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“You need to be able to “Stick your nose in the wind”. “Got to be prepared to really grunt.”
With two wins, notably achieved four years apart in 2009 and 2013, Ian Wilkinson’s performance at the CiCLE Classic can only be described as outstanding.
A background in cyclo-cross and marathon mountain bike racing, his skill as a builder, managing hazards and risks and his Lancashire grit all seem to have contributed to his ‘superman’ edge. An edge that sets him apart from his contemporaries in the CiCLE Classic where the mix of on and off-road racing suits his style unreservedly.
So we asked Wilko if a third win at the CiCLE Classic 2015 could be a possibility, or is it really “a race of fortune.”
“I’d say it’s mostly down to the training you do, but fortune is 90% in my opinion, just look where Yanto punctured last year!!”
“I’d say if you put in good preparation, training, and you’re in a quality team like Raleigh GAC, the rest is down to the way the dice rolls on the day.”
Since the 2014 season there have been a few changes within Team Raleigh GAC with the departure of names such as Yanto Barker, 2014 BC Elite Road Series winner and 2012 CiCLE Classic winner Alex Blain and the arrival of internationals such as Karol Domagalski from Poland who rode the 2014 Vuelta a Espana, sprinter Matti Manninen from Finland and former South African under-23 road race champion Calvin Beneke.
Together with Tour of Britain rider Steve Lampier, 2012 British Junior Road Race Champion Sam Lowe, and crit specialist Andy Hawdon there have been a number of additions to the squad.
“Yes, Raleigh GAC has changed a number of riders over the winter but the new squad has bonded well and with some strong additions we should have a rider for every outcome, fortune permitting!! This will produce a more open dynamic with no one rider necessarily protected.”
Although well into the Spring Classics season and already with a podium at Eddie Soens memorial race, we asked Ian how his winter training had gone in preparation, he said:
“Winter has been a bit more old school for me. I’ve been working on renovating my new house and that has seen a more focused approach to training but my time spent in Lanzarote has perked up the hours!
“Usually I’ve been operating a standard working day of 8am til 2pm followed by a bike ride home.”
And many a rider can sympathise with the hours spent on the turbo, so we asked … how he gets through the repetitive nature of that?
“It’s a case of needs must usually, but it’s nice to share twitter pics and interact with people via social media as it helps to get it done.”
When we asked what he would like to achieve this year, ‘Superman’ Wilkes said:
“Win everything I can and help the younger or newer riders to succeed.”
And when we asked how he measures success, he said:
“During training…with a power meter and stopwatch;
in a race… best placed team finisher.”
So with his Raleigh GAC team based in Derby, we wondered if he might be seen at the new Derby velodrome in his now, trademark bobble hat!
“I hope so!! It sounds like a great facility and some of the guys have been on there already. If I am down that way and it’s a chilly day, I could well sport my bobble hat on the way into a track sesh!! Haha”
Thanks Ian and best of luck for you and your team at CiCLE Classic 2015.