Q&A: Oscar Hutchings (VC Equipe-Flix)

New signing for VC Equipe-Flix, Oscar Hutchings takes the VeloUK question and answer quiz

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q&A: Oscar Hutchings (VC Equipe-Flix)

Oscar Hutchings (VC Equipe-Flix) says of his new team, “it’s a very professional set up with a great group of guys and we get on really well”. Here is his Q & A …

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Oscar: I’ve always cycled as my Dad has been a keen endurance athlete forever; dragon boating, canoeing and then cycling. He got me to do my first mountain bike race, aged 10 or so. I had no idea what I was doing, cried round half of it and didn’t think about racing again until my gap year. Once again my Dad persuaded me to do some road rides with the local group in Winchester and it all went from there doing winter series races, racing at Uni and now trying to balance national level racing with work.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Oscar: Road races and crits. I have really enjoyed city centre races this year now my bike handling has got a bit better!

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Oscar: Gives me something else to do rather than sit at work all day… But really, I love the competition, the feeling of being on the limit, giving it everything, then having a good laugh with guys you’ve just raced with afterwards.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Oscar: Getting my Elite licence. I hadn’t set myself the goal of getting elite. I thought it would be hard enough to keep my First Cat. However I got to the middle of summer, had a good run of results and realised it was on! I focussed on the last few months of the season and got the points I needed by doing well in Nat B road races and city centre crits.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Oscar: Via Roma Cirencester Nocturne. It was a fun fast and flowing circuit, in the dark! Which was a new one for me. I came away with 6th which I was pretty happy with but seemed to annoy a few riders who didn’t think I should be mixing it with conti guys at the front.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Oscar: Chorley GP. It was on my birthday this year, the longest race I’ve ever done, with grim weather and no team mates. Fortunately my girlfriend, mum and sister came to support and hand out bottles. I was glad to hang on and get round, just to make the journey worthwhile.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Oscar: I definitely learnt how to race better this year. I used to be far too keen to attack and be active early on but it wasn’t getting me results. After chatting with a few people, I realised I needed to sit back a bit more in the early stages of a race and use my energy when it matters most. It meant I started to understand how to read races better and more often than not end up in the right moves.  … continued after advert


8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Oscar: The Specialized Tarmac I raced on this year is probably the best bit of kit. It handles so well and seems to really suit me. I’m lucky enough to be racing a Tarmac again in 2017 with VC Equipe.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Oscar: I like rollers and some music to get me going. My rollers seem to live in the back of my car during the season but sometimes I end up faffing too much so just do a short spin with a few sprints. I often put my music on in the car on the way to a race too.

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?
Oscar: I’m going on my first proper winter training camp with the team in February. I’m really looking forward to some structured training with team mates and escaping the cold for a week. I’ve never been on a winter camp before but did a big week in the Alps last summer which made a difference to my form, so hopefully it will help me with the early season races which I have previously struggled with.

11. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Oscar: I started training properly in November, lots of big miles, but maybe a bit too much too soon as I’ve had to back off to avoid injury recently. But I’ll be mixing the miles with proper efforts quite early in January, I’ve often left it later to start intervals but I’ve got a few early season targets this year to aim for.

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Oscar: I want to win a National B Road Race and a city centre crit. I’ll be aiming for my home race, the Winchester Criterium. I’m also aiming to be competitive in National A races (Prems) and hope to get a top 15 in some of them.

Obviously the team has objectives and I want to be part of a successful team throughout the whole year and I’m also looking forward to working as a proper team in every race. I’ve also got a bit of a challenge at the end of the season in September, a 5 day mountain bike/road stage race in East Timor, something very different but hopefully fun.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Oscar: I try to do some cross training in the off season (I managed two runs in October…) and always want to do more gym work and swimming but just enjoy riding my bike too much. I do a couple of strength and conditioning sessions a week at home, just squats and core work to help prevent injuries and I’ll also do some ‘cross races and mountain biking to mix it up and get muddy. My girlfriend has just qualified as a personal trainer so I might start doing some proper strength training soon.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Oscar: Just get on with it and think about the races coming up for motivation. The weather’s never so bad you can’t do something (I do live in the south though…), I either go off road for some fun, or do a turbo session. But rain and cold aren’t so bad since I got a proper winter bike a few years ago, mudguards and disc brakes, and it’s soo heavy! Makes it a bit easier to get out in the rain not having to worry about cleaning it too often.



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


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK