Q&A: Evan Oliphant (Premier Calendar winner)


Question and answer with Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant from Scotland, winner of the 2013 Premier Calendar

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Evan is based in Edinburgh (Scotland) with his family and was grass track racing when he was 13 and took up road racing when he was 19. That makes a career spanning 18 years where the Scottish rider has his share of winning races and standing on podiums from domestic events to the Tour of Britain.


A few years ago now and the 2004 Tour of Britain riding for Scotland.

A look through the results over the years shows a remarkable consistency in being in the top 20 of the top British races as well as on the podium. He’s won multiple Scottish road race championships and looking through the results of the Tour of Reservoir over the years, the race he won in 2013, Evan’s name appears high up the result year after year.

He’s ridden many editions of the Tour of Britain and multiple Commonwealth Games for Scotland as well as having been on the podium in UCI events as far afield as Mexico, Malaysia, Ireland (RAS) and a favourite of mine, the Tour of Tasmania in Australia.

As well as the Tour of Reservoir in 2013, Evan’s won Premier Calendar events such as the Ryedale Grand Prix, the East Yorkshire Classic and the Beaumont Trophy plus many a Scottish classic like the David Bell Memorial. Not surprising then, that the quiet spoken Scotsman says that road racing is his favourite discipline as “it’s always different due to weather and terrain.”

Looking at the races he’s done well in, you can be sure Evan has seen some very differing weather and terrain over the years.


A podium at Ryedale brings with it the rewards of that white envelope… wonder whats in that then!

As well as finishing in the top 20 in every Premier Calendar race he rode in 2013, as did his Raleigh teammate Tom Stewart, my own highlight of watching Evan during the year was seeing him clip off the front on the final stage of the Tour of Reservoir and soloing in to win the stage and the overall. When Evan is asked for a highlight, the answer is short and to the point – “Becoming a dad!” Here are the rest of the questions and answers:

Which race has been the best one (most fun) to do?
Evan: I always enjoy the Lincoln as the crowds are always mega and I enjoy the RAS (Ireland); especially when it’s dry.

Would you rate this year as your best season?
Evan: Best in the UK races anyway.

Winning the Prems requires consistency – any secrets on how you managed to get a top 20 in every event.
Evan: After I won the first round (Reservoir), I was more of a protected rider in the others so was able to only do efforts when it mattered.

What would you say is your best asset as a rider – sprint, endurance, etc?
Evan: Endurance and leadout man in sprints.

As well as challenging for the Premier Calendar Series , did you have a support role to play in Raleigh
Evan: Yes, definitely. In the criteriums I would be doing the leadouts and even in some of the Premiers I was riding for others at times.


Do you coach yourself or have some one set you a race programme
Evan: Myself.

Did the success in 2013 come as a surprise or did you feel at the start of the season, it was going to be a good one
Evan: I had a good winter and having the new velodrome in Glasgow helped as I was doing a couple sessions a week there over the winter when it was grim outside. So I was hoping for a good season but with our baby due to be born in April, I wasn’t sure how that was going to affect things.

How many hours a week would you train on and off the bike outside of the racing season?
Evan: Two hours off the bike and around fifteen on the bike including some track work.

Do you tend to train alone or in a chaingang?
Evan: A bit of both. When I’m doing specific efforts, usually alone but in the winter, I’m often with a group when it’s just steady miles.

What is the best thing about racing bikes?
Evan: I enjoy the racing and it’s even better when you or the team win and I enjoy seeing new places and meeting loads of people as well.

And what is the one thing you enjoy least!
Evan: Driving to the races.

If you could change one of your weaknesses into a strength, which one would it be?
Evan: To be better when it’s cold and wet!

What will you be doing training wise during the winter? Will you break it up into phases of endurance, intervals etc?
Evan: At the moment I’m doing a couple track sessions a week and my road rides are just steady base miles. In Dec/Jan, I will do longer road rides with some temp work then start some harder Intervals around Feb time before the racing starts.


Evan (left) at the Commonwealth Games in Australia 2006

Will you race at all in the winter (cross, track, circuit races)?
Evan: I’m doing a few track races over the winter and the local track league.

What do you enjoy doing most when not riding the bike?
Evan: Spending time with the family.

Is the Commonwealth Games the big target for 2014?
Evan: Yes, that’s one of them but I will have a few targets before that once I see the full race programme for next season.

Will that be on the road or road and track at the Games?
Evan: Both hopefully.

What are the other races you are looking forward to most in 2014.
Evan: The Premier Calendars again or Elite Road Series as it’s now being called and also the French racing we have next season.


What are the advantages to being in Scotland for training – quieter roads?
Evan: Yes, definitely quieter roads and there’s lots of groups and chaingangs that meet 10 mins from my house if I want company.

How does a pro rider ensure they are warm during a winter training ride?
Evan: If you have decent kit layered properly it makes a massive difference and I normally carry a spare set gloves in my back pocket. I have neoprene toe warmers under my overshoes.

Finally, is winter a great time to relax or do you miss the racing already and are hungry to get going again …
Evan: I have a few weeks off at the end of the season when I fully relax then it’s back into training for the following season. The racing is never too far away and I have the track to keep me going.

thanks for doing the Q & A Evan and good luck in 2014


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