Q & A: Steven Roach (Raleigh GAC)

A former winner of the National Trophy series, Welsh champion Steven Roach (Raleigh GAC) looks back at this years events

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Q & A: Steven Roach (Raleigh GAC)

1. Looking back at the National Trophy, are you happy with how it went this season?
Steven: Not really too happy with how the ‘cross season has been so far. Struggled at the start of season with illness which knocked me back three weeks.

2. Which round was the best for you and why?
Steven: The best round for me has to be Shrewsbury. I was towards the front at the start and finished in 9th, roughly a minute off the top three.

3. Tell us about the bike you used for the series?
Steven: I have been using a top of the range Raleigh cross bike with Cole carbon wheels which have been faultless all season. The SRAM disc brakes are really good as well and I can’t believe it took this long to get them onto cross bikes.

4. You won the Trophy Series at 19 (youngest winner) – what are your highlights over the years in the series?
Steven: Yes, I won the series back in 2003 as an Under 23 winning both titles in Abergavenny, out sprinting the legend Barrie Clarke to take the series by 2 points. I wanted to win the round to make it even more special, but taking the series was really good and one that probably has to be the highlight of the series for me.

Steven (Centre), winner of the Welsh champion

5. Were the conditions for the Trophy this year different to other years?
Steven: I don’t think the conditions have been much different to past years. We have had quick fast courses and slower more slippery ones and it’s nice to have mix – it’s what makes the series good.

6. Behind every success story within the tapes of a cross race is a team of helpers – How many people look after you at races in the pits and events in general.
Steven: Yes, the pits is probably more stressful than racing as when we do half lap changes, the pit crew have three minutes to change bikes, get it washed and back ready to change again and then to do it all again. This could mean anything from 1 to 16 bike washes in an hour. The main helpers for me are my dad (Phil), and Pete Mooney. Without either of them, I wouldn’t be able to race at the front of the trophies.

7. What is the key physical attribute a rider needs for British cross races.
Steven: I think that if you want to take cross seriously you need to be able to run, something that does not come natural to me. So I struggle at the muddier races. I enjoy cross but never really commit to much to running as training as I find it affects my training for the road season.

8. What will be your preparation events for the National Champs this year and being at Bradford, is there anything in training you will do to prepare for that course?
Steven: I am not really training specifically for cross this year, just using it to keep fit as I don’t like having the whole winter off from racing. It’s in Bradford which could mean a lot of running. Hopefully not as bad as last year! I have a new team for next year, so want to focus on being ready for the road season.

9. Finally, After the British Cross champs, what will be your goals for 2017?
Steven: After the champs, I will be concentrating on the road season. I have signed for Brother NRG Driver Plan pro cycling. I have just come back from a training weekend where it was good to meet up with the team and discuss next year with them. I am really looking forward to racing with them. They have a few good international races planned and also still doing a lot of the British series.




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