Feature Interview – Ian Field


Top Brit in the Men’s World Cup Cyclo-Cross Race, Ian Field of Hargroves Cycles – Ridley over the moon with result

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Feature Interview – Ian Field


Above: Ian, after his 12th place in the World Cup, came onto the stage in his British Champion’s colours, and at first was too choked with emotion to speak. For the first time in his life in a cross race, he was speechless. Not even after his Championship wins have I seen him so emotional. 

The morning after the biggest ‘cross race in the history of British Cyclo-Cross, bigger than Leeds in 1992 many said to me, with sore legs from the race the day before was Ian Field who had one of the rides of the day with 12th place.

ABOVE: Leeds Worlds 1992

“I’m over the moon with 12th. I always kind of knew that sort of ride was in me but like Dan (Fleeman) said to me yesterday, to pull that out under that sort of pressure was special. Doing it when know-one expects it in front of a load of Belgians who don’t really care is one thing but doing it in front of 10,000 or so Brits willing me on, makes it better than 12th!”

“I have never ridden a cross race in front of so many people in Britain before. Although the crowd was probably an average crowd for a Belgian race, I have never had them cheering for me! So it felt totally different. It’s certainly good enough for the Worlds here. There have been some worlds that have been alright but Milton Keynes was better than alright! This is a World Class venue and course.”

“I got a perfect start getting a quick get away and was probably the highest I was all race and stayed out of trouble. There was a bit trouble going into the second hairpin when Powers fell over but I managed to get around him and just kept pressing on the pedals going as fast as I possibly could for the entire hour.”

“I rode sensibly, riding the technical parts within myself and not take huge risks and it paid off”.


“It was a hard course and compares well to a Namur or Valkenberg, so it was World Cup standard . I wouldn’t say it was any harder or the hardest but it is certainly a tough, true course for a race at this level.”

A look at the many many photos and videos taken on the day, many are showing the riders running but there wasn’t as much running says Ian as it appeared. “Everyone was saying there was a lot of running but we were probably only doing 400 metres a lap (2.6k) so in the grand scheme of things, that isn’t a huge amount. You don’t need to be Usain Bolt to get through the running sections, just a good cross rider who can get through them without it really harming the on bike bit.”

“I never put my trainers on in training and go for a run but leave that part of it for the ‘cross sessions when I’m running with the bike on my shoulder. Recently in the Superpresitge races and so on, there has been a decent amount of running, so it’s like these races have helped prepare me really well for this”.

Ian explained in the muddy conditions, he was changing his Ridley bike every lap. Ian has three bikes in British champion colours and all three were being used. “It was slippery yesterday but not as sticky as today. You did start to feel it (the weight of the mud) towards the end of the lap when picking the bike up but it wasn’t the muddiest race I have ever done.”

ABOVE: Full video of the Men’s Race

“All three of the Ridley team bikes were being used as that gives Jim that much more time to get the bike washed and immaculate for its next stint. It’s perfect having three. The top guys are having four or five probably.”

On tyre choice, Ian said he was using Challenge Limus at around 16 psi. You needed a full mud tyre out there to give us much grip as possible and they worked really well”.

With three more rounds to go in the World Cup, the 12th place at Milton Keynes says Ian has given him more confidence. “I’ll just keep my head down now and working hard” he explained. “The World Championships is a big goal for me and I got top 20 in a World Cup on the same course last year so with better form, I’m going for top 15 or top 10 which would be huge.”

Ian and I then had a quick chat about the Trophy race where some of the pros from the World Cup had stayed over, riders who had finished close behind Ian in the World Cup race. He wasn’t predicting the same for Sunday though.

“It will be a close and tough race and I’ll do my best but in the back of mind, I’ll know its National Trophy so I have to get the better of the Brits for the points and not risk everything such as breaking bikes and myself in trying to stay with the other international riders. “


Finally, the day before, he came onto the podium, overcome with emotion at the crowd in front of him, to thank them. Asked what he wanted to say to everyone who came, Ian replied “I can’t thank them enough for turning up and make the day what it was because it’s that sort of thing that will allow us to get the World Cup again. The UCI seeing what a success it was so I can’t thank everyone enough.”

“It was crazy on the podium yesterday. I’d look out and there were banks and banks of people. It was unreal, and was the closest I have been to a premiership football crowd”.

Peter’s team boss, Pete Hargroves from Hargroves Cycles, said of the event “After being involved in this sport for nearly 40 years I never thought I would see a World Cup or a crowd like that at a race in the UK. Let alone one promoted by a friend of almost all of those 40 years. It was always going to be a special day. But When a rider from our team produced the best ride ever by a British male rider in a world cup race it just finished the day off perfectly. Thanks Simon (Burney – organiser) and Ian.”

Ian will now continue to race the National Trophy where he has a perfect set of results from the races he has done (first Brit) and more World Cups as he works towards the big goals of the cyclo-cross season. Thank to Ian for the chat and good luck to him in the coming months.



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