Q&A: Winner Toby Perry

A recent winner in Spain was Toby Perry, in the GP Vila-Real event, on May 16, his second win this year – we chat to him about racing Spain and his goals

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Q&A: Winner Toby Perry

A recent winner in Spain was Toby Perry, in the GP Vila-Real event, on May 16. Toby La Tova-Asesoría Almudévar and is quoted (in Spanish) on his team’s website “The team came into the race with the intention of making the mountainous part of the race tough to further my chances and break up the race. I attacked on the first of the two climbs and we formed a group of six riders in the lead, although we did not work well together. Therefore, I decided to have a go on a descent with 30 kilometres to go and distanced the rest. From then on, it was time to keep my down and push all the way to the finish line to arrive alone”.

Having seen Toby’s name come up in the international results, I could see the 21 year old’s results are quite outstanding. Two wins (GP Vila Real and Memorial Zunzarren-Estella), a second and fifth in March and a lowest placing of 24th. Asking Toby how he found the find Spanish team he rides for, Toby replied “I was in a cafe in October in 2019 without a team to ride for next year after my previous team folded late in the year. I seemingly contacted what I felt was like every team in Belgium and France without any luck. My friend Alex (Ashman) told me he had a team in Spain I could ask. I was not sure about going to Spain as I wasn’t sure how the racing would suit me but at this point I had nothing else. They replied saying one of their riders had just dropped out so if I wanted a spot, it was mine. I took the risk and accepted.”

Toby is based in the city of Huesca, a tiny place in the north of Aragon at the foot hills of the Pyrenees mountains about 250km west of Barcelona. Asked how he is finding living in Spain away from home, Toby replied “I’m really enjoying living in Spain this year. Last year it sucked being stuck on the turbo due to the very strict Spanish lockdown while everyone back at home could still go outside and ride. But this year I’ve been enjoying the nice weather and riding on proper climbs and decent weather that Spain has to offer”.

Toby says the highlights of the year so far are his victories. “This years highlights have definitely been taking my two wins at GP Vila-Real and Memorial Zunzarren-Estella. Getting to put my hands in the air and stand on the top step of the podium showing that all my hard work over the last few years have paid off.”

The racing in Spain Toby says is very professional and normally plays out like the pro races with an early breakaway being allowed to go before the top teams take control and bring them back later on. “The teams in Spain work together with dedicated leaders for the race and ride together keeping there man in position” adds Toby.

One of the impressions we get from the pro races that all the racing there is hilly but Toby says that isn’t the case. “This year I have done a huge range of different races with very different terrain. From mountains to flat racing with gravel sectors and crosswinds which lead to full bunch sprints.”

Finally, when asked what his goals are for the season ahead, he says “with the current situation in the world, it’s very hard to have specific goals for the season due the high chances of races being cancelled. I therefore have just been taking each race one at a time and treating it as it’s my last one. I have an overall goal of moving into the pro ranks and if was forced to choose a race goal would be the national championship if it goes ahead and if I can even get back to England to do it.”

Good luck to Toby for 2021 and look forward to seeing more victories.


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