Interview – Adam Blythe the Sprinter


After his performance in RideLondon, a favourite in the Tour of Britain will be NFTO’s Adam Blythe who aims to do his best against the World’s best in the bunch kicks

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Interview – Adam Blythe the Sprinter

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

World Tour rider Adam Blythe came back to the UK in 2014 to race down a few levels to regain his confidence and that target alone has been successful as he’s been on a winning streak in the second half of the season including a HC category UCI race, RideLondon Classic.


In that, he beat close friends Ben Swift and Philippe Gilbert after a brutal race based around the Olympic course used in London 2012. A month on, and Adam is back in the game, this time in the Tour of Britain. Whilst at the races HQ, Adam came in and agreed to an interview and he started by agreeing that he is very much up for the challenge of doing well in this years Tour.

“The team that NFTO have brought here is based around helping me to do a ride here and I think I think the riders selected should be able to do a good job of that. This will be a lot different to RideLondon as there are lot of sprinters here. Cav, Kittel and Swifty; so I think it’s going to be a lot harder to get a win because of all the lead out trains and it will be very different to a one day race.”

“So it is going be hard but for sure, we haven’t come here just to ride round. We’re here to get a good result. We intend to go out there and do our best and see what happens. The finishes are going to be rock hard and I expect the whole nature of the race to change. It’s only a short time trial and Kittel used to specialise in the Time Trial. I don’t think he is as good as he used to be but for sure, the nature of the race should see it held together a lot more than it has over the last few years.”

“Hopefully, it will be controlled so the big sprinter teams can take it up. We’ll have to judge our lead-out and get amongst the big trains which will be difficult when you’re a small domestic team trying to mix it with Giant, Quickstep and those guys. The last 10 to 3k to go is when you don’t want to be pushing in the wind though”.

Adam explained how the WorldTour riders, with their stages races in the legs, will have more depth to their form and whilst that might not make them faster in the sprints, it may affect the sprinters after a few days when the racing has taken its toll on the domestic based riders.


“It will be difficult for us without 70 days of racing in our legs, especially as 50 of those will have been stage races for the WorldTour riders.”

Asked if the first and last stages, shorter than the others and pretty much assured to end up in a bunch kick, should suit him and his team better, Adam replied, “I think so. They are ones we are looking to do well in but as they are the easier stages, they will make it easier for the sprint trains to get organised. I don’t think we can rely on the other trains and we’ll need to pick our place go from carefully.”

When I put it to him that his sprint in RideLondon was so dominant, that must give him confidence coming into the Tour of Britain, he replied ‘perhaps’. “I think if you lined up every sprinter up on a huge drag strip and set them off at 40k an hour and said go, that sprint for the 200 metres would be a lot different if you then asked them to do 200k and then do the sprint with your team there”.

“RideLondon was more of a subtle drag race and with me at the back. I was able to use that without having to look for anyone and do my own sprint. A bunch sprint will be very different. You can get boxed or you may not get everything out if not in the right position. So I am confident but at the same time, not confident.”

“I am there or thereabouts but no-one remembers that, only first.”

Asked if RideLondon and the Tour of Britain were his big goals before the season started, Adam replied “I told the team owner John Wood, these races, Ride London and Tour of Britain, are my two main goals when I signed for the team”.

“RideLondon was a big goal but I wasn’t expecting that result as such. I expected to do a good ride, but nothing as big as that. And the way that race ended with just five guys, made that win even more special.”

“My season started steady. We did the training camp in Australia which was superb but three months too early but I have enjoyed a lot the racing here. British racing is very hard and completely different. There is not as much racing as WorldTour and that is where the difference is when we go and race with those guys. They have a lot more strength and are able to go harder in races over 150k where as ours are 150 to 170k or one hour crits.”

“I have enjoyed it though. All the lads in NFTO; we have got on well and had a good laugh together. Everyone fits in and we have a lot of fun”.


Tour Preparation
Finally, not being in a World Tour team, how has Adam prepared for the Tour of Britain? “I have just been trying to do the same sort of stuff I was doing before RideLondon. Nothing special, just ticking over and holding that form and gain a little. I had ten days training at home (Monaco) before I came back for Ipswich and then in the last week, we’ve riding together as a team”.

Adam says that he’s been working with his DS Sean Yates and Jon at Trainsharp, simple stuff which was more about getting stuck in. Asked if he does sprint training to be as quick as he is, Adam replied “the main thing about the sprint is I have been able to rely on having done the crits”.

“They are just sprint, recover, sprint so I haven’t had to do much sprint training because of that. The crits are one hour of flatout intense sprinting which means I haven’t had to do much of that when I am back home”.

Thanks to Adam for his time. The first stage in Liverpool is far from pan flat but will in all probability end in a bunch sprint and will be the first test for his team NFTO. Bunch kicks are never predictable and I’ve seen many a sprinter sit up when things have gone wrong. Look what happened a few years ago in the Tour of Britain when Cavendish was held up and Luke Rowe won the stage.

Fingers crossed, Adam Blythe can be the first domestic based rider to win a stage… it will certainly be great watching him try that is for sure!

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK