News: Alexandar Richardson (Alpecin-Fenix)

Teammate to Mathieu van der Poel at Alpecin-Fenix (formerly Corendon Circus), Britain’s Alexandar Richardson is ready for the new challenge in a ProConti team

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News: Alexandar Richardson (Alpecin-Fenix)

Winner of the Lincoln Grand Prix as a privateer, 2019 saw Alexandar Richardson race for Canyon DHB spending a lot of time in Europe, winning races and making his mark in the pro races there. He did such a good job, he will race for Alpecin-Fenix (formerly Corendon Circus) alongside one of the most exciting riders in the world, Mathieu van der Poel.

Richardson is one of three Brits in the team along with cyclocross silver medallist at the British championships on the weekend and a former double World junior champion Ben Tulett and another former Lincoln GP winner, Scott Thwaites.

When asked what was it like signing for such a team, something so many British pros are hungry for, Alexandar replied “Fantastic. A huge boost for morale and it’s great to realise that I’ll be doing some of the races from the books and documentaries that were only a dream or fantasy. I’d been in contact with the team since early in the season so was thrilled naturally. They are everything I had believed they would be in terms of professionalism.”

Getting a ride in such a team meant spending a lot of races abroad with Tim Elverson’s Canyon DHB. But not just racing there, winning too. Alexandar says the key races helping him get a ride at Alpecin-Fenix were wins in the Wanzele pro kermesse, Puelvilde pro kermesse, Holland Cup, Arno Wallard UCI RR, Stage of Tour de la Mirabelle UCI Race, Zwevezele pro kermesse as well as 6th in the British Road Race Championships.

Looking back at his season abroad for the British team, Alexandar says “I loved the Ronde van Overjissel UCI race where I was 6th. It was 210km of crosswinds and I missed a split early on and had to ride over a gap. Awful. Hardest I went all year – just ask Louis Rose Davies, he had never seen me in such a state!!”

“After settling down, it started hailing and was just so cold. Later in the race I decided to have a go 30km out which was pretty stupid. Unsurprisingly, I was caught and a counter move went over the top. I managed to get over to the elite group of seven at the front but had spent far too much throughout the day. Nevertheless that was a massive highlight and fun race! It had it all”.

When racing in Britain, Alex was always active in his races and his solo win at Lincoln was an example of that. In 2019, Alexandar had wins at the Wally Gimber and Severn Bridge early season classics among other victories but it’s the races in Europe he feels that suit him best.

“Agree” says Alexander. “They are longer in duration which is just the way I have always trained and I like more endurance based work. Premier Calendars are also very good fun and the courses are really good. Grippy and hard but I felt the focus needed to be abroad this year so I could expose what I thought I may be able to do”.

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For sure Alexandar was able to show off his talents in Europe and the reward for the hard work and meticulous planning to his training was a ride in one of the really exciting teams for 2020. Looking ahead to this year, are there specific races in the 2020 calendar he would like to ride? “The classics!” was the immediate response which is hardly a surprise and we wish Alexandar well in getting a ride in the races with household names. It may not be a ‘classic’ but the season kicks off for him in a very well known stage race for Alexandar, Étoile de Bessèges starting on February 5th.

Asked if he has changed much in his training ahead of a key year in his cycling career, Alexandar says “not a huge amount to be honest. Just continuing to focus on my natural progression, that’s all I can do. Progressing sustainably and sensibly is the key. Subtle changes that’s all. Maybe a few more hours and consecutive days if anything. More carb periodisation also”.

To finish, I asked Alexandar what it is about racing in the ‘pro peloton’ that is so attractive for riders to go so deep in their focus to try and make that leap from the British peloton to the one in mainland Europe. He replied “I guess it’s feeling like a pro. It’s why we got into the sport to feel pro and just have a go! And a good one if possible at that!”

We wish Alexander well for his 2020 season and hope the wins continue but in the bigger races. No win is ever easy so to have won as much as he has not just here but in Europe shows he has that winning focus that should hold him in good stead now that he is moving up a level. Thanks for the chat Alexandar!

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