Interview: Richard Eastham
Graham Robins has been reporting on the WXCRL Championship all season and he recently chatted to the winner, Richard Eastham.
Richard Eastham has won the inaugural WXCRL 2009 Championship. Riding for Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers, he was the most consistent performer, picking up points in nearly every race he's ridden in: never outside the top 3 in the table Richard picked up points from the first event in February right up until last week's race. Unfortunately for Richard the season ended with a crash and a slow walk across the line.
Richard came from Preston and settled in Bournemouth with his job 12 years ago and the last couple of years have seen him start a family: last year saw the birth of Richards's son Gregory followed this year with the birth in May of a daughter Natasha, and he even found time to move house. Despite all this domestic activity, Richard has made time for cycling: "Bike riding is the only time I get to sit now" he quips.
When he's not playing the roles of attentive family man or riding his bike, Richard is a urban design consultant and he also works part time for Southampton City Council in their design department. Like many bike riders, he fits his cycling into his lifestyle: "I have been riding to Southampton from Home once a week on a fixed gear bike, a journey time of 1hr 45mins each way: It's very good training as my racing is my training now."
"I didn't race last year and my son was born and I really missed it and really wanted too. When I found out Don and Mark (Standhaft) were organising the league I thought I would have a go. I began the year doing time trials as I had never done one before and I focused on that but after winning points in the early Wessex rounds I realised I should concentrate on that instead. I tried to be consistent and started the year as a third cat and by mid season had enough points for my second cat. I have been mixing TTs and Road Races just to get some consistency. As I get older I don't have the jump so I try and get in a break and stay away and that's been my tactics this year."
It's been a long hard season for Richard and he's beginning to feel it: "I started to run out of steam after the Dorset 3day Tour." But it's a season he'll be looking back on fondly. He's also quick to give credit to the organisers for putting on the series: "I'd like to thank ‘Team Standhaft' for organising a fantastic series, the atmosphere has been great. I hope next year more teams come on board and keep the momentum".