Feature – Chatting with Hammond and Pov


The 2016 season sees some changes at Madison Genesis with two new director sportifs and four new riders. We talk to Roger Hammond and Dave Povall

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Feature – Chatting with Hammond and Pov

At the team launch recently, there was a rare opportunity for me being based in Britain, to catch up with the legend that is Roger Hammond. Following his successful pro career, Roger has been the DS at Madison Genesis since it was created in 2012, helping them make their mark on the British pro scene but in 2016, things have changed for him and the team.

Roger now divides his time between working at ProTour level with Dimension Data and the likes of Mark Cavendish who may well follow in Roger’s wheel marks and tackle races like Paris Roubaix, and also working with Madison Genesis.

In 2016, Roger is more a consultant to the team than DS or manager in a role that will well help the other director sportifs Juan Horrach and Dave Povall by providing them with feedback from his work at WorldTour level, adding to their experience. As Dave Povall explained at the team launch, having some one like Roger to ring and chat to is a really cool thing for the team to have.

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Instead of one DS isolated in the team in Britain, the team now have their two DS’s able to network with Roger who can network with other vastly experienced DS’s in his own team and others at World Tour level all for the benefit of the riders in the UK. Roger admits he’s learning something new every day which is how it should be in this job.

Talking to Roger at the team launch about the new signings, he explained “The nature of the beast with this team is we set out to move riders on and help develop them as riders and it’s no secret that we had two of our riders from 2015 go Pro Conti this year. So we had to replace them”.

“We had 14 riders last year and that was too many for a UK team so we have reduced it to twelve so six guys moved on and we replaced them with four new riders. What I have done is pick them on ability and their character because for me the most important thing is that the ethos of the team has to stay the same”.

“We have a well earned reputation of having a fighting spirit and a team that never gives up. We want that to continue so the new guys have to fit in with that. A key for that was to keep the core of the team to keep the ethos that has been created over time and the new guys will fit in to that”.

“Keeping the core of the team is important because if you wipe out most of your riders, you’re starting from zero and there is no history and you lose what you have learned works.”



Before talking about the new signings, I asked how he felt the 2015 season went for the team?

“I think we performed well. We set out to be competitive in the Tour of Yorkshire, Tour Series and Tour of Britain. The only disappointment we had was the Tour of Britain where we got caught up in a fight for intermediate jerseys which were not on our radar. If we had wanted them to be on there, we would have chased down One Pro’s Pete Williams when he went up the road on his own”.

“What we hadn’t appreciated was by getting involved in that battle, how that would restrict us to do what we wanted to do there and so that was the only disappointment. We won the Tour Series though and that was a highlight of the year for us”.

“We didn’t just win it but did it with pride and character. I think the guys rode extremely well to put themselves in a position to win despite having two weeks of bad luck and still come out winning without having to compromise how we are as a team”.

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New Signings
Alex Blain – “Alex is one of these guys who whilst I don’t know him that well personally, and most of the riders you sign from rival teams you don’t know them, I like the way he races” Roger explained.

“His ability on the bike is unquestionable and it’s about their character too. Same with Gruffudd Lewis. I have never been to a race where Gruff hasn’t been fighting for his life. He puts the same energy into a local race as he does the Tour Series at Aberystwyth”.

“So for me that is a great character reference. I can’t judge what they are like off the bike yet but on the bike, I can see how they are. Same for Taylor (Gunman) (New Zealand) who we hear has a similar ethos on his side and he’s a fighter. The riders from New Zealand we have had have been the most level headed bike riders we have ever had and that is good to have that in the team as its keeps everyone else’s heads level. I never shied away that Mike (Northey) and Tom (Scully) were integral to the team”.

“So we’re very very sad to have lost Tom, but on the other side I’m ecstatic to see him get in a ProConti team and the only thing I am sad about is I think he deserves WorldTour!”

And Felix English I asked. “I have always wanted a rounded team and I have to admit we have always been a bit light on a bunch sprinter which tactically makes it a little more complicated for me. We have to have a weapon because without one it’s like going into battle without a missile.”

“Felix looked like a rider who needed a change and hopefully we can give him that. He had a disappointing year through injury or whatever so to have a new start is a good way to kick start your career again”.


Direct Sportifs
The big change though is Roger moving into more a consultant role and Dave Povall and Juan Horrach taking over the DS reigns.

Roger explains “this season, Pov is leading the team and I’ll be helping out and Juan will be the second sports director.”

Juan as a rider rode 16 grand tours and won a stage in the Tour of Italy as well as being the right hand man to Joaquim Rodríguez. “His character fits the team” explained Roger. “He’s very relaxed and easy going”. Roger meanwhile will be away a lot from the UK scene adding “I will be here as much as I can”.

Those wondering why he’s earing ‘two hats’ with Madison Genesis and Dimension Data, Roger explains it by saying “now I am talking to people like Rolf Aldag and getting experience from them and that’s experience I can pass on”.

“As a kid, I’d go to a rock pool and turn over every stone to find the crab. The same in cycling, I turned over every stone I could within the rules to achieve my goals. I didn’t want to cheat but I made sure I turned over everything right”.

“It’s the same being a DS. I don’t come to work and feel I did that well and I’m the star, but more how can we do that better. What could I have done for the riders better that could have helped them achieve more and there is a load more I could be doing. It’s just a matter of experience.”

“It’s a challenge this year but there is a collective passion to make it work and succeed here at Madison Genesis”.



Dave Povall
A familiar face to riders and fans at the British races is former UK Youth, Metaltek Kuota and NFTO DS, Dave Povall. Having won the Tour Series with UK Youth, ‘Pov’ as he is known, has a lot of experience of the UK scene and says of being signed to Madison Genesis “I could not be happier”.
“Whilst 2012/13 was fantastic for a lot of different reasons, the last two years have been challenging but the clarity from the first conversation with Roger to those with Dom and Kellie (at Madison UK) all tallies with the ethos of this team. To help it evolve and grow with the riders in it”.

“We’re happy being at Conti level in the UK developing riders and passing them onto bigger and better things. We know what we are and what we want to achieve.”

Dave now has two training camps under his belt as DS and he says they have been really good. “Gruff and Tobyn I have worked with previously and having seen a lot of racing in the UK, you do see the guys regularly, riders like Mike Northey and Alex Blain who I have wanted to work with for a few years. The same for Northey, Tom Stewart and Erick Rowsell as well”.

“The mood in the camp is fantastic. We got some serious work done when we were in Majorca. They weren’t in a box when they came home but two very good blocks of work where we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company as well. So, I am excited to be working with this group and can’t wait to get racing.”

“I love this job where I’m learning all the time like this!”

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