Interview – Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)


Returning to Britain to race is former British Junior RR Champion Erick Rowsell of the Madison Genesis pro team

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Interview – Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)

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After a great 2012 with second in the tough Tour Doon Hame, several top 10s in European UCI 2.2 events including a stage win in the Tour of Normandy and in previous years, podiums in the Team Pursuit for GB, Erick Rowsell returns to race in Britain for Madison Genesis.


Erik winning at Doonhame before heading to Europe with Netapp-Endura

For the last two years, Erick has been riding for Netapp-Endura, a German team where his team role saw him out of the results and working for others. But the team did give him the opportunity of riding a monument here and there which is invaluable experience for a young professional. They did not however offer him a new contract when the team changed sponsors for 2015 and so Erick signed for one of the country’s UCI top teams, Madison Genesis.

“I am excited to come back and race in Britain” Erick explained. “I had a really good year when I raced here so to come back and start off where I left will be good. The scene here has improved a lot so it’s a new adventure to get stuck into”.

Erick, who lived in London and is brother to World champion pursuiter on the track, Joanna Rowsell, explained how he found out from Netapp that he wasn’t staying with them early on, late July or early August, and so started to look at some other pro conti teams.

“It is quite hard with World Tour riders struggling to get places and whilst it’s been a tough two years, I wanted to carry on racing and enjoy it again. So I had a bit of contact with some British teams and spoke to Roger (Hammond) for quite a while on the phone and he convinced me it would be a good move to go to Madison Genesis. It’s a good set up”.

Erik has proved to be quite a versatile rider, winning medals with GB on the track and also climbing well in races like the Baby Giro when with the GB Academy. Asked what he is looking forward to racing in the UK, Erik replied “I’m looking forward to the road racing for sure. They (BC) have this new layout of racing (gap for the Tour Series and other major crits)”.

“The crits are nice to do but the main thing for me is the road race series”.


Wearing the stripes in the Junior Tour of Wales which he also won.

For a lot of riders, racing with a pro team in Europe is living the dream but as Erik explained, it isn’t all good. “There were difficult times at Netapp but with teams at that level, you probably get difficult times in other teams too. In terms of experience at that level, it was great. I got to ride races like Milan- San Remo so I can’t complain as that experience can only help me”.

Erik rode for a Pro Conti team and the battle is two fold. One for the team to get a wildcard entry into the events it wants to race and then for Erik, to be one of the six or eight riders (nine in the Tour de France) to get a ride in a team full of good pros.

“It was hard and a constant battle” Erik says. “You have always got to fight to get a place in the team for the race and then in the race, fight to perform and do your job; so it was stressful. But that’s bike racing, it is a hard sport”.

Erik was based in Girona where a lot of pros choose to live but now he has signed for a British based team, he’s moved to Shropshire as there was no point living in Girona with a British race programme.

“I prefer to live here as well” Erik adds. Shropshire, he says, is much better for training than in London where he grew up. “Shrewsbury is a quiet town which is good for me and I can focus on the bike riding. The training is good and Liam Holohan is there now and Luke Mellor too so plenty of riders to go out with”.

Unlike the European season which gets underway this weekend in Mallorca, the British one doesn’t really take off until April with the first of the ‘Prems’, the Chorley Grand Prix. That later start does have its benefits says Erik.


In yellow at DoonHame, Erik will be looking to do the same for his new team, Madison Genesis

“It does allow you to relax more in the winter as the season is two months later here. The last three years, I have started racing mid Feb but now it’s not until end of March, early April. You still have to train and work hard but not have to kill yourself in December or do so much in January”.

Erik says he’s not sure on his programme as yet and is still, at the time of the interview in early January, to sit down with his team manager Roger Hammond and work out a race schedule. “The road race series in general should suit me and the style of racing. I want to do well in the Tour of Britain and the others like the Tour of Yorkshire and the Welsh UCI race etc so the aim is to make the team for them”.

“With only six riders per team in the Tour of Britain, and we have such a strong team, it’s no different to Netapp and will be hard to make the teams for the big races. That will keep everyone on their toes”.

Good luck to Erik for 2015 with Madison Genesis

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