Feature Chat: Ben Turner (World Championship Medallist)

Talking to a rider who was at the sharp end of National Trophy races in the last two rounds, Bronze medallist in the Cyclo-Cross Worlds (junior), Ben Turner

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Feature Chat: Ben Turner (World Championship Medallist)

At Shrewsbury a few weeks ago, Ben Turner (Beobank-Corendon) shot off the line to lead the National Trophy race there until some bad luck stopped him in his tracks. A few weeks later, he was at the front with some seriously fast riders and only a dropped chain dented his hopes of a higher finish.

The World Championship bronze medallist from 2017 (Juniors) now races for a Belgian team and is based in a place called Lummen near Zolder. It is says Ben, a nice area to be based in but for a month now, he’s been based in Doncaster where he lives but that is all due to change on December 7th when he goes back to Belgium for a busy Christmas on the ‘cyclocross circuit.

“This is my last race in England until the National Champs and on the 7th I’ll go back to a race at Essen then carry on doing World Cups and the Christmas races as it’s a busy period there for cyclo-cross. I’ll return for the national champs and then go back and hopefully ride the world championships and do a good ride there. It is always nice to do them especially after last year, and then I’ll finish the season off in Belgium before I come home in February”.

After the bronze medal and then a move up into the Under 23 Category and racing the Elite men at home in Britain, I asked Ben how he felt that transition from Juniors to Senior has gone for him?

“At the start, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted because of some bad luck and not quite having the form I wanted but now I am feeling a lot better and it’s going well. I’m now looking to get some good results abroad and having some UCI points should help (better gridding)”.

Ben is coached by trainSharp and says they help him get the balance right between training and racing during the ‘cross season. “They do the hard work looking at numbers and seeing what I need to do and I have full faith in them and what I am doing. I’ll probably have two power sessions a week, and then endurance and building strength”.

“Before the season started, we talked about goals like championships such as the Euros, nationals and worlds – the goals to peak for – and they figure out a plan for me to follow in training and I just ride my bike and at the end of a ride, my Garmin automatically uploads the ride to the coach and they look at how I am going and give me feedback on how to improve, etc”.

“In Belgium, I’m racing three races a week so it’s quite hard to fit any good training sessions in because of the amount of racing so at that time, I’m just ticking over between races. When I’m just racing at the weekend, I’ll have three goods days on the bike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then prepare for the weekend. I’m only doing thirteen hours a week or so as you don’t need to do a lot during the season”.

“During the road season I was doing lots of big international races before having a break to work on a base to come into the cross season”.

First lap at Shrewsbury National Trophy and Ben leads from Ian Field (Hargroves-Ridley-Montezuma’s)

Asked what sort of courses does he like in ‘cross, Ben replied “I thought today (Cyclopark) would be a good one for me but I didn’t quite have the feeling I wanted with a little illness (cold) but it wasn’t a bad race for me. Shrewsbury for me was good though and I felt really good on that course which suited me”.

“I have long legs so the best courses are ones which have parts where we have to run! Normally riders don’t like to run so I try and use that to my advantage. I like power sections too like power climbs and stretches on a course where I can get the power down.”

Being a rider who has won a bronze medal at the Worlds, Ben obviously has good skills so does he still have to work on them. “Absolutely. You have always have work on skills, especially coming into the start of the season. So maybe twice a week I’ll be on the cross bike working on skills”.

A key skill I asked? “Starts” he replied. If you don’t have a good start, you’re at the back and fighting to get back and making efforts the front guys don’t have to make so the start is crucial”.  … continued after advert


By way of example Ben talked about the race at Cyclopark and the start there. “They (the Belgian visitors) went from the gun which was nice to see but I got a bit boxed in on the road section so I was around 8th at the start.”

“They had a little gap and I had to make an effort to get back to them and then my chain came off on the second lap (steps) so I was chasing them around 15 second back and I just couldn’t close it today”.

Finally, what are the goals now for Ben? “It is a busy Christmas period in Belgium so I’ll try and get some results there before the nationals. The worlds though will always be the biggest goal. I really want to do a good ride there. I’m a first year under 23 so it’s difficult to know where I want to be but after last year, I just want good results”.

Ben added that he’s signed for his team for three years so cyclo-cross is the focus but with his team having a good road team too, he’ll also be looking to do some of that but cyclo-cross is remaining the priority for the time being… Good luck to Ben in Belgium!




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