Interview: Morgan Kneisky (Raleigh)


Jean Vantalon interviews new Raleigh rider Morgan Kneisky from France, twice a World Champion on the track

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There have been a lot of changes at Raleigh for 2014 and we’ll look at them in more depth in the interview with another Raleigh rider shortly on VeloUK but one of the changes is the hiring of two Frenchman to join Alex Blain and DS Eric Bertoux.

2009 Morgan Kneisky 03

One of the French riders is Morgan Kneisky (above) who won the World Scratch Race title in 2009 and then the tough Madison title in 2013.

A little digging through Tissot Timing and you start to get the measure of this young rider. As well as World Chammpion in 2009 in the Scratch race where Mark Cavendish also rode in the same event, Morgan was 9th in 2010 two places behind a certain Tom Scully with Brit Chris Newton in 5th. Plenty of bennchmarks there to measure the talent of this Frenchman.

2009 Morgan Kneisky 01

2009 – World Scratch Race and Morgan shows some pace to gap his rivals to win the title.

In 2012, Morgan, with Christophe Riblon was second in the Madison and then the winner in 2013. So the palmeres on the track is quite something. Here is Jean’s Q & A with Morgan:

Jean: Morgan, why did you choose Team Raleigh
Morgan: I chose Raleigh for several reasons. Firstly the race calendar with a mix of French race and criterium type events but also to discover the British cycling scene which should suit a rider like me.

Jean: Three French riders in Raleigh, do you like this team and why?
Morgan: France is attracted to Raleigh for many reasons. First the history with TI Raleigh during the 80’s and Laurent Figon rode with Raleigh too. Secondly, because French riders feel good inside this team like Eric Berthou and Alex Blain. Many riders stay in their country but it is very interesting to see what happens with the neighbouring country. Raleigh have a good calendar and the staff are very passionate and involved. That makes you want to invest in such a team.

2009 Morgan Kneisky 04

L-R: Eric Bertoux, Morgan, one of the worlds fastest sprinters Nacer Bouhani & Laurent Pichon

Jean: Track World Champion twice – do you have the profile to win the Tour Series?
Morgan: I have the ideal profile for this type of competition and I also have experience. I intend to be a strong player in the series this year and why not win it? It’s most important that the team win so we ride as a team first.

Jean: How do you find the English crits?
Morgan: At the moment, I’ve never been. I ‘ve heard about it though and I also watch some videos. It’s very impressive. I find that fantastic and cannot wait to experience this special atmosphere. I know in advance that it will make me happy.

Jean: What are your goals for the season?
Morgan: Leaving a winter hampered by a knee surgery, I had to shift my primary objectives but I will be present at Route Adelie (UCI 1.1) and Tro Bro Leon (French CiCLE Classic style race). Then I will be 100% for the Tour Series and the National Championship. The main year-end goal will be the Tour of Britain.

Jean: What do you think about British cycling?
Morgan: For me British cycling is the best. You can find very good races track and road, there is no problem to find a race. I love their approach to high-level optimizing and maximising every detail to make a difference. The principle of the Tours Series is great! I think I’ll be happy in England with Raleigh!

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