RC: First of all how are you feeling at the moment, knowing you’re heading to Richmond and literally going to take on the world?
Sam: Feeling good about my selection to Junior Worlds, it’s nice to be selected and have Cycling New Zealand supporting the team and I in our campaign. But first things first, towards the end of my time in Europe I was getting tired and fatigued from going full gas week in week out, that was a bit of a shock racing so much compared to NZ. The year as a whole has been a big step up for me also, racing from January at Bay Crits and track nationals, then following on in the NRS and NZ champs and now to my stint in Europe. So it has been nice to chill out and have a rest although now I’m back into racing in Australia this week where my build up starts for worlds. I’m really looking forward to Richmond, it’s not everyday you get to race the world champs but I just haven’t had the time yet to think about it or start focusing on it.
RC: How important is an event like this for you in terms of your progression and where you want to be heading as a cyclist?
Sam: I think riding a race like the world champs for juniors is more an experience and in someways a race which can ‘make’ a rider’s career. But you progress throughout a season and racing frequently at a high level, one race and especially the worlds is so unpredictable and crazy, that I would say it will be an experience rather than a progression.
RC: Can you tell us about the preparation that you’ve been undergoing for the championships? Have you had a lot of time to train specifically for the worlds or has it been interwoven with racing in Belgium?
Sam: Yes and no, I mean every race you do is preparation and racing UCI races in Europe with over 200 riders is what worlds is like, also knowing what riders are going to be in the final and who to follow is a big help. But I haven’t really focussed or trained specifically yet for it, races like Tour of Flanders and Het neiwsblad have been just as much of a focus at JW.
RC: Have you had a lot of time to study the courses in Richmond? Can you tell us about them and how they suit you?
Sam: Yeah I’ve studied the course and talked to some American riders about it, the parcours sounds very much like Belgium style racing, punchy steep climbs, few cobbles, fast roads. I think it’s an awesome course, we’ll see what happens.