Q & A: Kieran Savage

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We take our question and answer to 19 year old Kieran Savage, part of a new team, Team B38/Underpin Racing

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Q & A: Kieran Savage

Kieran, 19, takes part in road races and hill climbs and says that his highlight in 2016 was the hill climb season where had had his best season to date with six wins in open hill climbs in five different counties (including British University events) “I also got three course records and thrice broke course records but finished 2nd or 3rd!”

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1. What are you looking forward to most racing for this team?
Kieran: I’m looking forward to the team banter and racing premier calendar races, which I hope to put in a good showing.

2. What are you studying at University
Kieran: I am a student at university of Sheffield in the 2nd year of a maths and stats degree.

3. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Kieran: The last kermesse I did in Belgium (linden-lubeke), I’d only come 26th, but that was after racing two 120 km races in the three days before and I had been in a long breakaway for much of the race before being caught on the penultimate lap. The large crowds around the course inspired me a lot.

4. What were your goals in 2016?
Kieran: My goals were to come top 10 at the national hill climb but unfortunately I only came 12th. I also wanted to gain experience in Belgium, which I did. I also won the Manchester 2 day by over a minute shortly after returning and also broke the course record on my local TT course by 50 seconds shortly after returning to the UK.

5. What is the best piece of equipment on the race bike you are proud of most?
Kieran: I’ve got some skewers that you can remove the end of on the Scott Addict hill climb bike I was using. Ha ha

6. When will you start training for 2017
Kieran: I’m going to take a month off just messing about a bit on the bike. I will be swimming 3-4 times a week so I don’t lose fitness and I think structured base miles will start mid December.

7. Will you stay in the UK to prepare for next season or get in a training camp or two abroad?
Kieran: As nice as a training camp is, I don’t mind the wind and rain. If you have the right kit, it can be enjoyable enough. That said, I am hoping to visit Spain once or twice pre-season.

8. Special winter bike or using the normal training bike
Kieran: I ride a winter bike all year for training. I just change the wheels to something more sturdy and add mudguards.

9. What are the goals for 2017?
Kieran: My goals are to win a few National Bs and get a top 20 finish at a prem or top 15 in a Belgium kermesse. I also have a goal in mind for next years national hill climb.

10. How did the Hill Climb on Bank road go for you?
Kieran: I recced the course on Wednesday and did 2:33, so I was confident of a 2:25 in the actual event. However I only did 2:30.0. I think this was mainly due to competing in BUCS the day before which was over five hours north of Matlock. I was reasonably happy with 12th but would have loved a better placing. Contrary to my own shortfalls, the event was not a let-down and it was amazing to see so many people at an event which is purely for amateurs.

11. Did you a race standard road bike or a hill climbing beast?
Kieran: I raced a very specialised bike (borrowed of course). The frame was a Scot Addict 2016. The groupset was SRAM eTap with a single 40 front ring and 28-11 rear. The wheels were Lightweight (the lightest production wheelset in the world) with light skewers (see above) and 21 mm Velochamp track tubs. I’d cut off the bottom of my handlebars, removed the bar tape and was riding a carbon saddle.

12. How much of a buzz is it to get to a race like a championship and see a crowd like the one on Bank road?
Kieran: The buzz can inspire you a lot; the crowd drowns out any voices in your head telling you you’re knackered!

13. What’s the best and worst of hill climbs?
Kieran: The best is that on a good day you can just float up the hill and ride at your max for a seemingly indefinite amount of time. I may of only had two or three events like this all year. I also love how the effort is very pure and for a few minutes you can just ignore literally everything else.

The worst is that after many weeks, you miss the long rides (I hadn’t done a ride over 45km for over eight weeks). You’re body and mind also start to break down with the strain of effort, and I started needing to listen to music for hours to try and get myself psyched up.

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