We all dream about it (or have dreamt about it) but 20 year-old South Quensferry man, Ross Creber has done it — put pen to paper on a pro contract, with Plowman Craven.
VeloVeritas were on the phone, before the ink was dry…
A dream come true, Ross?
“Yeah, really good, it’s something I’ve thought about since I was a young lad.“
Where was the deed done and was there a photographer there, to record the moment?
“I drove to Derby on Friday and the contract was signed yesterday (Saturday) there wasn’t really any fuss — no photos or anything like that. Plowman Craven didn’t have the results they wanted in 2008, so they want to strengthen the team for 2009.“
You’re an ATB man, rather than a roadman, though?
“Yes, I’ve grown up as a cross country mountain bike rider, but I want to focus on the road now – folks have said to me that my future is on tarmac rather than mud.“
Would you rather be Julien Absalon or Tom Boonen?
“Lance Armstrong! (a mistake of youth, we’re sure!)”
How do your folks feel about what you’re doing?
They’re just as happy as I am; they’ve been really good, supporting me through my mountain bike days and now that I’ve signed a contract with a regular wage coming in from my cycling, they’re delighted. I still live with them, but my girlfriend is from Leeds and I split my time between the two places.
“I had a verbal agreement with Pedal Power, but nothing was signed, I had offers from the AN Post-Sean Kelly team, PedalPower, the team Magnus Backstedt is putting together and, of course, Plowman Craven. I got positive responses from all of them, but I had to make what was the best choice for me.
Who was representing you?
“Brian Smith put a CV together with me and he made the approaches.“
Do you have a programme yet?
“We have a training camp in Majorca in February, whilst the Tour of Majorca is taking place. But we’ll be getting our kit and bikes in January. The big goal for the season, for the team and for me is the Tour of Britain, it’s a six man squad for that and I’ll be trying very hard to be one of them.“
Why the UK, rather than Europe?
“I’ve not raced a road season in the UK, so whilst a pro career in Europe is the ultimate goal, I wanted the experience of a pro season in the UK behind me, first.“
Your ultimate goal?
“To ride the Tour de France.“
Which rides are you most proud of?
“They are all on the mountain bike; 27th in the European championships, 36th in the Worlds and silver in the British.“
“Yes, I think the tactics and the duration will be the main things I have to adapt to — I’m used to two-and-a-half hours on the mountain bike, but on the road you might be riding for six hours. The changes of pace on the road, especially in the last hour of a six hour race will take a bit of getting used to as well; but I’m focussed and I’m sure I’ll adapt to all of that.“
What are your strengths?
“Climbing, for sure.“
“With riding off road, Julian Absalon was the man — he won four World and two Olympic titles. But my mum has been a great inspiration too, she’s done triathlon at world level and Ironman distance; it was her that got me, and my brother Hamish into cycling.“
If you could win just one race?
“The Tour de France, it’s a battle for 21 days — luck just doesn’t come into it!“
Another pro from Scotland? – we’ll need to keep an eye on this one! With thanks to Ross for his time, and best of luck for next year.