Q&A: Paul Double (Holdsworth Zappi)

In the 2020 line up for Holdsworth Zappi is Paul Double, 2nd in the Hill Climb champs and who rode for Italian Conti team Colpack in 2019 and found himself battling out races with the likes of Nibali, Chaves and Aru

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Q&A: Paul Double (Holdsworth Zappi)
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– Where are you from and where will you be based when racing for the team?
Paul: I’m from Winchester, Hampshire in the South of England but will be based with the team in Italy.

– How did you come to sign for Holdsworth Zappi after time with Colpack?
Paul: Big setbacks from crashes and an ongoing health issue have meant a very ‘mixed’ 2019. However, as always a great upwards trend in my form and fitness means Flavio continues to believe in me and my potential. He has given me an opportunity to prove myself once more with the excellent calendar he provides.

– Tell us about your team for 2019 – Colpack – UCI Conti?
Paul: Team Colpack is one of the driving forces in Italian racing. A team I had previously raced a lot. To ride with them was a great experience, they have a top setup and being Conti a great calendar also.

– When did your 2019 season begin?
Paul: I started 2019 at Giro di Sicilia, also my first Professional race.

– What highlights were there for you in 2019 with Colpack?
Paul: Riding with the professionals, although tough, it certainly made me realise these ranks are reachable for me. Competing in races an hour longer than I usually do with some of the best in the world but not feeling overly out of my depth. Some of these instances at Tour of the Alps, GP Lugano and Giro Del Emilia would be my highlights.

– Role did you have in the team at Colpack
Paul: I was a climber, but due to my stop-start season and I guess uncertainty from the team, I worked for the team a lot – one of the reasons I feel my season was disappointing, lack of opportunities in a season with already few races.

– Racing with an Italian team must be so different to British races. What do you enjoy most about it?
Paul: It’s got everything; the weather, the terrain, every race is a spectacle, it’s beautiful, every race even down to regional level is like those you see on TV. Plus, there aren’t cars driving towards you (generally), something foreigners are bemused we have to deal with in the UK.

– What race was the most fun to do with the team?
Paul: GP Lugano stands out for me, battling in a select group with Nibali, Chaves, Aru and the likes in the latter stages.

– What is the favourite race in Europe you have done so far?
Paul: Giro Del Emilia – the field was just so stacked, the atmosphere was incredible and I did a very strong ride.

– Did you race exclusively on the continent or in Britain as well?
Paul: The only ‘race’ I did this year in the UK was National Hill Climb Champs where I was happy enough with second, 9 seconds behind a hillclimb specialist. In hindsight, I should have prepped for it.

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– Was there one thing you learned in 2019 that stands out?
Paul: Results mean everything.

– What are your aims for the 2020 season?
Paul: Results… I hope to have a proper crack at 2020 with as few setbacks as possible and get the results I’m capable of to ensure a contract in 2021.

– When will you start racing in 2020
Paul: It looks like late February we will be kicking things off.

– When did you start training for the 2020 season and was that in UK or abroad?
Paul: I restarted training in mid November. Sadly, here in the UK

– To get to where you are now, who are the people/sponsors who have helped most …
Paul: Again, Flavio Zappi’s belief in me has been amazing from the start, even in 2019 (whilst with Colpack) he continued to be a close mentor for me, and I’m looking forward to spending 2020 with him and the team.

Thanks to Paul and good luck for 2020 with the new team 

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