Rider Chat: Chris Latham (Vitus Pro Cycling)

The sprint weapon for Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK in 2019 is Chris Latham who has spent the winter on the six day circuit but says he’s fully committed to the road in 2019

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Rider Chat: Chris Latham (Vitus Pro Cycling)

A Bronze medallist on the track at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Scratch Race) and World Championships, Chris Latham is one of the sprint weapons for the Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK team in 2019

Back at the team’s launch, Chris explained that 2018 was a struggle and it had not been a great year for him. He went on to say that whilst he will be doing the six day events, he is fully committed to the road and the morning we spoke, had been out on the road for four hours in minus two getting some endurance base work in.

“The six days are good for speed and I may do a few track leagues too as they are good to keep that speed in the legs and that definitely helps”. World Cups etc though are off the menu and his sights are on progressing on the road.

Getting a ride with a team after his old one folded, and with few results to speak of in 2018, he expected it was going to be a struggle to find a squad for 2019 but with his speed that saw him win the Klondike GP in 2017, that ability to win at the highest level here saw him okay for a ride this season.

“I have never committed to the road, always been focused on the track and did the Commys and the Worlds last year and that feels like 10 years ago. So now I’m going to commit to the road. Ideally, I want to go to the top and do all the classics and put all my eggs on the road and I believe I can do it if I put my head to it and actually train.”

Whilst he is one of the fastest riders in the country, Chris admits he needs more than just a sprint to start winning. “I do work on the sprint but in the British scene, how many races come down to sprint so I will need to up my game and lose some weight too”.

At Leicester last year, Chris was fighting for the win at the end of that race but came down at speed as he crossed the line in third place. It was a very heavy crash but Chris admits that whilst he came out of it a bit battered for two weeks, he was alright and the day after went to Sierra Nevada with the Yates brothers adding tongue in cheek that he helped train them up so Simon could win the Vuelta!

“Leicester was the first race I was competitive in so that was decent” he says looking back at the kermesse. He then explained that at the time, in that sprint, there was gap and he believed he could get through it. “At the time, I reckoned I could fit through it and you’re straight through and then we touch and bang. It all happened so quick. But at the time, I was like I can get through but I didn’t.”
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Many months on from that crash, and asked whether he prefers the crits or road, Chris replies “I think I prefer the road but I don’t mind the crits and they will be something I will have to do. It’s not that I don’t like doing them because I do, they are fast and something I should be good at”.

Being part of a strong team in 2019 also makes the prospect of racing both road and crits that much better. “It’s mint. It was quite late on the season that it was sorted out and it’s great with half of JLT here with some decent names giving us a good crit team so that we’ll be competitive each week.”

Asked if he feels less pressure on his shoulders with the likes of Thwaites, Clancy, Briggs, Slater and so on in the team, Chris says “the main pressure comes from me really because I want to do well and I want to progress. The long term goal is to go WorldTour so I want to get on the road, put all my eggs in it. Even if the races are hilly, I can lose the weight and commit to it and then I’ll get up some climbs if I lose five kilos but whilst that’s easier said than done, I know I can do it. I’m never going to be a goat though… !”

We look forward to seeing Chris racing on the road soon ….

1st Beaumont Trophy
2nd Six Days of London (with Oli Wood)

1st Stage 5 Olympia Tour
2nd Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde
3rd Grand Prix Pino Cerami
7th Paris–Tours Espoirs

1st East Cleveland–Klondike GP
3rd Bronze Scratch race, UCI Track World Championships
4th Velothon Wales

3rd Bronze medal Scratch race, Commonwealth Games
3rd Leicester Castle Classic



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