Rider Chat: Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)

Rider chat with one of the most experienced riders in the British peloton, Erick Rowsell of Madison Genesis

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Rider Chat: Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)

Sunday will be a long way from the 2016 Tour of Britain for Madison Genesis rider Erick Rowsell, racing the first British event of 2017 on a hilly circuit and after seven days of stage racing in Normandie. Erick is a potential winner at the first prem of 2017 this Sunday and we spoke to him recently.

Photo: Madison Genesis

Erick is now one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and on a course not yet raced on but deemed to be tough, he may well be one of the key riders in the finale. The Tour of Britain in 2016 he says was his biggest highlight of last season where Erick was 15th overall and had some good results on stages too.

“Getting third on stage 5 was a big result for me” he explained. “Then backing that up on the hill top finish (Haytor) was good too” he says of the 9th place he had on stage 6, just 10 ten seconds behind the eventual overall winner, Steve Cummings.

2016 he goes on to say was a good season with Tom Stewart’s win at Lincoln a massive team effort and Erick’s second behind Tom in the Welsh Grand Prix a good personal result. But he’s hoping 2017 will be even better!

Erick Rowsell (right) sprinting for all he’s worth behind winner Jack Bauer on stage 5 in the Tour of Britain. Erik was 3rd.

His winter though was up and down. He spent the time in the UK and admits, other than the training camps for Madison Genesis, there were no periods spent abroad. “I have had a few injuries and repairs like an operation on my arm but we are quite lucky in Britain our season starts later and we can afford to delay things so if you don’t get a good winter, you can still play catch-up.”

Unlike many British riders, Erick already has a lot of high level racing in his legs for the first prem. His final preparations for 2017 began with a training camp in Calpe with Madison Genesis where the first of two training camps was more about getting to know each other and having some fun on the bike getting in base miles.

After a little rest, it was back out to Calpe for the second training camp where there was more intensity in the riding as they had their first race a week after the camp finished. Asked is that first race of the season harder than others, Erick replied “it’s really difficult especially Normandy but we have to start some where and I’d rather start with a hard race like that and get seven days of good quality racing in the legs as that’s a good base to build on for the rest of the season”.

Photo: Madison Genesis

Erik also says that riders can certainly train well enough to be competitive in the early season races as it can be more a mental shock but adds that he’s glad it was Normandy and not the first Prem of the year where he opened his racing account.

An even bigger goal though will be the Tour of Yorkshire at the end of April. In 2015, he was 8th overall and he’s hoping for a good GC result again in 2017. To do that though will require a very different approach to the races like the Kondike GP this weekend.

“You have to go into the Tour of Yorkshire with a different set of tactics” Erick started by saying. “In British racing, we are one of the strongest teams so we can dictate the race a lot more, go in with an aim of winning those races and a plan to do that.”

“But in the Tour of Yorkshire and Tour of Britain, they are more dictated by the World Tour teams so we go into them with a different mind-set. We go in to get results but we have to think about how we are going to achieve that riding off the back of the World Tour team’s tactics and hopefully turn them around and make them work to our advantage”.

“We have enough riders on the Madison Genesis team with the experience to know how to ride those races too.”

Photo: Madison Genesis

Asked does he feel comfortable slotting into a WorldTour dominated peloton after doing races like Milan San Remo and Liege Bastogne Leige in the past, he replies “having done them does it make it easier – definitely.”

“When you go into a race with World Tour teams for some guys, it can be daunting, as the speed is that much faster and the style of racing different. But, for me, it is what I have been doing for a few years now”.
Erick’s season though isn’t just about the big UCI races and when asked what British races he would like to do well in, he says “the British RR champs will be interesting – I am looking forward to that on the Isle of Man.”

“I assume they will use the TT circuit at some point so that will be a race to look forward to. The two new Prems will be good as new races are always a good challenge and Lincoln is the big one that stands out on the domestic calendar. The Tour of Reservoir too as I have won a few things there and enjoy the bad weather so having that later in the year, we’ll have to see how it is.”

Finally, talking about the Madison Genesis team, Erick, who has ridden at ProConti level, says “it’s a fantastic team to be part of. It’s my third year and it is by far the most comfortable and well run team I have been in”.

“The way they support the riders, the equipment we get, the products; there is so much support. I’ve also had a few injuries but the team has helped me sort them out and fully supported me. The way the pro scene is in Britain with the uncertainty, it is good to know you have a team like Madison Genesis to be part of!”

Good luck to Erick on Sunday.

Photo: Madison Genesis

1st British Junior Time Trial Champion
3rd Junior Road Race Championship
3rd Individual pursuit, Junior Track Championship

1st National Junior Road Race Championship
1st Overall Junior Tour of Wales
1st Driedaagse van Axel Juniors
3rd Tour du Pays de Vaud Juniors

1st Stage 5 Tour de Normandie
2nd Overall Tour Doon Hame & 1st Stage 1

5th Dwars door Drenthe

1st Overall Tour of the Reservoir & 1st Stage 1
1st Mountains classification RideLondon–Surrey Classic
5th Ryedale Grand Prix
8th Overall Tour de Yorkshire

3rd Tour of Britain Stage 5
9th Tour of Britain Stage 6
2nd GP of Wales (Prem)
1st Stage 2, Tour of Reservoir




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