Rider Chat: Liam Davies (Vitus Pro Cycling rider 2018)

Whilst the team owner might be a seasoned campaigner in British racing, Vitus Pro Cycling is a new team with mostly new riders – we speak to Liam Davies, a first year senior and winner of the Tour of Assen in 2017

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Rider Chat: Liam Davies (Vitus Pro Cycling rider 2018)

The season is still a few months away and the training camp in three weeks so time to introduce the riders to you.

The first we speak to is a first year senior, Liam Davies, who’s big highlight was a win in the Junior Tour of Assen, a popular race with Brits and young riders from all over Europe. For the youngster, getting a ride in a UCI team is a dream come true. “It will be great to have that support behind me to allow me to progress up to that next level and pursue my dream” he explained.

When we spoke to Liam, it was his second week back at the track league in Derby. Liam explained why he has started his season on the track saying “the racing helps me get up to speed so when I get to the start of the season, I’m already on the pace and not rusty in those first races. That’s a nice feeling to have.”

A feather is his cap is his victory in the Tour of Assen, a hard fought race, especially in the Junior category. It is a race with lots of riders competing from across Europe and big crowds to cheer on the young riders from Juniors down to the youth categories. Liam says of the race “They were very feisty juniors I was racing against and it was very hectic in the cross winds and on the cobbled sectors.”

“It was amazing to make the right move at the right time and get away with another rider and then win the sprint with ease, giving me time to celebrate the victory as well. Afterwards, it was also great to be congratulated by all the British riders racing there, even lads I didn’t know.”
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Asked to compare Assen to UK Junior racing, Liam explained “in the UK, I find the races a lot hillier and they tend to have one stage with an epic hill in it somewhere. Like the Tumble (Junior Tour of Wales) or in the Junior Tour of Mendips they had this climb with a 30 per cent sector in it. So Assen was a very different race with crosswinds, cobbles and was pan flat too which suited me down to the ground.”

“Because it was flat, we were spinning out on the junior gears and I was thriving on that because of my past all the way back to cycle speedway when I was a youth rider.”

Looking forward to 2018 and racing with Vitus Pro Cycling, he says “I am mostly looking forward to the crits like the circuit series because I am sure I can mix it up there and do my part. I am a very adaptable rider although I am still learning about myself and strengths and weaknesses”.

“I’m not sure how I will fare on the long climbs at the moment because the only climb I have done is the Tumble in the Tour of Wales. But on the flat fast paced stuff, I find I am okay like on the flat stage in the Junior tour of Wales, I was in the break for the whole race and in the crit, I found that relatively easy despite being fatigued; so the faster, punchier races are at the moment suiting me.”
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Does Liam feel pressure being in a UCI team, he replies “No, not particularly. The only pressure I get is what I put on myself because I want to succeed in the sport as well as help teammates and do my job.”

Liam says he’s quite at home in a bike race rubbing shoulders with riders which is what happens out of sight of the cameras in races. “I don’t mind being in the middle of a bunch at all.” He also has an idea of what he will face from the chats he’s had with 2018 teammate, Adam Kenway who rode for Cherie in 2017.

Knowing he was going to be riding at the highest level in Britain, has meant a busy winter training. “I have just had several weeks very full on training to try and push myself to the next level. The whole winter has been very hard to prepare myself for the road season like leaving home at sun rise and getting home at sunset!”

“I found I was able to push out a 1300 watt sprint after five hours which is progress on doing that after two and half hours.”

Liam says he’s looking forward to testing himself against the top British pros where the level these days is high and he admits he doesn’t know what to expect and even just being part of a team is something he is keen to see how that feels. “I have been on teams but they weren’t the same as this is going to be. In the past, we’ve ridden for ourselves apart of Assen where I had a teammate helping me which made all the difference.”

Thanks to Liam and we look forward to seeing him racing in the striking new kit in 2018 …



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