Perfs Q & A: Jack Billyard (Team Zappi)

We quiz fourth placed Jack Billyard (Zappi racing team) about his race last Sunday in the Perfs Pedal

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Perfs Q & A: Jack Billyard (Team Zappi)

1. How did you feel your race went at the Perfs Pedal?
Jack: The Perfs went well for me. I was encouraged by how I felt throughout the race and despite not getting on the podium, I was able to take a lot of positives from the performance.

2. How did that first lap of the course go for you when the hammer went down?
Jack: The first lap wasn’t too bad for me. I was comfortable on the climb and again over the top where positioning was absolutely key. I hadn’t even realised we’d got a gap until much later on.

3. Bike Channel Canyon showed they were beatable – did you feel that when they were dominating the moves in numbers?
Jack: As strong as Bike Channel Canyon were in numbers, I felt that was their only strength and so my tactic was to have as few of them in a group as possible by the end. I knew that it was possible to win the race but in hindsight, it would have taken a number of things to go my way for it to happen.

4. How was the finale of the race for you?
Jack: It was a difficult final part of the race for me. I haven’t got a spectacular kick so I was trying to get away by attacking as much as possible but I probably wasted my legs in other parts of the race so I couldn’t make anything stick. Having two Bike Channel riders in our group of four also complicated things. Both Rory Townsend and Chris Opie only had to mark myself and Jacob Vaughan because they had Rob Partridge coming across.

Two visits to the podium for Jack, one for the best Southern Region rider and again for the “James Atherton/Richard Phillips Schoelfield Trophy” (pictured)

5. How has your winter training been before the race – in the UK or camps abroad as well?
Jack: My winter’s been much more consistent this year – probably for the first time ever. Last year I had to have two separate heart operations before Christmas and then a further one in April which meant my first race last year was on the 28th May.  I’ve been at home in Wiltshire until the New Year before I left with the team to spend January in Calpe. I was home briefly to see my family and now I’m back out in Spain until mid March.

6. Was the Perfs your first race of 2017?
Jack: Yes Perfs was my first race of 2017.

7. How did you make sure you had your race legs at the Perfs – intervals in training, chain gangs, or turbo work?
Jack: It’s been a mix of everything as you’d probably expect. Before New Year, it was mainly big miles but since I’ve been in Spain with the team, we’ve done some more short intensity work; motor pacing and crit type work. To be frank, I didn’t think I’d have the legs I did at the Perfs so it’s good for moral knowing I’ve got more to give later in the year.
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8. What is the next race goal for you?
Jack: I wouldn’t call it a goal but our next race will be the Circuito Guardiana Don Bentido which is in Merida on the 26th February. It’s the first round of the ‘Copa España’ so it will be good to try the legs out on a real distance.

9. Which events are your season goals for 2017?
Jack: I don’t have any specific season goals for this year. All the races we do in Italy are such high profile that a top 10 in any single one would be amazing. I hope to be in good form for April where we have seven UCI MU races which are under 23 specific and are really testing. Teams from all over come to those and so a result there is hugely relevant.

10. Finally, how did you get started in cycle racing and what’s the best thing about it for you?
Jack: I got started when I was 14 from doing a few ‘Go-Ride’ events which British Cycling do to promote cycling at younger ages. From then, it snowballed and I just couldn’t kick the racing bug. There’s no specific best thing about racing that I could name but the buzz of a race day is such a good atmosphere to be part of – especially in Italy. It’s such a huge event out there with hundreds of people lining the climbs and finishing area.
Thank you to Jack for that – good luck to him and his team in the coming year!



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