Interview – George Harper


Newcomer to cycle racing, George Harper is in a rich vein of form for his new team in early season races winning Severn Bridge RR

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Interview – George Harper

Winner last weekend of the Severn Bridge Road Race, George Harper, is in fine form after two very top drawer performances in both the Perfs Pedal and Severn Bridge. The bigger tests are yet to come when all the pro teams come together in a race but in only his third year, George is certainly on the upward slope in the pro ranks.


Asked about his start in cycle sport, George explained “It hasn’t been a straight forward entry to the sport because I started as a fourth cat in 2011 but only did a few months of racing. I then put it to bed before taking it up again the next year but I broke my collarbone so that season was put to bed. So 2013 was my first full season racing”.

“I never really followed cycling before I came into it so I was learning a lot then and still aim. A lot of these guys, they have grown up with it and it’s second nature to them. For me though, I am still learning and with the riders I am around this year, it’s great as they all really know their stuff.”

Asked for highlights from the 2014 season, George says “probably second in the Working round of the Tour Series. It came as a surprise to me as I wasn’t going very well as I hadn’t done the preparation so I was happy to get second although gutted not to win it too. It was a hard race and I was pleased to get Adam (Blythe) on the line (below).”


Asked does he have a favourite type of race, he replied “the crits surprised me last year. I have always seen myself as a road racer and hilly ones, but because I didn’t do the preparation last year, I struggled with the endurance which wasn’t great. Luckily, I was able to be good over an hour even though I don’t see myself as a crit racer. They weren’t the most enjoyable but now I can do them, they are quite good fun!”

Chatting about his winter training, he said “I got on it pretty early with Steve Benton (team coach) and got going around early November and it’s just consisted of the most training I have ever done in my life. Riding full time, I have been going from strength to strength. At the first training camp in Majorca, we were all going really well so it’s been good”.

“It’s been very different and it’s a very exciting move. Everything has been thought of; coaching, nutrition, management, equipment and even the team cohesion is all there giving us a chance to do something quite special”.

“We have spoken about the season ahead a bit and some of the more prestigious hilly road races I’d love to get some good results in. If we get a ride in the Tour of Yorkshire that would be good and something like the Tour of Reservoir early on. The Tour of Britain as well, I’d love to do a ride on a stage in that event”.


George gets in a two man move with young Irish rider Eddie Dunbar of NFTO.

Finally, as a newcomer, when asked what are the things he is learning that stand out, George replied, “for me, it’s about reading the breaks. That is always something that when you look around, you can tell who the guys are who have been doing it a long time because they just know”.

“There are so many breaks that go off in a race, 30 or 40 attempts and there will be a rider who doesn’t try for any and then gets into one. I think it’s about learning which riders work well together and seeing a move up the road recognising that it is working well or just having a bit of fun”.

“Knowing the riders is what I struggle with. All these guys know the riders so well, who can do it and who can’t so every year I am learning who has the ability”.

Good luck to George in 2015.

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