Q & A: Manager at Brother NRG Driverplan Jack Rees

Team manager at the Brother NRG Driverplan racing team Jack Rees takes the VeloUK question and answer quiz

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q & A: Manager at Brother NRG Driverplan Jack Rees

Team manager at the Brother NRG Driverplan racing team Jack Rees takes the VeloUK question and answer quiz on behalf of the team as a whole

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Jack: As a team, we started as a small club as a vehicle to advertise a coaching business but have progressed year on year to the incarnation of the team we are now with fifteen 1st / Elite category riders, seven aspiring youth and junior riders competing nationally and a small regional club.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Jack: It’s all about racing on the road, from the Drummond Trophy in Scotland to the Tour of Poyang Lake in China. Crits serve a purpose and the UK calendar is based on them but for us single day racing and tours will always be at the top of our agenda.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Jack: The travel. We’ve travelled in Europe, Asia and Africa this year an experienced some really hospitable people and new cultures, things you would never see if it wasn’t for the bike. The camaraderie between the riders is and always has been great and is something that sets us apart from other teams.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Jack: Charlie Tanfield held our first UCI jersey at the Tour of Al Zuburah in Qatar back in December really started the season as we meant to go on from there stage wins in China, a podium on the Beaumont and numerous UK successes all contributed to a great season.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Jack: Mentioning it again but UK wise the Beaumont is a real favourite for us, tough Northumberland roads that we all know and competition from the best UK teams and some foreign ones too.

Outside any tour that we do is a real favourite with the riders just because it’s not something we have access to in the UK. They experienced a dirt road stage with 3,500m of elevation in the Atlas Mountains in the Tour du Maroc which is something I’m sure they will always remember.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Jack: The Elite Road Series is always mega tough and now with the amount of UK riders at Pro-Conti and World Tour level, the nationals can be a real eye opener for some.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Jack: Training wise don’t neglect base conditioning through the season and include mini-breaks to keep fresh. Equipment wise never compromise in key areas we have tried and tested nutrition from High5 again year which all the riders are used to.

Wheels from Prime Components a relatively new in house company from Chain Reaction but they are superb so far paired with Continental tyres we have full confidence in them whether we are going into the corner of death at Durham Tour Series or racing down a 15K descent in Morocco.

… continued after advert


8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Jack: This season we are getting Santini’s Reef jersey fully sublimated with the team’s design. This is sure to be an essential bit of kit early season in the UK. We are using Felt bikes this year too which is new for us as with any year all the riders are excited to receive the bikes, Santini kit and accessories from Kitbrix and Giro ahead of starting racing. A bit like Christmas!

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Jack: All the riders pretty much prefer rollers, not important before a road race but pretty essential ahead of a crit! One of our DS’s has a motorhome which we use occasionally, House music in there before a race helps the morale.

Ryan Davis did some Tour Series rounds for us this season and he has since gone back to DJing professionally in Sheffield and Ibiza so you could definitely rely on some outrageous music when he was around.

10. Will you stay in the UK to prepare for next season during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Jack: UK winters now are relatively mild compared to the past so it doesn’t disrupt your plans too much, plus it helps get accustomed ready for early season racing. We have a team camp planned in February and some riders still prefer to get some sunny miles in through December and January in various destinations.

11. What are the goals for 2017?
Jack: Success in the UK. We were 3rd in the Beaumont Trophy last year which was a UK highlight, we hope to win the Northern Competition in the Tour Series which we narrowly missed out on in 2016 and continue to supplement our UK program with UCI and foreign race days. We had over fifty in 2016 and are looking to further increase that in 2017.

12. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Jack: Early in the winter I think most riders take some time off the bike but still stay active with Mountain biking, running or walking.

From November it becomes more serious and “bike focused” but many riders still supplement time on the bike with strength and core work in the gym particularly those with more available training time / studying.

Three of our riders are preparing really seriously for the National Track Champs which are now in January so they are doing lot’s of gym work, intensity and track time together which I think is a different approach for all three.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Jack: For the first time as a team we are having a pre-Christmas get together staying at the Triathlon Hideaway near Cockermouth who are supporting us this year. This will help get everything organised and all the riders to meet ahead of the new season. It’s also something to look forward to and for the riders to get in a least reasonable shape for!

We start racing in Morocco in early Feb and the rest of the team head to Calpe for a two-week training camp at the same time, having this on the horizon means everyone has something to work towards and a light at the end of the tunnel on dark and wet winter riders.

Rather than have a winter specific bike the majority of the riders are riding adapted ex-race bikes with good components and a carbon frame this makes logging the hours more enjoyable and really allows to replicate the positon you use throughout the season because of no relaxed seat tube or head tubes to contend with.



Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK