Team News: Andy Shackle (Vitus Pro Cycling)

Chat with another rider for the new team, Vitus Pro Cycling, Andy Shackle who has ‘bounced’ back from breaking two vertebrae  and looking forward to his first season with a UCI team

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Team News: Andy Shackle (Vitus Pro Cycling)

One of the riders with a very close association with sponsor Vitus, is Andy Shackel. “I’ve been at Wiggle almost five years and it’s been great to see our own brand bikes evolve up to a level where they are being raced by UCI teams.

The Vitus brand has lots of heritage and you can see how this translates into the design of the bikes. The Vitesse Evo I raced last year felt absolutely dialled in and I couldn’t fault it. Although I’m moving teams, it’s great to have the confidence in the bike already there. I’m sure these frames will take us to lots of wins in 2018.

This year will be Andy’s 10th year of racing after coming into the sport through the Portsmouth School of Cycling. Down in Southampton, there is a famous 166 metre indoor track at the Calshot centre and it was there that Andy had his first experience of pinning a number on. “I would say my 2017 season has definitely been a highlight, with double the races I’ve won the year before, winning the Southern Crit Champs, and gaining my Elite license”.
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Asked what his reaction was when Cherie asked him to join the team for 2018, he says “I was super excited to get the call from Cherie. I know this is a huge step up for me and I can’t wait to make the most of every opportunity to gain experience with the team”.

Working for Wiggle, Andy has also had experience on the team’s Prime wheels so we asked what they were like from a rider’s perspective? “The Prime wheels are a great example of how Wiggle can create a product that can perform at the highest level, for an affordable price”.

“They use some of the best rims and spokes available to make a wheelset that can take pretty much anything I’ve thrown at it. So I’ve got no doubts about how they will perform this year. Up until now, I’ve only used the RP-50 Clinchers, which made a mega all round race and training wheel. This year, we’ll be using the tubular models as well which will definitely offer even better performance”.

At the end of 2017, Andy had a nasty crash at one of the most notorious crash fest events there is, the Red Hook Crits. We asked him how he is recovering? “I like racing the crits and track, so I decided to have a crack at the Red Hook Crit. I got on okay in Barcelona, then had a big crash in the Milan qualification event. I basically tried to corner like I was on a road bike and on a track bike, overshot a corner. I hit a wall and ended up breaking two vertebrae in my spine. I was off the bike for quite a while, then limited to the turbo for a long time too. I think this crash and all the time off I have had to have, has only made me more motivated to come back stronger, even if I have to push back target races by a few weeks. I know I can fully recover and get back to 100%.”
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Talking about his goals prior to signing for Vitus Pro Cycling, Andy explains “my main goals for last year were to win enough races and get the results to progress to a bigger team that would allow me to ride bigger races, which seems to have worked out!” His strengths as a rider, is his no fear approach. “I am willing to take risks” he says. “Nine times out of ten, a late attack might not work, but I’m always willing to take a chance just in case it does. I’m also looking forward to working as part of the team this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve raced on a big team, so that will be a big motivator.”

Looking back at his previous season, 2017, he says his one of his hardest races was the Southern Road Race championship. “I was keen to do a ride and headed off in an early break. On a tough course and with some strong company, that made it a really tough day up the road”.

With recovery from the crash a priority, Andy says he has been training indoors more than ever. Previously, I haven’t been a big fan of the turbo but this winter, I’ve learned to enjoy it and be really productive with the time I’ve got. I’ve also had one really productive training camp in January, which will be followed up with our Team Camp in February. I got some volume there which will definitely help out with bringing some form on”.

Finally, what are Andy’s goals for 2018 with Vitus Pro Cycling? “This year’s top goal has to be to get as many wins for the team as possible, whether it’s through a supporting role or otherwise. There are also a few big races I’ve got my eye on where I’d love to get some good results.”

Good luck to Andy in 2018 and above all, stay upright!



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