Spot Interview – John Herety


The mastermind behind the win by Rapha Condor JLT in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series was John Herety; VeloUK spoke to him after the final round

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Spot Interview – John Herety

During the winter when the teams were announcing their signings, it was clear that the intention of the men in black was to win the Tour Series after signing fastmen Graham Briggs and Chris Opie. Add them to the likes of Felix English and Ed Clancy as well as the experience and strength of Kristian House and they were always going to be a threat.


And so it proved. Despite problems with injury and illness, it all came together well for John Herety as his riders fulfilled their potential and won six events (Team) in the series to clinch the Tour Series with one event to go.

After an eventful podium celebration where John H was drowned by a sea of champagne from Tour Series sponsor Monopole, he spoke to VeloUK before heading off for more celebrations. There will be some sore heads this morning I expect!

“If you want to do well in this series” John explained, “you have to focus on having a certain type of rider and achieving that depends on how well your sponsors want to do in the series. I was asked to help increase our profile in the Tour Series from last year and it was easy to target a couple of riders to do that. The addition of Chris Opie and Graham Briggs helped”.

“Unfortunately Chris was ill but we were anticipating that Felix English would improve on previous years. Under 23’s have their ups and down and we anticipated he’d be more consistent than he was so it was a very very good team. We were never sure though as Kristian House was down to do the Tour of Korea but we realised that the series was so important, we kept him in to the very end.”


“Kristian was the glue that stuck it all together; Graham, Felix, and Ed in particular with their sprinting capabilities were always going to be a threat. It was a very aggressive series with the other teams doing their best to get rid of the sprinters but we were strong enough, Kristian in particular, to keep it together.”

“So I think Kristian was the key and the others did what it says on the tin, they sprinted really well.”

After six round wins as a Team, John said the most pleasing was the Hill Climb. “It was a round where people probably anticipated us not doing too well so to win it was really really good.”

Asked if he had the perfect Tour Series team, John was careful with his words. “If I was to say that it was the best crit team here people may say I was boasting but if I was to say it was the worst crit team here, you’d definitely know I was lying! LoL”

Asked about memories that stand out for him, always there in the pits shouting instructions to riders in the race, John replied “The win by Felix in Aberystwyth (below). He beat Jon Mould there who is an extremely good rider; for me he was the stand out rider as an individual in the series.”


One thing RCJ riders will say during interviews about their time working with John Herety, is how he brings the best out in them. Graham Briggs is one for example. Asked what his secret with riders is, John, who is no push over as a manager, explained “there is certainly an element of discipline and everyone knows the score in the team.”

“We put together a good race programme and there is a good ambiance within the team. At the end of the day, bike riders want to race. It is as simple as that. The way to discipline a rider is not to fine them or swear at them – stop them racing. That is the thing that hurts them most and is the rod if you like.”

“The carrot is to give them good racing so that mixture of combing the international race programme we have got and also the Tour Series and the elite races here in the UK. That combination balanced right works”.

“For me, having been doing this for so many years, it’s not that difficult. It’s all about sitting down early in the season, talking to riders about specific targets in the year and letting them know what the sponsors needs are. That’s the crucial bit. It’s all clear from the very start what is expected of them.”

“And then don’t move the goal posts during the year because that is one thing riders don’t like and while its life that things do change, you have try and minimise those changes. I think we have managed that”.


Olympic champ Ed Clancy – a key rider in the Rapha Condor JLT team

“We have had a lot of injuries. Unprecedented in all the years I have been a manager. Nine riders out out of a team of 14 and I bring another rider in and the first race he is down to do, he is sick the night before. Never happened to me before so I am pleased this (Tour Series) is a boxed ticked.”

“We have a team in Korea at the moment and I’m really hoping Carthy can do the business in a couple of hours on the queen stage (Carthy went on to win it). Ultimately, for me, it is about the younger riders. It is great seeing the older ones doing well, but for me I want to try and move a rider to the next level (WorldTour/ProConti) and that is so far, my biggest disappointment I haven’t been able to do that.”

Thanks to John for the chat and congrats to his riders who have stepped up in a series that was quicker and more competitive than any previous one …


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