Future Stars: Joey Walker (RST/NFTO)


Entertaining Question & Answer with son of legend Chris Walker — Joey Walker who races as a first year Junior for RST/NFTO in 2014

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

The RST/Trigon team from the Cycle Division has a strong set of development teams for 2014 and backed up by new partner, NFTO, they will be looking to help the riders in the teams colours fulfil their potential.

One of the Junior riders is Joey Walker, son of Chris Walker, one of Britains succesful pros from the 80s and 90s. Chris now works for Moto Direct which is the parent company for the Cycle Division which is expanding year on year.


Joey (right) with the girl who beat him in his first race, Grace Garner in their team kit for 2014.

Joey recently had a good night at the Manchester Winter Track League, Premier Division, winning three races and spoke to VeloUK this week.

How long have you been racing now Joey?
JoeyWack (his twitter name): I started racing five years ago when I was a second year under 12. I can remember my first race was Otley town centre and I was so nervous with the big crowds there. I got dropped and beaten by a girl ( Grace Garner ) who funnily enough is now in the same team as me. Later that year, I won the under 12 boys Yorkshire championships and progressed from there.

Do you remember anything about your dads racing career and if so, any highlights?
JoeyWack: I don’t remember anything out of my dad’s cycling career as I was a wee toddler but I hear all the stories from him about what he was like on a bike, which helps me to progress myself. I also hear a load from people who used to race with him who all tell me what a legend he was and he sounded like the kind of rider I want to be when I’m older.


Chris Walker in his racing days

Its a biking family, so do you all manage to get out in a Walker chaingang from time to time?
JoeyWack: Yes, we all make an appearance on the local Saturday chaingang when we can. Most of the time me and my dad are at the front making it as hard as possible for everyone, whilst Jessie is doing well in the bunch showing the men up and my mum is scooting around doing the short run.

What category will you be racing in for 2014 – first year Junior?
JoeyWack: Yes, it will be my first year junior this year. I am looking forward to it as the races are a lot harder and different to youth races. I hope to think these races will suit me more and I always hear stories from my dad how he was an average rider at youth, then turned junior and won the national series two years running… No pressure!

What’s the best bit of advice Russell Downing has given you about racing and do you get to ride much with Russ who I understand helped inspire get you into racing at Lincoln?
JoeyWack: I have to say Russ has given me lots of advice over the years but the one that I learned from the most is “2 days or 2 weeks”. This is for when you have come down with illness, it is better to rest for two days with no bike riding rather than training whilst ill and having the illness for two weeks. I have used it ever since and it always seems to work, cheers Russ! I have grown up with Russ as he is one of my dad’s best friends and is like my big bro, so racing with him in the near future will be pretty cool.


Chris pins the number on for Joey at some racing at Darley Moor

The RST/NFTO junior team is pretty strong for 2014 — what are your own goals for the season?
JoeyWack: Yes we do have a high quality junior team for this year and we are all ready for the hard racing. My personal goals for the season are to have top 10 placings in national races and to gain a 1st category licence by the end of the year. Also, to have a high result in the junior Madison national race.

Do you have a highlight for 2013?
JoeyWack: My highlight has to be standing on the podium after winning the 2013 youth National Madison Championships

Was that the best result in 2013 for you?
JoeyWack: Yes, winning the under 16 boys National Madison race with my teammate and very close friend Joe Fry. This is because of two reasons, firstly that it is my first ever stripy jersey that I have won. Secondly, it was special as me and Joe have been doing Madison together and progressing together for a long time. We had won the Amsterdam youth 6 day back in 2012 so to win the Nationals too means a lot.

What race was the most fun to do in 2013?
JoeyWack: UK School Games on the outskirts of my home town Sheffield and also on my 16th birthday. I loved this race as it was such a hard course, gail force winds and fast rain. It made my birthday.

What bikes are you using in 2014 and do you have a favourite?
JoeyWack: The junior boys and I are using the Trigon RCQ-29 and is my favourite bike as it is stiff and responsive and so light.


Joey racing Cycle Division’s Trigon race bike hand picked by Chris Walker for the showroom at Moto Direct (South Normanton, Derbyshire, DE55 2FX). 

You’ve moved up to the Premier Track league with some success — what’s the best thing about track racing?
JoeyWack: Even though my preferred discipline is road, I still like to do track for skills and for variety in my training. I do enjoy it as you are constantly making split second decisions however riding around in circles can take its toll.

Do you have a favourite discipline – road, track, crits?
JoeyWack: My favourite has to be road racing as it is always on different roads and scenery. However I do love the fast Crit races through town centres.

Do you get to go out on the chaingangs at the weekend with all the hitters?
JoeyWack: I do love a good rip up in the cross wind on the Wickersley chaingang and it’s fair to say the hitters do come out when they can include Russ Downing, Dean Downing, Ben Swift and of course the main man Chris Walker.


Joey racing in different colours at Revolution earlier this year.

Who coaches you?
JoeyWack: Currently my dad is coaching me and its great as I can have serious talks with him or banter. I have learned almost all of my cycling trade from my dad. In the early days, I learnt a lot from the British Cycling RSR’s.

What’s the longest ride you have done on a bike?
JoeyWack: I have ridden a 100 mile ride before with Dinnington RC when I was a youngster however I can’t say I enjoyed it. I now prefer the decent length but harder rides with my team mates smashing it up the hills.

What is the hardest race you have ever done on a bike?
JoeyWack: The hardest race I have ever done on a bike has to be the Youth tour of Luxembourg with the talent team boys. This was mainly because I’d had six weeks off the bike due to a broken wrist and my cast removed about one week before the race, so as you could imagine I was not fit at all and got hammed by the big German boys.

So who’s the best from the Walker family right now?
JoeyWack: It’s a tough one to call as I can smash my dad all day up in the hills however he can paste me big time in a sprint. This won’t last for long though!


Big sis Jessie (above at Monsal Hill Climb) races too – do you find you’re trying to rip each others legs off when training together?

JoeyWack: Yes we regularly train together as we have done since we started and the only time I put the hurt down on her is when I want to annoy and wind her up.

Finally, What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
JoeyWack: In 2014, I am most looking forward to the Junior National series races and most particular the Rutland Classic and Isle of Man Tour.

Thanks to Joey for that entertaining interview … good luck for 2014!

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