Q & A: Peter Merritt

Racing in Belgium in 2016, Peter Merritt takes the VeloUK Quiz about 2016 and his goals for 2017

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q & A: Peter Merritt

Peter Merritt races for Belgian team GOMA Dakwerken VDB – Steenhouwerij CT. The team, says Peter, has a really good sense of structure and discipline as well as a great bunch of riders who were all really welcoming which is especially important when you’re a foreigner on the team.

Here is Peter’s Q & A:

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Peter: Despite having been a keen bike rider from a very young age, it wasn’t until the age of 17 when my local club, VC Deal and coach at the time, Dave Williams, got me into doing a few regional races. I guess it all progressed from there.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Peter: Road races and kermesses.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Peter: The opportunity for success.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Peter: Getting into the breakaway in a round of the Beker van Belgie (Belgian Cup) series.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016?
Peter: I really enjoyed racing in the GP Etienne De Wilde. It was an easy, non-technical parcour with a few cobbled sections. It was all very nice up until it rained and the cobble sections were like one long patch of ice.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Peter: Toughest race of the year was Herne kermesse. Despite being at the end of April, it was snowing for half the race and I didn’t bring any leg warmers. Half the field was split into about four groups and the other half didn’t make it to the end. I finished in the third group having bridged the gap from the fourth group with a team-mate.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Peter: To always keep on top of training, nutrition and general health and hygiene.
… continued after advert


8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Peter: I got lent a pair of Salice glasses by a team-mate that I used for most of the season. They were my pride and joy until I had to hand them back come the end of September…sad times.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Peter: I used to warm up on the turbo (without music), but they don’t really do turbos and rollers in Belgium. I just do what everyone else does and ride up and down the finishing straight awkwardly until it’s time to line up.

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?
Peter: I’ll be going on a team training camp to Benicassim, Spain at the beginning of February, but until then the UK will be my winter training base.

11. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Peter: I had three weeks off after my last race of the season and started training again at the end of October. It’s a mix of miles and efforts, the amount and intensity of which gradually increase as the weeks go on.

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Peter: Given the team is yet to announce its calendar for 2017, it’s hard to comment on which of the big races I’m aiming for, but I’d certainly love to get a top 10 in a kermesse.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Peter: All of the above. I do gym-work all through my winter training. I had quite a mix of training activities in November; a lot of running and swimming as well as training on the bike. As training progresses throughout the winter months, it becomes less varied and more bike-orientated.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Peter: Aside from having the right equipment, there’s not much else you can really say. Just grit your teeth and bear it.



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


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK