Interview – Adam Blythe


After a season getting his hands in the air in Britain, Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) heads back to the big time with Orica GreenEdge

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Interview – Adam Blythe

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Sheffield’s Adam Blythe is 25 years old but has already ridden for pro teams such as Lotto in Belgium and BMC and this year took the very brave step back to domestic racing with NFTO Pro Cycling. With the Hereford based team he won the Ride London Classic along with a handful of other top British races.

Adam Blythe2

He came back to the UK to get his hands in the air and did just that in the biggest one day race in Britain, RideLondonClassic.

His wins included the British Crit Champs in Hull, the Otley Grand Prix, Ipswich RR, Circuit of the Fens, and Jersey International Road Race. He also recently rode the Monsall Hill Climb where he was third on a bike I hadn’t seen since his Junior days and he told VeloUK there “I’m happy with the year here but it was a lot different to what I had been doing abroad”.

The danger was coming back to Britain domestic racing that he’d remain out of the shop window and unable to find a contract in Europe again. There are after all a lot of riders here who could potentially ride well in Europe but never get the chance.

His win in Ride London changed that. “I always said this year I was going to go for Ride London and the Tour of Britain because those are the races teams like Orica are going to look at it. It wasn’t as if they would see me winning six crits and give me a contract”.

“Just before RideLondon, I was in contact with a few teams but nothing solid and then I won RideLondon and the way that happened with the break helped seal a contract.”

Having been on the motorbike in both RideLondon and the Tour of Britain, I could see both races were very different and RideLondon was more like a one day classic which hopefully is what it will become in time. Controlled for a short while, it soon became a free for all and Adam was always in the mix.

“Riding that race at the front wasn’t as hard as riding it thirty back” he explained looking back. “It was left right, left right, up down, up down, and if you were in the top twenty it was a lot easier so the race was hard but positioning was key on the small roads”.


All smiles at the NFTO Pro Cycling launch in London at the start of the year.

Then mid September came the news he’d been sitting on. I remember Adam back in the day in the GB Academy where he went AWOL and off to Belgium and turned pro very young. I get the impression that the BMC team wasn’t a great fit even though there were pro victories and lots of top 10s. Orica GreenEdge however looks like it will suit him far better than a team like Sky for example.

“I think the programme they have, the riders and everything I have seen of it, looks good for me. I can’t wait to get stuck in and have another year in WorldTour. It’s a relaxed team, all chilled out and being Aussies, there will be a lot of banter involved. I’m looking forward to getting started and the first camp before racing with them. “

“I have to give it everything I have got and get some good results” he told VeloUK. “Everyone I know there speaks extremely highly of the structure and the atmosphere and that’s something I can’t wait to become a part of.”

His director sportif Matt White welcomed Blythe on board, emphasising his importance in the team’s objectives going forward. “Adam will be a great addition to the team on several fronts,” White said.

“He is certainly capable of being up and going for the win himself – especially in the cobbled races, but he will also be a very important part of our lead-out train. With the additions of Magnus Cort and Caleb Ewan next year, it will be even more crucial to get our lead-out right. Adam is a sprinter himself and that’s exactly would you need in that position to launch your guy for the win”.

“Above all, Adam is still very young. He turned pro at 19 and I’m convinced we’ll be able to give the right back up and program for his further progress.”


Racing Otley in the colours of a former pro team, Lotto.

Asking Adam what his goals are, Classics or Tours, he replies “getting my hands up again! That’s the main thing. I have one year contract to go for it full gas and get my head down and try and win as many bike races as I can. I wanted to do that in the past but I am fully committed for next season and raring to go”.

“The Classics are definitely the goal. I can ride a Grand Tour but I’d rather get stuck into the one day races or smaller stage races like the EnecoTour. I’ll be trying to get in the Flanders and Roubaix team. Hopefully I’ll have the form to get a podium in races like Het Volk or Gent Wevelgem too.”

“I’m also really keen to become part of a successful team in general and I would take huge pride in helping some of the faster guys as a part of the lead-out train,” Blythe is quote in the team press release on signing.

Adam heads to Australia in November for two weeks for the first training camp and meet and greet. Asked about his year based in Britain, the highlight was obviously Ride London but he explained how the domestic programme of crits may have helped not hindered his road racing goals.

“The Tour Series is a great event, hard racing, but it’s not road racing. As much as I used to love riding the crits, I didn’t love them so much this year getting my head kicked in! Once I got through them and the National Crit champs, I was full gas for the road races for the rest of the year.”

“But whilst I may not have enjoyed the crits, in the long run though they were probably good training for me with all the sprinting and stuff. Perhaps that’s why I had such a good sprint at the end of Ride London!”

After his win in Ride London, there was a lot of expectation on his shoulders for the Tour of Britain. How does Adam feel it went for him? “I did well in that I was never out of the main group apart from that very hard day when Vermote won into Brighton. And the Tumble stage too”.


Living the high life in Monaco with the likes of Gilbert who he beat in RideLondon.

“The rest of the days, I was in the select group of 40 or so riders and that showed that I can still climb and get over the short steep things which is the main thing for me. It wasn’t a sprinters race and the stages saw small groups at the end. I didn’t get a podium or top fives, but personally for my confidence and how I wanted to go, I did alright”.

Asked to compare the level with going from Premiers he was winning to the Tour of Britain, Adam explained “in England when we go hard, it’s hard for thirty minutes. It’s not a build-up of two and half hours and then full throttle. The day that Kwiatkowski won (Worcester to Bristol) with that small climb two k to go, that day from two and half hours out was literally full gas constantly. It was relentless and you don’t get that in England because there is not enough quality to do that for such a long period. “

Thanks to Adam for the chat. Watching him so closely from a motorbike all year, it was clear to see just what a World Tour rider has to be like to race at that level. Racing hard all day and then having a sprint left. Fingers crossed we see him in the early season classics next year and part of an Orica GreenEdge sprint train that brings him and the team many victories.

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