Feature Interview: Isaac Mundy

After a season with Madison Genesis, Isaac Mundy is looking forward to 2019 as part of the SwiftCarbon Pro cycling team – we chatted on the weekend

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Feature Interview: Isaac Mundy

Going from the Road season to the Cyclo-Cross season as I do every year, it’s not often I see riders from the road, especially from a UCI Conti team, racing cyclo cross. Last weekend at Ipswich there were three riders in the Men’s race all from UCI road teams and one of them was Isaac Mundy (Madison Genesis) who has ridden the National Trophy series and had his best finish at Ipswich with 6th.

Isaac does have a MTB background having done a little downhill along with cross country and 4cross. Talking after the race at Ipswich, he explained how it seemed like a good idea to do the trophy series to get a spot at the nationals but now, a few months into the CX season, it is feeling like a long year when combined with the racing he’s done on the road.

The multi race winner at the Crystal Palace and Hog Hill midweek league crit series is now grateful there’s a break before the final Trophy round at Shrewsbury which he is still mulling over and then the British Champs which will be live on TV and where Isaac will be in the colours of his new team.

Asked how the effort racing cross differs to the road, he says “it is not all that different to an elite crit. There is just a lot more to think about and it isn’t until you start doing it you realise how tactical it is in a totally different way and also how different the technical riding is to mountain biking. It’s taken me a little while to get up to speed with that, but I really love it. It’s such a rich sport in so many different ways where you have to be dialed in”.

Whilst Isaac admits to getting up to speed with cross, from the outside he looks ‘on it’. At York, when the race hit the grass, he was leading the race and then there’s the bunny hopping the hurdles where at Ipswich, only a few riders out of hundreds attempted that.

Chatting about the bunny hopping, Isaac says “I have ridden a BMX for 15 years so I am used to hopping over benches and so on. It didn’t start well after I went over the bars on the first lap in practice at Derby but it was interesting here (Ipswich) that on Saturday, it was a straight line out of the hurdles and a lot more advantageous to hop the hurdles but then they put the chicane in (to prevent bottle necks later on an offcamber section) and that evened it up between those of us riding the hurdles and those running over them”.

The cross though is just part of what he does on a bike. In 2019, he’ll be one of only a few riders from a UCI team in 2018 to race for the new SwiftCarbon Pro cycling team outfit. Ed Laverack (JLT Condor) is another.

Asked how it was in 2018 racing for Madison Genesis, his first year at Conti level, he replied “It was amazing to represent that team and jersey and have that support. The year before, you’re worrying about your bike and getting to races so this year was really good. In a team like that (conti) though there is uncertainty on your calendar and knowing what races you’re going to race and I ended up racing a bit on my own.”

“But I still feel I’m in a better place physically than the year before when I was coming into the Madison team and looking forward to taking that into the new team”.

With the road season, especially for British Conti teams being such a short but intense one, April to September if a team is lucky enough to get a ride in the Tour of Britain (if not, then season finishes pretty much in August), how does racing ‘cross and the road mix?

“I’m still figuring that out” Isaac replies. “I’m taking a few weeks off in January and will then ease into it by going away in February. There is possibility that we could be racing in Portugal in March where our sponsor is based so come the first prem, we will back up there although I’ve entered a 200km gravel race the day before so we’ll see how that goes!”

The end of this season has seen an unprecedented number of riders retire from the sport so when asked what keeps him going when the sport is tough on many fronts including keeping your spot in a team, Isaac replied “I wonder sometimes… But, I am still young (24) and next year will be my third full season on the road and I really love meeting new people, pushing myself and feel I have got more to kick on with and I want to see how we go.”

Isaac on the podium with Road champion Connor Swift, George Pym, Richard Handley and Jonny McEvoy at Bristol

“I am pretty lucky compared to all the people who don’t have a ride or are pursing something outside of the sport so to stay in a UCI team and in the mix is nice. It will be interesting to see how it goes. There are three teams that are super strong next year and Wiggins will be strong too, so it will be an interesting season tactically”.

“In my new team, it will be about instilling the confidence in the others who’ve done well in Europe this year that they can be in the front of the race. Sure, there is a step up to the level of the top riders on the big conti teams but the riders in our team and others have the same right to line up at the front of the race and get in breaks and not be intimidated by the other riders.”

Finally, looking at what races he’s interested in for 2019, Isaac, who says he did most of the prems in 2018 for Madison Genesis, admits that the one day classic style events will be good to get stuck into, races like Bristol adding that he’s also looking forward to doing more races in Europe as well. In the meantime, there’s a break from the ‘cross over Christmas with some ‘normal’ work to do before it all kicks off again in January.

Thanks to Isaac for the chat and good luck for 2019…



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