Q & A Feature – James Lewis


He’s the tallest rider in the NFTO team and is not called ‘Tank’ for nothing – VeloUK puts the Q&A to James Lewis

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Q & A Feature – James Lewis


1. With your team all sorted for 2016, what races are you looking forward to most next season?
James: I’m looking forward to a few. I hope the Circuit of the Fens is back on as I was gutted when it got cancelled this year and hopefully we will do a few races abroad.

2. What were your highlights in 2015?
James: Highlights of this year were the RAS in Ireland that we rode well as a team in. Rob (Partridge) was unlucky on the second day with a puncture on the last climb of the day. I didn’t have a great year myself with illnesses and not having great preparation for the season.

3. What race was the most fun in 2015 and why?
James: That was probably the RAS even though I suffered on some days. The team we had there was a great laugh and morale was high with Bibby’s stage win and Rob up there on GC and in climbers jersey for most of the race. I think I was crying laughing most days and as most of you probably saw the video updates, you’d have seen we had a great laugh along the way.

4. How special it is for you to be part of such a select group of riders at NFTO and how do you see your role in the team?
James: I’m very grateful to Woody (John Wood) for keeping me on the team. He’s looked after me for a few years now and give me the opportunity to ride for the team when I was still on the tools plumbing and then said to start riding full time when they went UCI. I see my role in the team as riding for the lads in the bigger races doing whatever I’m asked to do. Then in the smaller races, I get a chance to ride for myself. We got a great bunch of boys this year. Many of us were here last year and got on great and I think that’s a big part of being a team.


5. Tell us about your winter training bike, what is different about it compared to your race bike?
James: Well my race bike and training bike are exactly the same bikes. The only difference is that I train on a set of hand built 32 spoke wheels and I got a proper set of mudguards on it as it makes the winter miles much more enjoyable and cleaner. I’m amazed not more boys ride with mudguards through the winter, especially when you really get so much wet weather riding in the UK. I ride with the old guard riders from Port Talbot Wheelers on my steady days and they get a bit funny on the wet rides if you haven’t got guards on!

6. How will you spend December on the bike?
James: I went to Lanzarote with Lloydy and a few others for 10 days to get away from the grim weather we’re having. But usually at home and on the real wet days, I just get out on the mountain bike as I’m only five minutes ride from AFAN argoed and glyncorrwg and there’s some great riding round here. I’m doing a mixture at the moment of intervals and a few long rides. I got DS Tom Barras coaching me at the moment – he knows his stuff and he’s races with me so he knows how I ride. I think it will work great. He a hard task master but it’s working. In Lanza,  I concentrated more on the longer rides. I don’t really do the gym. I attempted cross fit in November and couldn’t move for a week after so that was short lived really as I couldn’t hold the bars tidy without being in pain LoL. A few sit ups and a bit of core at home doesn’t go a miss!

7. A cheeky Xmas one – if you could have any cycling related Xmas present – what would it be!
James – If I could have anything cycling related, it would probably be a new mountain bike full sus 29er 100mm travel! That would be a bit of a weapon for training or if I didn’t have one from the team, a power metre, I think it’s an absolute must these days for training.



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