Q & A: Tom Elwood (Brother UK/LDN)

Quiz time with Tom Elwood of Brother UK/LDN who has been with the team in previous years and who started racing in 2016 on the road

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Q & A: Tom Elwood (Brother UK/LDN)

Quiz time with Tom Elwood of Brother UK/LDN who has been with the team in previous years and who started racing in 2016 on the road. Tom says “I was with Team LDN last year, and I’ve been coached by Ian (LDN team manager) since 2015 when I was riding for CC London”.

– How long have you been racing
Tom: I started racing on the road in March 2016, but prior to that I raced a bit of XC and a few downhill races. I’ve been racing bikes in some way for the best part of 10 years.

– What brought you into cycle racing?
Tom: It was actually Ian that got me into road racing. He started coaching me for mountain biking, but thought I’d be better on the road. It took him about four months to persuade me to do my first crit, and to be fair he was right. I was 4th in my first race race and up to elite by 2018.

– Highlights of your season 2019?
Tom: 2019 was probably my toughest year racing. I had a lot on at work and away from riding and ended up losing my elite licence. There are two definite highlights though. The first was the Dirty Reiver gravel event in Kielder Forest which took me right back to being a mountain biker. The second was getting round the nationals with my team mate Michael. Neither of us had got round a Nat A before and it was a mega day out, so that was pretty special.

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– What was the best organised/fun race you did in 2019?
Tom: This is totally biased, but it has to be Team LDN crit series at Hog Hill. Being part of a team where the riders run the races made for some of the most fun days of the season.

– What was the toughest race you did in 2019
Tom: Rutland (CiCLE Classic. I will get round eventually.

– What’s your favourite London circuit for racing on?
Tom: Hog Hill

– Was there one thing you learned in 2019 that stands out that you feel will help you in 2020?
Tom: I spent a lot of time last year doing the races I thought I should be doing and not enjoying it. So this season I’m planning to race the circuits I enjoy and hopefully make racing more fun.

– Your bike for 2020 – what will it be and how will it be set up (groupset/wheels etc)
Tom: Bianchi Oltre XR4, Stayer 55/65 wheels and a mish mash of other bits. I had a bike fit with team mate/sponsor Soigneur London last week, so it’s on point for the season.

– What races are you looking forward to most in 2020?
Tom: The LDN series at Hog Hill is back, and hopefully Rutland if we get in again. Monument Cycling also put on great races so I’m excited for those, especially the Saffron Walden GP which I missed last year. Other than that I’m most excited to be going back to Dirty Reiver and also the Frontier 300 in June.

– Where’s your favourite training ride?
Tom: Regent’s Park is probably one of the most unique places I’ve ever ridden a bike. The scene is amazing and I’ve made a lot of friends from riding there. Plus it’s lit year round and almost never frozen which makes it the ideal place to get intervals in.

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– Best things about being part of your team?
Tom: I think the fact that the team puts on it’s own races is really cool. It created such a good atmosphere amongst the riders last season and I’m really excited to be doing those again this year. Ian’s dedication to supporting riders of all abilities is pretty inspiring too. One weekend you’ll see him coaching new riders at our crits or on Regent’s Park, and the next he’ll be in the team car at Lincoln or Rutland supporting his riders. What he does is amazing and it definitely lifts the whole team.

– When did you start your training for the 2020 season
Tom: I stopped racing quite early last year and took some time off, so I’ve been back training since October. I wouldn’t really say I was training for the 2020 season though. I just like being out riding.

– Is your training endurance based (hours on the bike) or effort (interval) based with less hours?
Tom: I work full time as a surveyor in London so I don’t have a lot of hours available to train. Generally it’s more interval based, but with an increasing amount of endurance stuff in there too.

– Any warm weather training planned – if so, where’s your favourite destination to escape the British weather?
Tom: The team’s off to Calpe in a couple of weeks for a week of riding which should be fun. I’ve not ridden in a tonne of other places, but Calpe seems to have everything you could want as a place to ride over winter.

– When do you expect to start racing in 2020
Tom: I’ve had my first race of the season cancelled 2 years in a row now, so who knows. Hopefully Cyclopark in early March…

– Anyone to thank?
Tom: If I could just say a huge thank you to the sponsors and helpers that put so much effort into the team last year to make it happen at all. It takes a lot to back a project with no results from scratch, so I hope I speak for the whole team when I say how grateful we are for their support last year and into this year. Hopefully we can continue to pay back that support.

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