Rider Chat: Joey Walker (Team Wiggins)

Ending the season with a victory, Team Wiggins rider Joey Walker is looking forward to more results in 2018

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Rider Chat: Joey Walker (Team Wiggins)

During a season watching races week in, week out, there are riders whose results stand out for many reasons. A young rider I saw really impress at the Beaumont Trophy and again at Ryedale was Joey Walker of Team Wiggins.

It was at Ryedale that we spoke to Joey back in August at what was the last big road race in the domestic season. At that time he said “I am happy with my season and just want to see a progression each year and I have seen that from last year with a few top fives so as long as I see that progression, I’ll be happy.”

Joey, and his sister Jessie, came into the sport not so long ago. Or so it seems. It feels like yesterday I saw them both in RST colours at Darley Moor but Joey has been in the sport for quite a few years now and he’s still under 23! Seeing his sister Jessie give up racing was a bit of a blow says Joey but he admits he understands why she did and is pleased she is happy doing what she is doing these days in the sport.

Joey comes from a very well known cycling family, the Walkers (Chris and Lynne) and says there was never any pressure to follow in their footsteps. “The good thing about mum and dad was there was never pressure to get into it, it was more about us watching races like the Lincoln GP and it was a natural decision for me to want to do it, not my dad’s decision for example. So there was no pressure to get into it but now I have the benefit that he can give me advice and debrief me when I need it.”

The family are so into cycling that Joey admits even his grandad can give him advice on the sport!

Asked about highlights from 2017, Joey explained “I have done a lot of races abroad and been getting stuck in and helping the team get some good results, Personally, I have done quite well in the British races like the Beaumont Trophy and British TT Champs. I was happy with those rides so stuff like that have been highlights.”

European champion on the track… 

Joey is also one of many up and coming young riders that is being coached by the team at trainSharp. He says he joined them at the end of last season and they have been a part of his progression in the sport. “It’s nice to have that structure and a coach you can chat to” Joey explained. Asked what being a coached athlete involves, Joey explained “you get your training on the plan (Todays Plan) but it’s a description of much more than that and includes loads more than just about hours on the bike. At the start of the year, I sent them a description of the type of rider I think I am and what I need to improve on and they have taken that on board to try and help me improve in specific areas.”

A coach that Joey deals with at trainSharp is a current racing cyclist himself, Chris Mcnamara, and Joey says its good to have someone who understands what it’s like being a competitive cyclist. “When you text Chris, and I’m tired from a stage race, he’ll know what I have been through and understand the need to take a few days off or to adjust the training to suit the circumstances.”

Joey adds that measuring efforts in training varies and includes power, heart rate and also feel and that he will in training be guided by power for example for specific drills but does stress though when it comes to racing, the power metre is there to measure power and other things but isn’t looked at during a race.

Finally, the Tour of Britain has come and gone and I have to say there was one team in the race that seemed to do bugger all in livening up the action but having seen sponsorship banners at the starts for there sponsor I can see why perhaps they were given a start. One team though that would for sure have been in the mix for breaks and sprints was team Wiggins. They however did not get a start because they fell short of the qualifying points.

What I and many do not understand though is why that qualification system is there in the first place? British teams engage with the British public in the race, and one with the Wiggins name for sure would have done that. Whilst there is only half a dozen UCI conti teams in Britain, I can’t see how there presence can overshadow the event in any shape or form with so many world tour squads there to give it the kudos that every UCI race wants with a quality line up.

So for Team Wiggins, and young riders like Joey Walker, it was gutting not to get the opportunity to ride in the National Tour, and follow in the wheelmarks of his father Chris who had such success in the national tour in his day.

“Ever since we were not selected for the Tour of Yorkshire, we’ve been on the back foot with qualifying points and whilst we have picked it up the last few rounds, I think we missed out by five points or something so that was pretty gutting. We did really wanted to be in it and I am sure the public wanted to see us but we’ll keep fighting to be in there”.

With the winter now on the horizon, Joey says his goals are to have a solid winter base and then next year get some results and having finished off with a victory in Yorkshire, lets hope that is a signal more wins will come in 2018!

Good luck to Joey in the future …





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