Interview – Sam Harrison (NFTO)


World Championship Silver medallist in 2013, a rider to watch in 2015 will be NFTO’s Sam Harrison from Wales

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Interview – Sam Harrison (NFTO)

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Last year was a tough season for 22 year old Sam Harrison (NFTO) after some pretty sparkling years riding for the Great Britain team. Back in 2011, fresh out of the Junior ranks, he won the Omnium in Beijing (World Track Cup) beating ‘names’ such as Zach Bell of Canada, Roger Kluge of Germany, Tom Scully and Martyn Irvine (the latter two riding for Madison Genesis in 2015).


Sam was obviously talented and talk back then was of a future Olympic star on the track. He won a Silver medal with Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant at the 2013 World Track Cycling Championships in Minsk.

Sam, an academy rider, was racing with the big boys and the future looked bright. Then at the back end of 2013, things started to go downhill.

“2014 was pretty average for me and I never hit the heights I wanted to” he explained to VeloUK. After leaving the junior ranks, I moved up to Manchester and things were going well. I was doing World Cups and the Worlds in the Team Pursuit.”

“Then things started to taper off. Last winter I never really clicked and nor did most of the team pursuiters. But me especially. We were doing different training and it didn’t work for me. So I have stepped away from the track a bit and moved back to my roots. I’m enjoying it again and building back up and looking forward to racing again”.

“Hopefully this year I can move on and start doing well again. I would say at no point last year was I flying so I am looking to changing a few things for this year and going a lot, lot better”.

I put it to Sam that stage 4 in the Tour of Britain was an indication of what his legs can do when racing with the World’s best. It was a stage when Alex Dowsett attacked up the road and was chased down by two other World Tour riders. Sam Harrison latched on to a move by Mark Christian (Raleigh) who was bridging across to the move but the Welsh youngster had to let him go.


Instead, he got into a move than came from the peloton up to him with Mike Northey and BMC’s Lander and they caught the break. Sam admits that the Tour of Britain was one of the highlights of his season. “I wanted to do something after I had a crash on the second day and to get in the break was important. It didn’t finish well for me but it was a good day overall and I want to do things like that more often.”

“I want to get back to how I used to race and that’s taking a lot of hard work. We have a good group of boys at NFTO and we’ve had a few get togethers and all get on really well. There are a lot of good bike riders and I think with the British teams this year, there will be better racing.”

Sam says he doesn’t have any specific targets in 2015. “After last year, I just want to be going well throughout the season rather than a massive emphasis on any one event. Whenever I race, I want to be going well, whether that’s doing a job for the team or getting stuck in”.

“Now I am not doing the track, things are different. I’ll be doing club 10s etc so it’s a big step down from racing at World level. I need to re-motivate myself at this level and start to move back up again. That’s the key and I am a quietly confident in myself”.


Silver medal with Olympic champions Steven Burke and Ed Clancy along with Andy Tennant

“During the first few years as a senior, I’d race like I did that day at the Tour of Britain and at the end of 2013, that started to fizzle away. So I just want to get back to how I used to race. British racing as a whole is a lot more exciting and better than it was”.

“Races like the Lincoln and all the prems are on good courses and are good races. The (Pearl Izumi) Tour Series and (Friends Life) Tour of Britain are very important for the British teams and we now have the Tour of Yorkshire and the Cardiff UCI race. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get stuck into them as well. It’s a great team to be part of and John is very supportive and it’s great with ‘Pov’ on board now”.

Sam explained finally how he’s living back in Wales which for training is so much better! “I enjoy riding my bike a lot more in Wales than I did in Manchester. The track is good there but the roads around it are not so great unless you live out of Manchester. So it’s good to be on home roads where I first got into cycling. Going out with Luke (Luke Rowe), Mouldy (Jon Mould) and Dale (Appleby) and all them boys. It’s a good group”.

Thanks to Sam for the chat and good luck in 2015

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