Interview: Tom Stewart – Madison Genesis


Talking to a rider who ‘burst’ onto the scene with second in the Premier Calendar in 2013, Tom Stewart

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tom Stewart – Madison Genesis


Madison Genesis made a lot of signings during the winter and they were all riders in the top echelon of British cycling. None more so that the rider who was second in the Premier Calendar, Tom Stewart.

A look on twitter (@mtb_tom) and you can see the background is in off roading. That goes back to when he was 14, and just like many of us, me included, he enjoyed the freedom of riding off road as a teenager. A road bike followed a few years later and after a gap year in Canada following school, he headed for University in Sheffield.

Whilst there, he’d be out on the South Yorkshire chain gang and I’d hear back from the Downings how there was this really strong mountain biker. That was Tom and he was soon racing with the RST Racing Team (Cycle Divsion) with others from that chain gang such as Chris Walker.

He went from there to Sportscover but in the same season, 2013, was soon snapped up by Raleigh. It was a surprise to see him change teams again, so I asked, why the change to Madison Genesis?

“To be honest, I still feel I don’t know what I am doing” Tom says. “I’m new to racing and I have a lot to learn. I also know I’m not one of the young guys but in terms of experience, I am still quite young. So this is the right team for me to be on to get those opportunities but still learn from a lot of good riders and Roger as well. So it’s perfect for where I am at the minute.”


2011 & Tom in RST Racing Team colours sponsored by the Cycle Division

Following Tom on twitter it was clear he wasn’t training in Britain with pictures of sun and sea. “I went to Gran Canaria for a little while, just because the weather is nicer” he explained. “Call me soft but if you’re just going out day after day getting the winter miles in, and you are doing that in shorts and jersey, it is so much nicer than doing it in the rain! It’s a very pretty island, very quiet and smooth roads well”.

Mid season in 2013, Tom finished university and became a full time bike rider. Asked how that felt, he replied “it’s funny that when I was at uni and turned up at races, guys who are full time would say I’ve had a busy week and I’d look at them at think you haven’t got a clue! But now I am that guy, I do find myself really busy. I certainly don’t feel like I have a lot of free time on my hands.”

“Even though I’m a professional, I still love it, still go out on the bike and have a good laugh and stop for coffee every now and again. I haven’t lost touch with the love of the sport. It doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s just surreal to know that everyone I went to Uni with is sat in an office; crazy really.”


The big break came for Tom in 2013 wearing the colours of Sportscover (by Bioracer)

Talking about changes made being a professional, Tom says “I have started working with a coach (Kevin Dawson) this winter, another thing I am doing to become more professional. I am really enjoying that structure and it’s great working with some-one like him who really knows his stuff.”

Last year, 2013, was a breakthrough year for Tom and when asked for a highlight, it wasn’t the one I expected, the Tour of the Reservoir where without the support of a big team, he finished 4th overall and made teams and riders sit up and take notice.

Tom’s highlight was later on in the season when in Raleigh colours he rode his first top level UCI road race. “Ride London Classic. “To have graduated from Uni a few weeks before that and then be sat on the start line with that calibre of rider was just bonkers. I have got fond memories of that day” Tom says.


Tom spent the second half of the 2013 season racing for Raleigh

Asked about the season ahead, Tom still isn’t sure what the major goals are? “I still haven’t found my speciality yet. I like the races that are longer and tougher, more selective, but I’m open to trying other races like the crits. The Reservoir is a perfect race for me. I love how grippy it is and how tough it is but at the same time, there are a lot of variables so you just need to see what happens.”

Finally, what is it like to work for a person who has achieved as much as Roger Hammond has? “When you are talking to Roger as my manager, you lose the connection with who he is and what he’s done”

“But when some-one reads it out like they did there (the launch), I need to pinch myself thinking, christ, he really knows his stuff and has some incredible achievements. He is though really down to earth and I need that right now, a manager I can learn from and listen to.”

Good luck to Tom in 2014. 

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,