorpoint in 2014, have yet to confirm their plans for 2014 and whilst Steve is in talks with a non-UCI team, he would love the chance to improve on his performances in 2013 in events like the Tour of Britain.

A highlight for Steve and me having watched him from the motorbike of Graham Harper, was his second place in the Welsh GP. “I couldn’t pull on the handlebars bars due to stitches from an elbow operation seven days before the event” he explains. That didn’t stop Steve from attacking on the finishing circuit and drawing teammate Mike Northey clear of their last challenger, Team Raleigh’s Mark Christian who cramped as Steve attacked.

The Tour of Britain, the hardest edition so far, provided more season highlights for Steve. He says climbing Caerphilly mountain between walls of people on the first lap in a group that had got away gave him goose bumps. “I knew I could do it but just needed to prove that to others” he says. Steve backed that up with 12th on stage 6 of the Tour of Britain that finished on the big climb of Haytor, making him the first domestic based rider in quite a select group.


Talking about racing against the World Tour team riders, Steve says “that was fine. Phil and Malcolm at Node4 gave me the chance to see how good these riders are but the gaps were not massive. The level in the British pro scene has risen and my approach was different to 2011. Back then, I had it in my head the gap between us was bigger whilst this year I was like, yeah I’ve got two legs, two lungs like you …”

Steve’s performances in the Tour of Britain has given him the confidence there’s a lot left in the tank and that he’s just getting going after some years blighted by illness. Other highlights in 2013 include getting caught 2kms to go on stage 1 of the Tour of the Reservoir which he admits was a good ride if a little frustrating.

Playing the team role also had its personal rewards like leading out Kiwi Dan Barry in the Beaumont Trophy (won by Dean Downing). “I really hurt myself that day but it was satisfying as was keeping him at the front in the Ride London Classic where Dan was 13th and the best domestic based rider in the bunch kick.”

It was though his rides in the UCI events that have him hungry for a spot in a UCI team. “Being in a UCI team means the Ride London Classic and Tour of Britain are pretty much going to be on the program plus it’s easier to get starts in races in Europe.”

Steve is a realist though and understands that with teams folding and perhaps there being less UCI teams in Britain in 2014, a spot in one may just not happen. “If I have to side step as it were, I will” he says. “I have for example been talking recently to one non-UCI team that has clear aims and goals. I just so much want to ride the Tour of Britain again…”


“The Tour of Britain has given me the confidence to do better rides in bigger events. If I had a better standard of racing in my schedule, who knows what I could achieve in the Tour of Britain. If we still had the old UK classics like the Tour of Peak (won 7 times by Mark Lovatt) and Five Valleys Road Race (Wales). That sort of racing would raise the game another notch.”

Instead, Steve had to prepare for the country’s biggest race without such races and says in August he did three day hard blocks and used races as training. A trip to Belgium with the Kiwis in his team provided him with good racing and was also good for moral.

A long way from the start of his cycling career
Steve currently lives in the village of Eye, east of Peterborough in the flat of the fens. Originally from Helston in Cornwall, Steve moved north when he met his girlfriend Michelle and got into cycling through football of all things.

“I used to ride my bike to football training, quite enjoyed it so I did more and more. I raced mountain bikes first from the age of 12 until I was 16 before I met Tom Southam (former pro in Europe and more) on a Penzance Wheelers club run. He said you can race on the road from 16 so thought I’d do that!”

After racing in Belgium and Spain thanks to the Dave Rayner Fund, and losing the 2007/08 seasons because of glandular fever, Steve returned to the UK racing scene in 2009 with Kinesis managed by Chris Truett. “I came back, got a job, and fell in love with racing again” Steve explains.

“In 2010, I rode for Pendragon Le-Col Colnago with Yanto Barker, got a taste of the Tour Series which whilst I was still working, was pretty tough. Then Matt Stephens gave me a place in 2011 with Sigma Sport Specialized team which was UCI registered. So I packed in working at Halfords, won the Sprints jersey in Tour Series and after some solid Premier Calendar rides, got a Tour of Britain start.”


Steve rode for IG Sigma Sport in 2012 but got ill again and whilst there were victories as well as some top 10s in pro level events, the season wasn’t as good as it could have been. In 2013, Steve went to the Node4 team and admits he came out wanting to prove he was better than his 2012 results and he certainly did that.

Steve admits that the pro scene is now quite slick with overseas riders here raising the level by increasing the strength in depth and teams riding more like pro teams in Europe and investing in things like motorhomes to give the riders that little extra to try and get more out of them. Asked for an event that was fun to do, he says a local one, the Tour of the Fens, was good and something different to the other big races.

Asked how he’s gone about getting the most from himself, Steve says “the last 18 months, I’ve had James McCallum coaching me, but his wife has recently given birth and he’s going full bore for the Commonwealth Games so we had a chat and I agreed to let him concentrate on his own goals. I call him every now and then ask for advice and I’m cool with that!”

Asked about his training now, Steve says he’s doing between 10-12 hours a week including a cyclo-cross race on a Sunday for fun. “I go to the gym and do some jogging as well and the hours will increase nearer to the new year.”

Whilst there are many racers who work for a living and have a passion for the sport, I asked Steve does being a professional take some of the enjoyment out of the racing? “No, I love racing and training” he replies. “We meet different people and go to lots of cool places so yes, love it more I think.”

I asked Steve what his favourite ride is on a day when the sun is shining and the pressure is off? “Some of my old training roads in Cornwall” is the reply. “I go down to stay at my mums then go out and leather it! If not in Peterborough, me and mate Tom Neale (Corley Cycles in 2014) go out for a flatland fen ride. You don’t need hills if you have straight roads and wind”!

Finally, asked who he’d like to thank for a great year on the road, Steve replies “I have to thank Phil Griffiths at Yellow for the opportunity to show what I can do and Malcolm Elliott for all his advice. I also have to thank Matt Stephens, Richard Pascoe and Michelle for their support too!”

Good luck to Steve for 2014 and his goals ..


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