Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rob Friel - Abriachan Interview

Rob is one of Scotland's top Elite mountain bikers, he's made it two wins from two in this years SXC series so far. He also won the 2012 Scottish Cyclo-Cross series proving him to be a complete all-round cyclist.

After winning Round 2 of the 2013 SXC series at Abriachan, we interviewed Rob to find out how the race went and his plans for the 2013 season.

Thank you for speaking to us Rob, well done for the race and here's to your continued success in racing!
Rob on the top step of the podium. He is joined on the podium by Dougie Shearer and James Fraser Moodie

Tell us about the race today?
I won the Elite race today following a hard race. I had really good battle with Tom Evans on the first three laps, I just couldn’t seem to shake him off! Unfortunately, he punctured, and I rode the rest of the race in a steady rhythm enjoying the race and making sure that I didn’t puncture too.
It was a really good course to race on today, I really enjoy courses like that. I’m good at riding in the wind to I went hard off the start to make sure I got a gap from the field knowing that they would suffer in the wind. I’m good at riding in the mud too, so Tom and myself were able to ride away from the field on the technical section too.

How is 2013 shaping up for you?
My next race will be the No Fuss Dunkeld Enduro race, I’m not going to the British XC race at Cornwall, it’s just too far away.
My target for 2013 is the National Championships at Cathkin Braes. I’m Glasgow based so have been around the course a few times already with Rab Wardell. I love the course, it’s so different to what we were racing on today, but I think it will make for a closer race. Sometimes in Scotland, we struggle for depth of field in races, and especially on a course like Abriachan the field are easily split. However, at Cathkin there will be a good, tight race with riders battling for positions. I enjoy getting out training with Rab, it’s good to train with someone who you know their strengths and they know yours. I can beat him on the chaingang but he beats me up the climbs! The competition when you are out training together really helps with your progression.

With those aims you must do a fair bit of training?
As yet, I don’t have a structured training plan. I’m on holiday next week, and once I get back I’ll have more of a training plan. I’ve been doing a bit of work on the velodrome and have also been getting out Ski Touring. I really enjoy different cycling disciplines, like the velodrome, and I’m also really looking forward to the start of the cyclocross season. I’ll be riding the full SXC series as well.

You seem to have a really good bike, what is it like?
I ride for Santa Cruz, which is fantastic. I have the best bike possible which is a Santa Cruz Highball C, with Envy wheels. It’s a great bike and I am so delighted to be riding for them this year and to have the opportunity to ride on this amazing bike. 

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