Q&A: Chris McGlinchey (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)

Returning to the Vitus Pro Cycling Team p/b Brother UK in 2020 is Irish rider Chris McGlinchey who says it feels great to get a second season with the UCI team

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Q&A: Chris McGlinchey (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)

Returning to the Vitus Pro Cycling Team p/b Brother UK in 2020 is Irish rider Chris McGlinchey who says it feels great to get a second season with the UCI team. Here is a Q&A with Chris …

Where in Ireland are you based?
Chris: I just recently moved to a small village in a place called Ballynure, around 20 minutes outside of Belfast.

How is that area for training – lumpy, rolling flat and do you have a favourite training ride?
Chris: The area is perfect for training; quiet country roads on my door step. There is a great variety of terrain to suit the style of training I’m doing. If I want an easy ride, I’ll head out along the flat coast roads and if I’m looking for hills I’ll head over to the Glens of Antrim.

What does it mean to you to re-sign for team after showing how strong you were in 2019?
Chris: It’s a great feeling to sign with the team again in 2020 and to have the opportunity to race in the biggest races in the UK. Coming into the 2019 season was a bit of an unknown as I had only previously done a few UK races with Cycling Ulster. I think with every race I was learning more about the scene and growing in confidence.

What was the highlight of the 2019 season for you?
Chris: Highlight was for sure stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire. It was always the team’s goal to be represented in the breakaways. So to be able to get up the road and get that experience in a race of that calibre was awesome! The crowds that lined the street that day to cheer everyone on made it one to remember.

What was the most fun/enjoyable race in 2019?
Chris: I think the Manx International was one of the most enjoyable races of the year. As a team, we performed really well and there was an amazing atmosphere. Leading out Clancy and helping get two stage wins for the team was pretty special. Being at the pointy end of the results on the final queen stage was also a big confidence boost. I wouldn’t consider myself a climber so it was nice to be able to get a decent result on that brute of a stage.

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What was the toughest race in 2019 and why?
Chris: Toughest race for me in 2019 was probably the Irish Nationals. I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to get a good result that I forgot to enjoy the race. I think I was carrying a bit of underlying fatigue from a busy early season and didn’t quite have that edge I needed to get the result I wanted. Mentally it was a hard to come away from that one after having set myself a big goal.

Was there one thing you learned in 2019 about British racing that stands out?
Chris: I think the depth of field was a big one in comparison to racing back in Ireland. Generally you know the 10-15 really strong riders you need to watch out for in Ireland. Where as in the British scene everyone is super strong and it’s harder to read whether a break will stay away or the bunch will be organised enough to control it. The ToB selection process in 2019 was also a big stand out as I think a lot of the races were raced very tactically and negative at times with the selection in mind.

What are the best things about the 2019 race & training bike you have?
Chris: I have been riding Vitus for quite a few years now so I’m super comfortable on the frames. In 2019 we were riding the ZX-1, it’s a super responsive bike and it does a really good job of transferring power to the wheels. Racing on the new SRAM eTap AXS was amazing as well. It’s an extremely refined groupset and it just works flawlessly all the time. Having the wider gear ratio on the AXS groupset was also a big advantage. We also used Prime wheels for the year and they worked really well; stiff, light and reliable.

When does the serious training begin this winter?
Chris: I’ve started back training already. The season ended quite early this year with our team missing out on selection for Tour of Britain so I took a few weeks off in September and started back properly in early October.
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Is your winter training structured the whole time or a mix of riding the bike easy and then getting serious with top end work?
Chris: I’ve been working with my coach Bryan McKinney since I made the move from MTB to road cycling and he seems to know how to get the best out of my training. I generally have a fairly structured training plan the whole year. Working full time, I have to really maximise the quality of my training to make up for a lack in volume. I use my commute in and out of work to get the majority of my training in and then would try and get a longer ride in on the weekend. When it’s icy out, I jump on the Wahoo KICKR and do some Zwifting!

Do you train alone or is there a chain gang in your area?
Chris: I’ll mainly train alone as the majority of my training is commuting to and from work. When I get a chance, I’ll get out with a few mates on the weekend to make things a little more exciting!

Finally, what races in 2020 are ones you really want to work towards being part of.
Chris: Big goals for me personally this year will again be getting selected for Yorkshire and then Tour of Britain. I’d also like to race the National Road Series. Once the dates and venues come out I’ll sit down with my coach and try and target the specific rounds that suit me. I’d love to try and get a win for the team at a national round this year! Other than that, I’m just looking forward to getting racing with Chez and the team next year as we have a great group of riders.

Thank you to Chris and good luck for 2020! 


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