Feature: Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles Ridley)

VeloUK quizzes the winner of the Men’s National Trophy this winter, Ian Field of Hargroves Cycles Ridley

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Feature: Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles Ridley)

VeloUK quizzes the winner of the Men’s National Trophy this winter, Ian Field of Hargroves Cycles Ridley

1. How did your third win in the National Trophy series compare to the other victories – harder, more satisfying etc
Ian: I think it was harder than previous wins with the added element of Jorban Van Tichelt challenging for most of the series, which made it a shame that he couldn’t race at the final round in Shrewsbury. With the conditions we ended up with, and looking at the form book from previous rounds, I would like to think I would have had the upper hand anyway but you never know.

2. Which round was the best for you and why?
Ian: I enjoyed the majority of the series but Hetton Park was a really good course and I performed well there which was good. I also found Shrewsbury really satisfying winning with such a clear margin on a course that I had struggled on just a few months earlier.

3. Did not having the stripes on your back make you hungrier for the victories this year?
Ian: I am always hungry to win bike races with a stripy jumper or not. Sometimes as National Champion, you feel the pressure to win, so actually maybe I was a bit more relaxed about the races in the UK this season which was nice. I think I soon got labelled with that ‘favourite’ in race previews though not long into the series.

4. Did your preparation for the series change in 2016 or do you have a good formula nailed down for it?
Ian: I changed quite a bit around with my training this year, just keeping things fresh and therefore hopefully moving forward each year. Not really with the Trophy Series in mind but actually working on some areas of weakness that I felt I had.

5. Were the conditions for the Trophy this year different to other years – ie, less muddy?
Ian: Funnily enough an area of weakness I thought I had was when the going got really tough and deep mud. I didn’t have the deep down strength endurance that I wanted so with less mud, I don’t think this really favoured what I had been planning for all summer. You can’t predict long term weather for the UK winters though so hopefully we will be getting some wetter weather soon for the end of the season and hopefully a heavy World Champs which we have not had in a while.

6. What cyclo-cross race this winter has been the most fun here or abroad?
Ian: I think the best race I have done this year has to be the Iowa World Cup in the U.S. The atmosphere, course and general setup was the best I have experienced this season by far. Then when I pulled out my best World Cup result to date, this was the icing on the cake for me. It rounded off a stressful and busy start to the season for me with the US trip but that made it totally worth it.

7. You raced the summer as well – what events did you enjoy the most?
Ian: I did a bit more on the road this past summer and I think I will do the same again next summer as I really enjoyed some of the events. Getting to race Ride London was really special and a shame that my race ended early in a crash but it was a good experience to race at that level on the road which I have not really done since I was a junior. As for other races I really enjoyed the Beaumont and getting stuck into that was good for me.

8. Behind every success story within the tapes is a team of helpers – How many people look after you at races in the pits and events in general
Ian: It differs for each event but first and foremost my girlfriend Annie looks after me the most week in, week out. Then I have my long term mechanic and friend Jim Bryan at all my races making sure everything is spot on with the bikes.

At national events we have the best jet washer in the business, Gaz Westwood! Then obviously Pete and Barbara Hargroves at races taking jerseys etc. When I am abroad, Jim travels with me and then a Belgian couple Patrick and Monique Suttels help me out a lot with Patrick in the pits and Monique as start finish helper which is really important at the bigger races where the crowds can take a while to get through after a race.

9. The Ridley seems to be a very popular bike in cross these days – what makes it such a great cross bike – designed for cross perhaps?
Ian: Yes, Ridley have been making Cross bikes for years and know what makes a great Cross bike. Flat non slopping top tube, high bottom bracket and responsive geometry make them a dream to ride and it’s no coincidence so many top riders are on them.

10. What will be your preparation events for the Nationals this year and being at Bradford, is there anything in training you will do to prepare for that course?
Ian: I am away at the moment getting a block of racing in over Christmas in Belgium so that will be my preparation for National Champs. I am doing Nova cross New Years Day as well and I am told it’s a tough Bradford esque course so all good preparation. In terms of training, it will be the usual taper into the Nationals which is worked for me a number of times…

11. Finally, you have ridden for Peter Hargroves for your career – what keeps you racing in his colours – what support does he give you that makes it special?
Ian: Pete is a genuine guy who I have a long relationship with, we are very similar in how we want things done. We always renew deals by word of mouth and a hand shake. I think trust is a big thing in the cycling world so when you find someone you can trust, you stick by them.

I always get what I am told I will get and I think Pete knows I will always give it my all in training and racing to do my best for the team and sponsors in a professional manor. The support is second to none, the equipment provided is always the best and his approach to managing the team is a laid back one which works well for Cross which is a hard enough sport as it is let alone having someone barking instructions at you all the time.

A big thanks to all the sponsors of the team in particular- Hargroves cycles, Madison, Shimano, Ridley, PRO, Montezuma, Pearl Izumi, profile design, Challenge and OTE sports.




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