Interview: Ian Field (British CX Champion)

Feature interview chat with British Cyclo-Cross champion Ian Field (Hargrove’s Ridley Montezuma’s)

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Interview: Ian Field (British CX Champion)

The ‘cross season is now at full speed with the National Trophy ready to kick off next weekend. One cyclo-cross rider has already been very busy, Ian Field (Hargrove’s Ridley Montezuma’s) and we had a chat with him about the season so far and what lies ahead.

The wins are not all in cyclo-cross as he showed in Winchester this year in the crits. Pic: Eamonn Deane

Q: Tells us about the conditions of the cross races in the USA?
Ian Field: The four races in the USA were a challenge and battle against the elements more than anything.  I have never raced in such heat before. It was mid 30’s for pretty much the entire two weeks out there which made training tough on the body and the races were something else. I think it is the intensity of the Cross racing and inability to really cool yourself down once the race starts is the problem.

I did all I could in terms of preparation, I had trained in very high temperatures in Spain while at my altitude camp in Andorra and took all the measures possible at the races to remain cool but it was difficult. For the most part I coped well but the final World Cup I went too deep early on after the initial crashes to close gaps and just overheated.

Q: How many races did you do in the USA?
Ian Field: Four races total, two World Cup events, a C1 and a C2 event but for the most part they were all a very high standard with a lot of riders doing all four races.

Q: How happy are you with your performances in the USA?
Ian Field: I was happy with the majority of my performances while in the USA but not so happy with some of my results. Both of the World Cups were hampered by things going wrong at the starts which were out of my control but on both occasions I tried to keep my head down and get the best possible outcome.

The best performance was 8th in the C2 event at Waterloo where I rode really well in a good group of riders and managed to get the better of most of them which was pleasing and a bit of a confidence boost.

Q: What sort of reception does the cross in the USA get compared to Europe? Popular?
Ian Field: It gets a really good reception, Cross is massive in the USA and very different to Europe where the fans are massive fans of Cross in general rather than just having a favourite rider.

Q: Is there a point in your summer, when the training becomes very CX focused?
Ian Field: My training in the summer is all focused towards Cross. I learnt a few years ago when you try and balance multi disciplines you end up not getting the best out of yourself in one of them.

Q: And what in your training is very much CX based, something you wouldn’t do training at any other time of the year?
Ian Field: The cross sessions are added in basically when the bikes are ready so approx. four weeks out from the first race. These are race specific efforts performed off road. I find these the most fun so look forward to these all summer.

Q: What have been the highlights of your summer?
Ian Field: Highlights of the summer have been the MTB Nationals where I surprised myself really with claiming a bronze medal and the two altitude training camps in Andorra were amazing. I love travelling and really got to explore the area both on and off the bike because I had so long out there – both times which was really cool.

Q: A new cross season, any changes to the Ridley CX weapon?
Ian Field: Ridley have really updated the frame set this season which is nice. It has gone to 12mm bolt thru axles front and rear which makes a difference and lightened the frame and forks up quite a bit by being able to take away strength where it was no longer needed from the canti brake areas.

Q: Will you be racing the Trophy Series in 2017/18?
Ian Field: Yes, I will be racing the full Trophy series again. I am really looking forward to the UK races as the sport grows in this country year on year.

Q: Is your season a gradual peak to the British/World Championships (Jan) or a series of mini peaks?
Ian Field: It is more a gradual build up towards the end of the season and some goals along the way. I feel as though there are number of races along the way which suit me so I will be aiming for them.

Q: You have been in Pete Hargroves colours for a long time – how many years now?
Ian Field: I honestly don’t know, I feel as though it is about nine years now! You would have to ask Pete. We have been through a lot of highs and lows, more recently a lot of highs which is good. He is one person that has always believed in my ability probably more than myself at times.

Q: I understand you work with the team helping the youngsters from time to time?
Ian Field: I have done some training days with the younger guys and girls on the team in an effort to give something back to the team and Cross in general. it is definitely something I want to do a lot more of in the future. There are so many hidden secrets and techniques than can be used in Cross. Learning them all can take years so if I can speed up that process for people it would be great. After all the technical side of things is free speed…

Q: Finally, how motivating is it to be back in the stripes again? How hungry were you to win them back at the championships in January?
Ian Field: The National Champs are always a massive goal of mine and I am really looking forward to them being held on such a good course up at Hetton Lyons, I really enjoyed the Trophy there last year so should be a great weekend of racing for everyone.





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