James Fouche got his 2018 season with Team Wiggins off to the near perfect start when he placed second in Classica da Arrabida in Portugal. Fouche’s first outing with the team was very, very nearly the perfect start and we took the opportunity to catch up with the reigning U23 national road race champion.
RC: First of all it’s certainly a flying start you’ve gotten yourself off to in Europe. How satisfied are you about the way you rode in Portugal?
James: I’m stoked to be able to start the teams calendar with a podium. Hopefully we can end the season with a fair few and a couple wins would be nice as well. I think we definitely have the riders to look forward to a goal like that.
RC: Tell us about the course you were up against in Classica da Arrabida. From appearances it didn’t look like the hardest course, but at the same time it was a race that really broke apart quite significantly by the end.
James: The course didn’t look bad on paper but when we did our pre-race ride the climbs were a lot harder than they looked on paper. Mix that with a couple gravel sections, rain and 50kmph crosswinds made for a brutal day out. The race blew apart in the first 50km which was where our group got away in a stretch of road with some big crosswinds.
RC: What happened from there?
James: [Dmitry Strakhov] attacked with like 50km to go and there wasn’t really a response. We were still going pretty fast and not messing about so we were a little surprised that he kept putting time into us.
RC: Team Wiggins is a whole new outfit for you obviously, what are your impressions about the team so far, and the way you’ve gelled within the outfit?
James: Team Wiggins has been great so far. A very professional team with great staff and even better bunch a lads to ride with.
RC: Where do you head from here?
James: I’m moving just down the road [this week] for Volta ao Alentejo. Then back home for a week then fly to Belgium to meet up with the other NZ boys for the Nations Cup races which I am looking forward to!