Interview: Dan Tulett (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)

A World Championship medallist in cyclo-cross as a Junior, Dan Tulett of Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK is now focused on a road career

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Interview: Dan Tulett (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK)
Related: Question and Answer with Dan

Dan Tulett, a world championship medallist as a Junior in cyclo-cross, and second in the Lancaster GP in 2019, is one of the team’s big signings for 2020 and at a get together recently, Dan explained that his winter training has been hundred percent about the road.

Photo: James Docherty 

“It’s been the first year in my cycling career I haven’t done any cyclo-cross and I hope I have a good base by now. I spent some time in Spain with a few friends getting some miles in the legs and it has felt weird not doing cyclo-cross and I do miss it. I’d like to spend some time on the mountain bike just to keep using the skills I have got which I think is important.”

“I have reached a point in my career now when I need to give the road 100% and focus on one thing and try and make a living out of being a cyclist now. If I make it on the road, I’d like to return to cross at some point, but at the moment the focus is on the road. So many are coming over to the road from cyclo-cross and it’s being looked at just as much as another discipline as track.”

And his CX skills, are they useful on the road? “You definitely develop some skills that are useful on the road but I think at times, my cyclo-cross racing and training impacted on my ability to get a good base and consistent training because if you are racing every weekend, that can impact on your training if you are trying to focus on the road.”

2019 with Team Wiggins
Looking back at his season in the Wiggins colours in 2019, how was the year overall? “I had a lot of bad luck” Dan says “with crashes and punctures in races where I was close to some good results but you just have to keep going.”

“The Lancaster result frustrates me a bit because I was on the wrong side coming into the sprint, boxed in a bit against the barrier at the last chicane and I should have known to be on the other side as I was sprinting well in that race and was feeling strong so I would like to have got the win there. But I can’t be too unhappy with that podium.”

Whilst stage 8 in the baby Giro in 2019 didn’t result in a podium, it could have had it not been for that bad luck that Dan had during his racing. He was 8th on the stage but it could have been so much better as Dan explains. “That was bitter sweet because I was in the break and feeling very strong and then I punctured on the descent into the final climb. It was really wet and I got a neutral service rear wheel so I had no brakes and going down a mountain pass with that was quite scary. I managed to chase the group and come in 8th so I was quite happy with the performance but not the result.”

“That was the first time I’d raced proper mountains. I’d never had experience of anything like that before so it was completely new to me but I’d love to have the opportunity to race something like that again to test myself”.

Dan says his aims in 2020 are to perform well in the international races. “I really want to see what I can do in a race when I don’t have any problems. If you want to make it internationally, it’s important to have a programme of races in places like Belgium and other countries because that is where you are going to get noticed. It’s a shame Britain doesn’t have more UCI races as that would really help because the depth of talent here is more than enough to warrant more UCI races”.

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Dan’s younger brother Ben, a double Junior world champion in cyclo-cross has had his first road race for the his team in 2020 and did well with 5th overall in Turkey in the race Max Stedman won. Does Ben’s performances put pressure on Dan?

“Not really. It inspires me really. He has a good link with the team I’d like to ride for in future years so it is good have him do well and inspire me. He’s a very driven rider and pushes me in ways I would not push myself.”

Do they train together? “Not a lot. Ben’s training is quite strict and Ben is a very focused person. He goes out at the most outrageous hours but some times we do get to ride together if we’re doing a long ride.”

Asked what type of parcour’s suit him, Dan replies “to be honest, I am yet to find what type of races suit me. I feel I am an all-rounder with a fairly decent sprint on me and I can climb quite well. If I was to find a label for myself I’d say I was a ‘puncheur’ because I can go well up the short climbs”.

Dan (right) with all but one of the team for Le Samyn on Tuesday: Joe Sutton, Chris McGlinchey, Tom Mazzone,Mikey Mottram,  and Adam Kenway

Dan’s first race for Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK will be a tough Belgian race, with hills and cobbles. Mention cobbles, and Dan said last year he rode the Under 23 Paris Roubaix. “It was on a really hot day and I got quite bad heatstroke and quite literally rolled off the bike there but I really enjoy the style of racing there.”

We wish Dan and his team lots of luck for a race that Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Le Samyn describe as being a tough one. “The 201.9km-long course between Quaregnon and Dour has everything you could wish for from a one-day race: cobblestones, hills, and small and narrow roads, all ingredients for an exciting race” the Belgian team explains in a press release.

Their DS director Rik Van Slycke says “Le Samyn is a very hard race, we know that from the past years, so we are going there with a strong team. The parcours hasn’t changed and if it will be windy, then we’ll have to pay attention and make sure we are in the right echelon”, sports director Rik Van Slycke said.

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