Q&A: Jake Crossley (Tofauti Everyone Active)

Question and answer with 17 year old Jake Crossley of Tofauti Everyone Active who is based in Colchester, Essex and did his first race towards the end of 2016 and so has been racing for just over four years.

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Q&A: Jake Crossley (Tofauti Everyone Active)

Question and answer with 17 year old Jake Crossley of Tofauti Everyone Active who is based in Colchester, Essex and did his first race towards the end of 2016 and so has been racing for just over four years.

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Jake: I began racing bikes when I started doing local grass track training sessions set up by my local club Colchester Rovers. This is where I really fell for cycling and loved the racing.

Q: What has been the highlight of your cycle racing so far and why?
Jake: My highlight so far would definitely have to have come at the International Youth Tour of Belgium, where the field featured a lot of top class riders from around the world in the under 16 category. On stage 3, I managed to take a podium place, finishing 3rd. This also boosted my overall placing to 6th on GC.

VUK: What event has been the most fun to do so far in your cycle racing?
Jake: The most fun event for me would have to be the Youth Tour of London when I was a first year under 16. I didn’t do very well at all, but very much enjoyed the aspect of racing on the different courses around the London area over a couple of days of racing.

VUK: Did you get to race in 2020 and if so, what events and how did you find them?
Jake: Yes, I got to race at the beginning of 2020 with some winter circuit series outings, trying to get my second cat license, which would allow me to race in bigger and better races around the UK. The first three races I did in the year, got me three wins, all from breakaways. The first two races took place at Lee Valley Velopark next to the velodrome, the third was at Redbridge’s Hog Hill circuit. My fourth race was also at Hog Hill, where I placed 5th from the front group in the final sprint.

VUK: What was the hardest thing about not racing in 2020?
Jake: The hardest thing was definitely the unpredictability of when we would be back racing and what the racing would look like. This made training throughout the year very difficult, as I did not know what I was training for and when I would get to prove myself in my next race.

VUK: What was the longest ride and/or biggest challenge you had in 2020?
Jake: My longest ride was 242 km, in which I rode from Colchester to Lowestoft and back. It was a big day and took me just under eight and a half hours to complete. My biggest challenge has definitely been the lack of racing, as I have really pushed myself and made big advances in my ability and training, so the fact I haven’t been able to prove myself on race days has been very frustrating and challenging.

VUK: What has been the best bike you have ridden so far and why?
Jake: At this point the best bike I have ridden would have to be my Canyon Aeroad. It is an amazing bike which I love to ride.

…. continued after the advert.

VUK: What is the best thing about being part of a team like your one?
Jake: There are many great things about being a part of Tofauti Everyone Active. If I had to pick out one thing in particular, it would probably be the huge support they offer you as a rider. Huge opportunities in racing by getting into very prestigious races across Europe. They also support you in a very different way to most other junior teams by allowing riders to take control of their own development, which I believe is key for developing junior riders.

VUK: What event in 2021 are you looking forward to most?
Jake: In 2021 I am most looking forward to the Junior Tour of Wales. This is a race I have been wanting to do since I was an under 14 as it is such a big race in the junior race calendar. I’m also really looking forward to getting some key UCI races in Europe.

VUK: How many hours a week do you do on average training?
Jake: This varies from week to week, depending on recovery and building up my training. But it’s usually between 14-20 hours a week.

VUK: Where is the favourite part of the world you like to ride your bike?
Jake: This would definitely have to be Mallorca. It has such amazing roads to ride on and climbs to smash up. As well as flat roads to have easier days on.

VUK: If it is raining/snowing, do you have a rest day and put the feet up, or do the session on the turbo?
Jake: Unless it’s completely unrideable, I do still like to get out to ride. If it’s too dangerous however, I will be on the turbo enjoying a ride in Mallorca on RGT.

VUK: What’s your favourite social media and why?
Jake: Instagram for me. I am a fan of its simplicity and ease of use. Also it’s an easy way to keep up with what other riders and friends are up too.

VUK: What’s the furthest you have traveled for a bike race?
Jake: The Youth Tour of Scotland. This journey seemed to go on and on. Legs felt horrible after finally getting there.

VUK: How do you keep warm (how much clothing) on the bike during a freezing winter like this?
Jake: Luckily, I have a lot of team kit provided by Paria which is really nice kit to keep you warm in these very cold months.

VUK: The roads are icy, do you go off-road or stay inside?
Jake: I’ll be indoors for that. Would probably break an arm if I went off-road.

VUK: Finally, if you could win one race this year, which one would it be?
Jake: Would have to be Junior Tour of Wales. Would be an amazing race to win.

Thank you Jake and good luck for 2021!

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