Daniel Whitehouse came away with the win and course record at last weekend’s Le Race. It was one of the most enjoyable days of biking he’d been a part of but it wasn’t a day that went all his own way. Afterwards we got to catch up with Daniel to
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RC: First of all a somewhat different scenario behind your win in 2019 compared to last year. How does it feel being back on the winner’s step of the podium and how does this win compare?
Daniel: Yes, well, last year was a fairly simple day out. Certainly not easy, but fairly mundane. I loved every minute of it this time around. Losing the head unit early on and the puncture at halfway made things interesting for the wrong reasons. But the other guys really made me work for it, and I’m thrilled to come away with the win and the course record too. It definitely exceeds last year in terms of personal achievement, it felt like war, and I’ve had very few days that were more fun on a bike.
RC: You describe Saturday as being one of your favourite days on the bike, but the win was hard-earned with a few hurdles to get over before you were finally in control at the front. What did you particularly enjoy about the day’s racing?
Daniel: I think more just the negative tactics of other riders. Wanting to be away from me in front or sticking like glue to me. That’s bike racing though, they’re fully entitled to employ any and every tactic they can. And I revel in it, I really do love a fight, and it was a decent one this time around. In fewer words, I had to fight for it, it made itself worth more to me because of that.
RC: Is the win and your performance reflective of where you want to be form-wise heading into the international calendar?
Daniel: Yes, well, seeing as I lost the head unit we will never know the exact quantities! But, I knew I was in fairly good shape. I’ve run myself a little over in preparation so this week will be fairly tame, but I’m far more competent all round than I was back in January. We’ve got some wicked races coming up, and I aim to seize the opportunity of each of them.
RC: In a cycling world that is now more dominated by tech, having to go ‘old school’ with no bike computer must have been a bit of a different experience. Walk us through your thought process adjusting to that way of racing again.
Daniel: I’ve always been believed to be a rider that can only ride to numbers, like I’m letting wheels go and being too consumed by how many watts I’m pushing. So I shot a good sized hole right through that didn’t I! I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered much, but for the solo bits it certainly helps keep pressure on the pedals, especially the faster stuff. Having said that though, my calibration tool of ‘this is horrific = fast enough’ seems to have been deployed well enough. There were times when bikes were sold without a plethora of fancy bike computers to go with them, and there were some fairly successful bike racers back in those days. So I reasoned it wasn’t impossible to carry on once the head unit had been released into the wild.
RC: Where do you head from here in 2019? Tell us a bit about your calendar coming up.
Daniel: So Evo has a team house in Girona, and the calendar is full of class European starts. I’m not entirely certain yet when I’ll be pinning a number on, but I can guarantee I’ll have something decent to chew on come April!