Jake Rowse and Richard Scott were nominated as the 2017 Unsung Heroes for their work with the Calder Stewart Series. We took the opportunity to catch up with Jake Rowse to congratulate them and ask them about what the series means to the two of them.
RC: First of all congratulations on being voted as 2017’s Unsung Heroes. How does it feel to have been recognised so highly for the work that you do by the New Zealand cycling community?
Jake: We are humbled by the fact so many nominated us for our work on the Calder Stewart Cycling Series. We honestly do it for the love of our sport and it provides NZ riders another stepping stone toward making it to a pro contract.
RC: Tell us a bit about what the Calder Stewart Cycling Series means to the two of you.
Jake: The Calder Stewart Cycling Series gives riders, especially the younger riders and team managers a taste of what to expect when they head overseas to race on a team with set objectives and tasks for each rider. They learn how to ride as a team, formulate and activate a team race plan and having a team convoy gets them used to being around vehicles who supply them food, drink and mechanical assistance.
We also want to recognise what Greg Hume set out to achieve when he started NZ’s first teams race series back in 2005. Greg created a series where riders had to race as a team, managers had to start managing riders and setting race plans. Those who did not were found wanting. The distances were tough so only riders who were committed to training at that level were capable of taking honours.
RC: Tell us about some of the challenges that have been developing for race organisers in recent times and how you’ve navigated those challenges.
Jake: Giving riders new courses each year to keep the series fresh is probably the biggest challenge of all. Finding two or three new courses each year is not easy in today’s climate. We are lucky in that the clubs we call upon to assist do an exceptional job and ease some of the pressure organising a race. They also have great relationships already in place with local authorities.
Each event uses a minimum of 45-50 official people, so there is a lot of calling and e-mails going between all of us as we approach each round.
To find out more about the Calder Stewart Cycling Series click here.
Photo: Chris Sexton Photography