Is the first time you have had support from the Dave Rayner Fund?
This is my second year of being supported by the Dave Rayner Fund, and the support they give is invaluable when you are trying to reach your goal of becoming a top level cyclist in a very competitive environment.
What is your cycling history?
Initially, I got my first Decathlon road bike when I was 7 years old, and they weren't easy to buy for kids, but after a couple of years or so, I pretty much stopped cycling before getting back into it in 2013, when I was accepted by Bristol Cycling Development Squad for their academy. This was when I realised how much I wanted to become a top level rider, and since then I have taken advantage of every opportunity I have been given to develop my skills and experience riding in some amazing races, especially with my previous team HMT Cycling with JLT Condor, in England, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and Spain. My best results to date are finishing 5th in the Philippe Gilbert Classic, 1st in Stage 2 of the Junior Vuelta Pamplona, and 4th in the Junior British National Road Championships.
What team are you joining?
In 2018 I will be riding with the Eiser-Hirumet team. This is my second year with the team. I had a great time riding with them in 2017 and I am hoping that after the experience of Spanish racing, and the techniques I developed, 2018 will be even better.
Tell us a bit about your team.
My team was a fairly new team in 2017, and I think we all learned a lot. This year, we have a strong team of 16 riders, with riders from England, Spain and Columbia and we are looking forward to making a serious impact on the Basque racing scene. It is based in Northern Spain, known as the Basque Country, in a town called Durango. We mainly concentrate on Basque races, regularly competing against some top level U23 teams.
What is your race programme looking like?
My race programme this year is to focus on the races within the Basque Country, particularly the Torneo Lehendakari, where I hope to get some good, strong results. These are very difficult races over pretty steep terrain, which suits my style of racing. However, our race calendar also includes a number of Vuelta's, Spanish Cup races and the odd European tour race, so I am expecting a relatively varied season too.
Where are you going to live?
I will be living in the same apartment I lived in last year, which is in the centre of Durango, with two other team mates. It is a very typical Basque town, where very few people speak English! We are surrounded by some awesome mountains and scenery, but can also be on the coast in 30 minutes and the beaches are awesome too. It is a fantastic part of Spain to live, ride and race in, and I am very fortunate to have this opportunity.
What bike will you be riding and who supplies the team kit?
The bike I will be riding this year is a Ridley Noah SL, and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces in the mountains! Our kit is sponsored by a few local companies, and supplied by Bio-racer, with Catlike helmets.
Do you have any other interests outside of cycling?
Not a lot, as cycling does tend to take up a huge amount of your time, both on and off the bike! However, I do enjoy fishing if I really want to relax, but as I have just moved to Spain, I am looking forward to exploring my new surroundings and no doubt enjoying lots of coffee shops and sunshine!!