Chat: Lotto Soudal Under 23’s Jacob Vaughan

Britain’s Jacob Vaughan looking to follow in the wheel tracks of others who have ridden for the Lotto Soudal Under 23 team

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Chat: Lotto Soudal Under 23’s Jacob Vaughan

Over the past decade, the Lotto Soudal Under 23 squad has, helped British riders including Adam Blythe, Dan Mclay and James Shaw move into the highest echelon of professional cycle sport and another rider to add his name to the Lotto Under 23 squad is Jacob Vaughan from VC Londres.

Jacob, who is funded in 2018 by the Dave Rayner Fund, is at the moment training in Spain in his own personal training camp and VeloUK spoke to him last week about the big move to such an important team for young riders. “It’s really good to sign for Lotto Soudal and I am really happy because this is where I wanted to go this season.”

“Hopefully it will do as well for me as it did for James and Dan McLay.”

Jacob explained how they have quite a big programme of races like Under 23 events around Europe as well as semi classics in Belgium and an equally big squad (around 25 riders) to compete in these races. It was early February in 2017 that we saw Jacob racing at the Perfs Pedal where he was second to Canyon’s Chris Opie but in 2018, Jacob’s season doesn’t start until after that, the 25th of Feb.

“Looking at the Belgium calendar, that is pretty much when the first races start” Jacob explained adding that his races are yet to be confirmed and this is expected to happen at the training camp which is in a week or so.

Jacob at the Junior Tour of Wakes with his Boardman Bike – this year with Lotto it will be a Ridley bike for Jacob

Jacob’s big jump into the spotlight was winning the junior Guido Reybrouck Classic (1.1) in a race where there were eight Brits in the top 21. He was also fifth in the Junior E3 Belgian race, 2nd in the Points classification at Trofeo Karlsberg with two fourth places on stages, and then went on to ride the Worlds for Great Britain.

Jacob was also third in the Jock Wadley memorial against the might of the British pro teams and had quite a few wins during the season In Belgium and Britain. “I like racing in Belgium as it suits me better than the UK” he explained from Spain.
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So far, Jacob has had a few meetings with his new team; one to sign his contract and another to get his kit and photo taken as well as a team presentation. With the opportunity to move up a level or two from where he is, Jacob explained his winter training started after a two week break post world championships. “I was doing quite a lot of high intensity work at that time to prepare for the London Six Day” explained Jacob who is coached by trainSharp’s Chris McNamara and then added that after the track event, he was doing mainly base miles with some long efforts.

“Now, I am just trying to top up on top end and improve my fitness” he explained before adding what a typical week in Spain is. “Monday is when I do my easiest ride and then Tuesday about four to five hours with around four efforts of between 15 and 20 minutes. Wednesday, will be five hours with some more 20 minute efforts, then Thursday is a group ride of about four hours and on Friday a day off.

Sprint for the win against Chris Opie at the Perfs in 2017

Jacob then explained that where he is at the moment, there are quite a few British riders and he’s also been able to tag on to some pro teams and went on to explain how one of those was with Philippe Gilbert, who of course rides for Lotto’s great rivals in Belgium, Quickstep! He has also ridden with Greg Van Avermaet as well.

With a month to go, the training is becoming more ‘racey’ says Jacob and when asked what he is looking forward to most racing with Lotto Soudal, he says “having the support of a big team and the race calendar they have should really help me adapt to how Under 23 racing is.”

When asked who are the people who have helped him get to where he is, Jacob said there were a lot but first and foremost were his parents. He then added “John Barclay has been one of the biggest helps in me going from first junior to progress through to where I am now and he’s given me so many opportunities in the last year to prove myself over there. So I am really thankfully to him for that. I also have to thank my club VC Londres with support on the track and training sessions and could not have done it with them and John.”

Finally, Jacob said that getting help from the Dave Rayner Fund in 2018 is a huge boost on his road to being a professional road racer …

Good luck to Jacob in 2018 …




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