Feature interview – Rob Scott

British Under 23 RR Champion, Rob Scott (Team Wiggins) was one of the riders of 2018, winner at Skipton, second at Leicester Castle and many other top 10 rides – we chat

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Feature interview – Rob Scott

British Under 23 RR Champion, Rob Scott (Team Wiggins) was one of the riders of 2018, winner at Skipton, second at Leicester Castle and many other top 10 rides. During one of his full on rest days in France before his season began, we had a chat …

At the end of 2018, Team Wiggins was one of the teams who’s future was uncertain but thankfully for the sport, the development team for Under 23 riders is back in 2019 and again, providing a balanced race programme here and abroad for its riders.

One of the riders in the team is 20 year old Rob Scott who had a pretty decent 2018 season, his second as a senior rider with a memorable win alongside teammate Tom Pidcock at Skipton and several second places here and abroad among the many highlights.

I started by asking his thoughts on his team continuing to give riders like him the opportunity of racing here and abroad. He replied “it’s great the team is on the road again in 2019. It’s a smaller team, 12 riders, and if anything I think that is better because with a smaller team you are in more races with each other and get to know each other better so I think overall it’s come out better. I’m really happy to be in the team and to see where it takes me. Hopefully it can be my last year and I can move up but if not, I’m under 23 for another year after this”.

Rob is second to Gabz Cullaigh at Leicester in 2018 before crashing into the barriers

Rob explained that he’s entering a crucial period which is make or break for Under 23 riders. “The last two years of under 23 is when you need to get your results on the continent if you want to go WorldTour” adding that it’s easier to step up to the higher ranks from under 23.

Talking about what it’s like to ride with the Wiggins name on his back, he says “you have to respect the jersey and the name on it because whilst we are only a Conti level team, we are as well known as some WorldTour teams just because of the Wiggins name. The team is in the spotlight a lot more than a lot of other conti teams just because of the Wiggins name. All the cyclists know who Bradley Wiggins is and at cafes, you do get people talking to us where if you rocked up in another team’s jersey, they may not say anything because it’s just another jersey. The name gets a lot of media for us for sure.”
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Team Wiggins, as we are already seeing, is running a programme of races both here and abroad and whilst there may not be as many foreign races as in 2018, there are still plenty of big races for the Team Wiggins rider’s to make their mark in.

“Last year, not many international races clashed with the prems so the team should still be able to do them as well if need be to give the riders exposure to moving on from the team if they be successful” says Rob.

The prems of course are important to the team to try and qualify a place for the Tour of Britain which is expected to have a qualification system in place again like it has for a few years now but Rob added that even if there are clashes between prems and races abroad, the team has enough riders to do two races on the same day.

And being such a young team means that going to the races can be quite enjoyable. “The trips are a right laugh” says Rob. “The first year we had Chris Latham on it so that was always going to be funny and then this year was mega. Every single trip was non stop laughing. You look forward to going to a race not just because of the race but the banter too”.

Part of that comes from having grown up in racing with the riders in team Wiggins, riders like World champion sensation, Tom Pidcock for example, who like Rob is from Yorkshire. “At my first session at Bradford’s Richard Dunn Sports Centre, there was a little kid on a bike far too big for him. I asked him how old he was because he looked five years old and he said he was 12 … from then on we did did the same races at the youth league. I’m a year older so went up to juniors first and from then we on we’ve raced together but I reckon he just likes following me around to honest” ….

And speaking of Tom and Rob, the Elite Circuit Series race at Skipton in 2018 was memorable because the two of them escaped together  and finished 1-2(above), arms aloft and Rob crossing the line first and getting the ‘win’.  “That was mega” says Rob. “We both often ride around Skipton and normally go to the café there and Skipton is always a town we ride through on our rides so it was a local race for us. So it was great to get in a break with Tom and race it that way”.

Asked to rate his 2018, Rob says “it was a good year. I moved out of the junior ranks in 2017 and that was all about finding my feet in the longer races. Then in 2018 it was time to knuckle down and try to get in at there at the sticky end of the races which is what I did. It was a real good year. After the Tour Series, things started going well and I think the Tour Series gave me some good form because it is so hard and so dead good training. I managed to hold that form for the rest of the year”.

Because of his sprint wins, I was under the impression that Rob was more a sprinter type of rider but he explained he wasn’t just a sprinter …. “I wouldn’t say I’m really a sprinter but if I am in the right place, I can do a good sprint. I don’t like flat and fast races but ones more like Klondike with some short climbs, a three or four minute effort. That’s the stuff I like”.
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So, shaping up to be a classics style rider then I asked? “I have my eye on a few Under 23 classics at the start of the year so hopefully I can get picked by GB for them but you never know. Looking ahead at 2019, Rob says he’ll split the year up into three sections… “The first part is a period where you have races (under 23) like Gent Wevelgem, Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and Tour of Flanders. Two of them are with GB so it’s not a given I’ll get a ride but Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux will be with Wiggins, a stage race, so that is probably my biggest goal”.

The team are also looking to return to Portugal where Gabz Cullaigh had such success in 2018 and Rob would like to emulate what he did there and test his legs in that race. And speaking of hilly races, Rob also added that the Under 23 Liège – Bastogne – Liège is another race he’d like to do well in.

“I’d like to give that a good crack as well because even though it is dead hilly, I did it in my first year and if the race went the right way for me and I made a group of 20 or 30 at the finish, I think I could do quite well”.

The goals for the second part of the season is the Road Championships in Norfolk where Rob will look to do well in the time trial and road race whilst the final goal is an event in Yorkshire in September. “To race the under 23 Worlds in Yorkshire would be a dream to do. So hopefully I can perform consistently and show myself for GB because not many people know them roads better than me!”

Finishing fourth (centre) and first Under 23 in the British Road Race championships in 2018, just behind man of the moment, Owain Doull who was second in Kuurne Brussell Kuurne last weekend

And speaking of Yorkshire, after his team has been snubbed for a few years, what would it mean as a rider in Team Wiggins to get to race the event for a Yorkshireman like Rob? “”That would be mint to get a ride in that and get a good result on one of the stages. To see the course for the worlds too would be great because it’s one thing to ride it but another to race it and so hopefully we can get selected and put in a good performance to make up for the two years that we have missed”.

Finally, we chatted about his winter and Rob explained that after spending December in Yorkshire, he went off to France. “My winter’s been the same as last year, building on my endurance.” To do a lot of that, Rob went off to a place near Nice in France. “I’m in France with Jacques Sauvagnargues so I am getting in some good miles. I have been here for a few weeks and here in France, if you say you’ll do five hours tomorrow, you will do it where as if you say that back home, you may only get three”.

Thanks to Rob for an interesting chat and we look forward to seeing him racing soon in Britain. 


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