Preston Grand Prix Interviews

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2010 Preston Grand Prix Rider Interviews

Story posted August 9, 2010 | Click here for the Race Report

Women’s Circuit Race Championship Video Interviews (by Andrew Kennedy)
After a thrilling Women's Circuit Race Championship won by Hannah Barnes, the three medallists spoke to Andrew Kennedy:

Elite Men’s Circuit Race Series Finale (by Larry Hickmott & Andrew Kennedy)
There were two races within the one event at Preston (The Elite Circuit Series race).  The race between 80 riders on the start line for the race itself and eventually won by Kristian House, and the one for the Elite Circuit Series series between Ian Wilkinson and Dean Downing. British Cycling caught up with the movers and shakers in both these ‘races’.

Ian Wilkinson and Dean Downing

Kristian House (1st): “Dean (Windsor) was very strong out there today and once we got away, we worked well together and put our heads down. Once the gap was established, we just cruised it. Then we talked about how were going to race it out and I sat on him a bit at the end. He jumped me down the back straight but it was a good end to the race for me.

This course was good for me, the harder the better. You look at the races I have won, they all tend to have a climb in it or be relatively hard and when I looked at it, I could see this long old drag and the back straight had a headwind on it, so it was quite tough. It suited a small break, two or three but not on your own.

Before the race, I’d said to the guys I have another (Tour of Britain training) session to do this afternoon after the race. I’d done one this morning and so during the race, I said to Dean, the harder we go now, the less I have to train this evening! My training is geared towards road races like the Tour of Britain now and so it made sense and was good to see that I got stronger the more the race went on.

I think this was my fifth win this season and Dean made a good point in saying I’ve won one of everything this year,  UCI stage, a Nocturne, a Tour Series, a Premier Calendar and now a National Crit series round. I am not a natural winner like Dean so to come away from a year when I had the jersey, having won in that and then winning a Nocturne, and all these things is working out really good for me. It shows my training is going to plan.

Finally, asked about the Tour of Britain, Kristian explained he was getting goose bumps just thinking about it. “For me, it is the biggest race of the year we do and it’s your home Tour. Last year was phenomenal having raced in the jersey and this year my mum is coming over from America and all my family are going to follow the race like they did in the 90’s when I did the Junior Tour of Wales.” 

The race is going to be pretty special for me so hopefully all the hard work I am putting in now will pay off. Last year I did what I set out to do, which was top 10. I don’t know about winning it this year, especially with Sky’s team, or going for a stage or getting up there on a stage. To win a stage of the Tour of Britain for our team would be amazing. Top 10 would be good, a couple of days in a jersey mountains or sprint whatever, would also be good.

Dean Windsor (2nd):We went out there to make the race as hard as possible, to put Endura and Wilko on the back foot. After a few attacks by others, I made my way to the front and put one hard lap in up the hill and Kristian came across and when you have a teammate with you, you don’t leave anything to chance.

We really committed and put the hammer down and did five laps flat out and we got a gap where we could then settle down and get a nice rhythm that we could hold for the next hour. Kristian wasn’t actually slowing down towards the end I think all that training for the Tour of Britain meant that he was on the back foot earlier when we were going fast but then he never slowed down. He was so annoyingly strong towards the end.

It was a nice break to be in today.

The two leaders though had to be careful not to lap the chasers and  get mixed up in that group so they also had to control their pace towards the end before then deciding on who was going to win the race. “It is funny when you are racing a teammate, and we were going hard and seeing who was doing the bigger turns, and who was stronger and deserved the race win. Kristian was really stepping up at the end and doing harder turns and then John on the last lap said sprint it out”.

Round the back, we slowed down, the cameras were there and I didn’t want to look like an idiot leading Kristian out and he didn’t want to lead me out.

In the end, Dean was the one to make the move first though and while Kristian isn’t noted for his finish, as Dean explained, after an hour of going man on man, things had been evened up.

When you go an hour head-to-head with Kristian you soon find he can wear you down so no-one has got a finish and I certainly didn’t have much of a kick left and because I ended up having to lead him out, on a hill finish, you don’t want to be leading out a rider like Kristian. He definitely deserved the win.

We went out there today to do our best, to win the race which we did. The series? We came close but unfortunately it didn’t fall our way.

Talking about his season in Britain after being brought here from Australian by Rapha Condor Sharp for the circuit races, Dean explained “It took me a while to get into the groove in the Tour Series, I didn’t know the riders or teams and by the end of it, I was getting there and had a win at Woking. In this series, I started off slow and didn’t score any points in the first three rounds but I’ve ended up third.

I had a good win at York, and so am quite happy with the series. I’m looking forward to next year when I know what to expect and how to train for it. I think I can go a lot better next year. It took a while to get settled into a completely different country where I didn’t know what roads to train on to begin with. At home in Bathurst, I can ride 100 kilometres and only see two corners and don’t see cars. Now I have to battle with the cars and finding little lanes where you never get more than 100 metres of straight road.

But, I have made lots of friends and know the bunches (chain gangs) to go out with and even know where to shop. I’ve got into a routine which is important. Next year when I come across, I’ll know where to live and the roads. England will be a shock to anyone even if it is English speaking. I’ve come from Bathurst, a country town in New South Wales and anyone who came from England to Bathurst would also be shocked at the differences between the two.

Finally, on whether he’s enjoyed the change in racing, Dean explained “I have done the Scody Cup (National Series in Australia) a few years back and you get to know the circuits and the riders and after a few years, it was time for a change and to come over here and witness what Britain has on offer. I want to come back next year and not just come back to race, but also get a few more results next year.