Tour of Britain – Madison Genesis Prepare


Talking to Erick Rowsell about Madison Genesis preparing for the Tour of Britain on the road

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Tour of Britain – Madison Genesis Prepare


Erick Rowsell and Matt Holmes

With the racing scene in Britain at a standstill, for the pros anyway, teams are having to get on their bikes and go abroad to prepare for the Tour of Britain. One team doing just that is Madison Genesis.

Today they competed in GP Stad Zottegem where Tom Stewart was very active at the front of the race, getting in lots of hard racing miles ahead of the Tour of Britain. It was yet another excursion to the home of cycling (Belgium) after another earlier in the month.

That race was Dwars Door het Hageland where Tom Stewart finished eighth against top-class opposition – including eventual winner Niki Terpstra (former winner of Paris Roubaix). Erick Rowsell told VeloUK “In terms of parcour it was like the CiCLE Classic but ten times harder with longer sectors, cobbles, hills and pouring with rain so Tom Stewart and Alex Blain were in their element and loved it.”

Stewart was part of the main move of the day and coming into the final 10-kilometres, fighting with the biggest names for victory. It topped off a good race for the team with Tobyn Horton and Matt Holmes making an early break which included Tom Boonen, but the danger was sensed and the group was taken back.

“That started a good block of work for us” Erick explained “and afterwards, we flew to the Pyrenees and spent the next week training there, preparing for the Tour of Britain. There, we did lots of big rides, lots of climbing and a lot of specific efforts so everyone went into the race at Leicester (the final Prem) fatigued after 11 days on the road. It shows what a big target the Tour of Britain is for us”.


Tom Stewart

“It’s difficult to prepare to the Tour of Britain here in the UK. There’s not enough racing at this time of the year in Britain which is why teams go away and we’ll be doing more in Belgium. There are some long stages in the Tour of Britain so you need some long races in your legs beforehand”.

“Ideally, we’d do a stage race but not all teams can do that so we do a training camp with races in between. If teams can’t afford to go abroad to get the right preparation, then it can be a struggle”.

Erick went on to say that like the Tour of Yorkshire and RideLondon, two of three of the biggest UCI races along with Velothon won by Tom Stewart, the Tour of Britain is a big target not just for him and his teammates, but the team and its sponsors as a whole.

“Yorkshire didn’t work out the way we hoped but Tubs (Tobyn Horton) was top 10 in the sprint at RideLondon so now it’s just the Tour of Britain. I want to go there and perform as do the team and we have different ambitions and aims to what we have had in previous years so we’ll select a team around what we want to achieve in the race. It’s a race everyone is looking forward to but also feeling the pressure for as well”.

Finally, when asked what he knew about the Tour of Britain, Erick replied “we have only recced one of the stages. We did a few recce’s last year and thought about doing it this year but what makes the race hard is all the travelling and transfers between stages as well so to do that and recce it as well, you end up tiring yourself out”.

“We might look at one of the stages but apart from that, no. We do have riders who live in different parts of the country like Matt knows the Lake District course quite well so we’ll go on local knowledge”.

“It looks like it will be a hard edition. There are a lot of days that you look at on paper and say that could be a GC day, that could be as well so it’s hard to single out any one day. And, anything could happen on any stage with a split in cross winds or a climb so you can’t single out any one day like you can in the Tour de France so we’re going to have to be ready for every stage”.

That I am sure they will be having won Velothon with Tom Stewart and Tobyn Horton 8th at Ride London. One of the hardest things will be selecting just six riders from a strong squad!





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