Feature – James Shaw (U23 Lotto Soudal)


Q&A with James Shaw who rides for the Under 23 Lotto Soudal team for a second year

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Feature – James Shaw (U23 Lotto Soudal)


1. When will you start your road season and what will be your first race?
James: I have a team training camp at the beginning of February so I guess this is where the season unofficially starts. On the camp, I will have a meeting with the team management and we will clarify the start to my season. My first race will more than likely be the first weekend in March somewhere in Belgium or Holland making for a windy hard race given the time of year!

2. What will be your target for 2016 and why?
James: My main target for the year is to improve as much as I can while gaining as much experience as possible on all types of parcours. I will look to be in the best shape for the Under 23 National Road Race Championships (end of June) and Tour Alsace (end of July). These are two races that I think will suit my ability. Hopefully I can show some strength and get good results at these two races.

3, How will you spend the time on the bike between now and your first race in training? Long miles or cutting back to do top end?
James: For the next few weeks, I will be sticking with the long miles and after the training camp finishes (18th Feb) I will look to do more speed work and top end power training as suggested by my coach from Trainsharp.

4. What was your favourite Xmas present?
James: I’m not sure I have a favourite present as such. I guess just having a day where I have an excuse to eat all the chocolate I wanted was all I needed!


5. When it rains , which its doing a lot right now, is it turbo time or wrap up and get wet?
James: I think it’s best to get a mix of the two. Riding in the rain isn’t ideal and isn’t the best quality of training but it rains in races so it’s good to get used to it for the unfortunate race days. Luckily Vermarc provide the whole of Lotto Soudal with quality race wear for these days. The turbo/hometrainer is a good way of keeping warm and getting in the efforts but can be a dampener on moral, so a mix of the two I think is best. I’m yet to find a solution to keeping dry in the rain and the best tip I can give is don’t stop in cafes; get home and get in the shower to keep warm!

6, If you could do any race in the world including the best ones in the world etc, what would it be and why?
James: For me, I dream of riding Le Tour De France. I see this as the holy grail of cycling stage races. I also dream of riding the one day classic Strade Bianche as for me this has the perfect recipe for a bike race. A mix of steep sharp hill and gravel roads with a great view along the way!

7. What piece of food can you not live without where ever you are on the road during the season?
James: I am not really fussy with food as it all tastes good to me especially a few days into a stage race, although having spent the last few months in Spain, I’ve developed a keen tongue for Palma Ham. Or Jambon Serrano in Spanish.


8. What is your favourite music track when warming up for a race on on the Turbo?
James: I’m a big fan of the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane so when warming up, I have my head phones on probably louder than I should but I find that it motivates me to go deep, I start with “Don’t Forget Who You Are” by Miles Kane usually.

9. If given the option, would you prefer normal brakes or disc brakes on your road bike?
James: Personally I like the normal style brake.

10. Whats the spec of your race bike for 2016 and your favourite bits on it?
James: For 2016, Belgian brand Ridley will be providing the Fenix SL frameset, ready to tackle the rough roads of Belgium, while classic Italian brand Campagnolo will be equipping the team with the groupset and race wheels stuck to Conti tubs. Deda are keeping their long relationship with the team and provide bars, stem and seat post while Look do the pedals.


Note: For regular updates throughout James’ season, follow him on Twitter and Instagram or like my Facebook Athlete page.
Twitter – @JamesthingyShaw
Instagram- JAMESSHAW96



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