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Rapha-Condor-JLT are currently competing at the Tour du Loir-et-Cher in the rolling countryside of central France. Comprising five stages and 861 kilometres and racing against 27 other teams, including development squads for ProTour teams, it’s another important test for the team’s young riders, including Irish criterium champion Felix English.
It's your second season with Rapha-Condor-JLT, you're a veteran now, how's it going?
The start to the year has been really positive. I'm feeling like a totally different rider to last year.
Have you learnt a lot in the past twelve months?
Definitely. The many bollockings from team man- ager John Herety have sunk in, although it may have taken a bit longer than he’d have liked.
Who, in this team, has the potential to ride for a WorldTour team one day?
I’d probably say Luke Mellor. That guy is lean as hell and can still sprint pretty bloody strongly, too. He’s showing this year that he can win.
You famously beat Chris Hoy in a match sprint in 2010: is the track still your favourite battleground?
I haven’t ridden the track in a good while. I do miss it and think I could’ve done well at a world level but I enjoy the road more and more each year.
What’s been the toughest race so far this season?
My first international race of the year the other week, Boucle de l’Artois [a UCI Europe Tour 2.2 race in northern France]. Crosswinds and cobbled bergs are always hard.
Herety was saying early season racing is always dangerous, surely the danger element is part of the 'fun'?
Ah I just love racing in general so I'm always happy to be pinning a number on my jersey. But yeah, you've got to make sure you look after yourself really well, as you can easily cook yourself before the end of the year - like I did in 2012…
What's Tom Southam like as a DS?
A total hardass b*stard! Haha, Tom is really good to have around. He's raced at the top level and always has a positive and energetic air about him
What is your greatest ambition for this season?
I want to be consistently strong throughout the whole year. Picking up top 10's in these UCI races and winning a Tour Series round would be pretty cool
Sean Kelly or Stephen Roche?
Kelly: his melodic tones and accurate pronunciations always have me glued to my telly box!
Black or white socks?
- @brettrothmeyer nice cap drawing by the way!
- @Jack_Sadler @raphacondor We’re honoured to have you riding for us Jack.
- RT @dean0downing: I had 6 great seasons with the @raphacondor team, thanks to all at @rapharacing for the support through out. http://t.co/…
- @dean0downing @raphacondor Thank you Dean, it’s been an incredible journey.
- Eeny meeny miny moe. Aka Sean, Freddy, Roger and Francesco. If like me you can't decide which one of… http://t.co/o5b8KuTdCX
- Buying for the obsessive cyclist can be an impossible task. The kit has to be right, but what do you choose? → http://t.co/78RaFQ810G
- RT @raphacondor: 2014 will be the last year that Rapha will be part of @raphacondor JLT, concluding 9 fantastic years as co-owners. → http:…
- RT @rapha_australia: It's time for #alpedquiz question two. "WHERE DID RICHIE PORTE FINISH ON STAGE 18 OF THE 2013 TOUR?" Answer at http://…
- The #oneoftheseplease wk 3 includes some outdoor products from the likes of @polerstuff - Kletterwerks - and Filson: http://t.co/SG3aSEcjxN
- 2014 will be the last year that Rapha will be part of @raphacondor JLT, concluding 9 fantastic years as co-owners. → http://t.co/11e5ZxOdoC