Riding for GC: Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)

Race insights – in 2015, Erick Rowsell was 8th overall so we asked him for an insight into what it is like to ride for GC in the Tour of Yorkshire

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Riding for GC: Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis)

“It is a difficult race to ride GC for especially being over four days” Erick explained at the start of Klondike GP. “There are potentially two or even three days that could be GC days.”

Erick Rowsell getting in some hard miles before the Tour of Yorkshire by being out front of the Klondike GP all day on Sunday

“When you go into a race like that riding for GC, every single day you can’t sit back at all. We saw that a few years ago when both myself and Rich (Handley) were up there on GC and Rich lost time on a sprint stage when a few gaps appeared so every day you are fighting not to lose time. So you have to prepare well for it so we’ve had a good recce of it so we know the stages where the difficult climbs are.”

“Doing that helps massively when you have an idea of the parcour and you can see where you think the race is going to be made. You have to be careful the way you ride and select the days you think are going to be GC days but at the same time not be stupid and give away any time on the days that are not GC days. Like the one that finishes in Scarborough, it’s exposed and if the wind blows we could have splits on that.”

“That’s what makes riding for GC and it is stressful. During a stage, you can get an idea of how it’s going to go like if the break has just gone and everyone stops, then you can afford to cruise round for a little bit but if you’re serious about riding for GC, then you need to be quite aware of what is happening and also have your teammates around you to get you out of trouble if need be.”
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“Having a team behind you helps massively especially in a race like the Tour of Yorkshire with the climbs it has where as a GC rider, you have to have the legs to go with the moves but most of the race is done getting into the bottom of the climbs. Especially into that hill top finish on stage 2, it’s going to be like a bunch sprint lead out at the bottom of that climb so to have a team around you to deliver you at the bottom of the climbs at the right time is one of the key things. You can have the best legs in the world, but if you start it in 100th wheel, you’re not going to be there at the finish.”

Asked if you have to be very aware of riders letting wheels go even in a race packed with WorldTour pros, Erick replied “massively. More so in that type of race where a world tour rider has done their job. Where as in Britain, some guys will carry on after doing their job because they want a top 10 or top 20, the world tour riders doesn’t care if he finishes last once he has done the lead out so people will sit up and that is how gaps form. So you have to be aware not to give away stupid time.”

Good luck to Erick and Madison Genesis in the Tour de Yorkshire





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