Feature – Q & A with David Hewett


Question & Answer feature with David Hewett of the Pedal Heaven Excel Academy

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Feature – Q & A with David Hewett

1. When will you start your road season and what will be the first race?
David: I’m kicking off my season at the Perfs Pedal Road race on 14th February which should be a good opportunity to gauge what my form is like at this stage. I’ll then start the first block of racing properly at the Severn Bridge RR at the beginning of March.

2. What races will be your targets for 2016 and why?
David: I’m keen to build on my first full season of racing last year by aiming for the win in National Bs. I’m not sure exactly which races I’ll be going to just yet, but I would definitely look forward to the Jock Wadley RR, Fenland Clarion RR, Pro Cycle Hire Spring RR, Andrews Trophy RR, Jef Schils RR and Maldon & District RR – they’re all on fast kermesse-style courses which play to my strengths. Talking of which, I’m keen to get over to Belgium again this year at some point if possible.

I’d also like to hold my own at the front end of the race at some of the National As, so in terms of the bigger races, I’d love to have a good crack at the CiCLE Classic if I was given the opportunity, and I think Cycle Wiltshire would probably suit me best out of all the Prems. Lincoln GP and the National Champs would be pretty epic too, any of these races will be invaluable experiences to develop as a rider.

3. How will you spend the training time on the bike between now and the first races of the season?
David: I’ve been able to get a solid block of volume in over the last couple of months aided by a total of three weeks out in Spain fitted in around uni term dates, so the focus now will shift to the next phase of training which will involve some more specific threshold and anaerobic sessions to get the top end sharpened up again ready for racing.

I’m lucky to have the benefit of my coach setting me sessions so I can get the most out of the hours I put in around my final few months of studies before I go full-time. I’ll also continue to gradually shed the winter weight until I’m where I need to be for racing in March.

4. What was your favourite Xmas present?
David: I loved my new Bose noise-cancelling headphones, particularly appreciated on the flights to and from the training camps in Spain. To be honest though, it’s going to be like Christmas all over again when I get my new team bike and kit.

5. When it rains, which its doing a lot right now, is it turbo time or wrap up and get wet?
David: If there’s a particular day of the week which is looking like it’ll be really grim, I might switch sessions around if that doesn’t cause any issues, but otherwise I’ll just get out and do what’s planned. I don’t mind a bit of rain as long as I’m prepared for it in terms of clothing. Quite often though, I’ve been set something specific to do on the turbo anyway, so I spend a reasonable amount of my training time indoors. At the weekend, having proper mudguards with flaps and meeting up with a training partner helps get out of the door for the 4-6hr base rides.



6. If you could do any race in the world including World Tour etc, what would it be and why?
David: I’d definitely be most suited as a rider to the northern Classics, and without doubt Roubaix is the king here … it’s just epic. Similarly, Tour of Flanders, E3-Harelbeke, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem etc are always so exciting to watch and would certainly be an incredible experience to ride.

Don’t get me wrong, the stage races are awesome too, but they just don’t have the sheer unpredictability and edge-of-your-seat excitement as the early season one day races have in my opinion. On the domestic scene, the Tour of Britain, RideLondon-Surrey Classic and An Post Rás are definitely on my to-do list within the next couple of years. They’d be absolutely brutal but at the same time unforgettable.

7. Who’s your favourite rider in the pro peloton (either UK or WorldTour/ProConti)
David: I can’t say I really have one favourite rider, instead there’s a few in particular that I admire and enjoy watching in races. Pete Kennaugh, Niki Terpstra and Geraint Thomas are all super classy riders, and then there’s Tony Martin who’s just an absolute machine. I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes at the Classics this year.

8. What piece of food can you not do without where ever you are on the road during the season!
David: I find a small bag of mixed nuts great for snacking on in the car when travelling to and from races, and whilst its not food I really value good coffee, so I’d always take my own beans and hand grinder to a hotel. Nothing really beats a bit of crunchy peanut butter on toast though, or a cheeky bit of Nutella if the morale needs a boost …



9. What is your favourite music track when warming up for a race or on the turbo?
David: It’s got to be something with a strong beat to get me g’d up for the race or session, so it usually ends up being some dance music, nothing in particular, just as long as it gets me in the right mind frame for the efforts to follow.

10. If given the option, would you prefer normal brakes or disc brakes on your road bike?
David: Whilst I’ve never had experience of riding disc brakes, in my opinion the limiting factor when stopping hard is almost always tyre traction, so I find the wheels lock up long before lack of rim braking power becomes an issue. From a purely aesthetic perspective, I’d always choose conventional brakes.

11. What’s the spec of your race bike for 2016 and your favourite bits on it?
David: With the support of Pedal Heaven and the team’s sponsors, I’ve chosen to ride the Specialized Venge Pro ViAS with Shimano Di2 groupset and Edco Aerosport 65mm wheels wrapped in Continental Competition Pro Ltd tubulars (I’ve also got Edco ProSport 45mm carbon clinchers for training on).

All in Pedal Heaven team green & black to match my Pro Vision team kit and S-Works shoes and helmet. It’s nice to know that, when you’re putting in all the hours of hard training, you’ve got some of the best components in the business on the fastest road bike in the world to give you every possible advantage in the races.

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