The phone rings, it’s Vik;
“Why haven’t you spoken to that Wade Mangham boy? He’s getting round all right in Flanders.”
In line with VeloVeritas policy of trying to keep abreast of who’s ‘up and coming’ in the Flatlands, we tracked young Mr. Langham down – here’s what he had to tell us about dodgy club presidents, Shane Archbold’s mullet – and he has a chat with his bottle cages.
How old are you Wade, where are you from in NZ and how did you get into cycling?
“I’ve just turned 21, I’m from a place called Rotorua or (Roto-vegas) to some.
“I started hacking around the forest back home on the mountain bike and won some races as an U17 rider
including the national champs.
“I did some road riding and racing for training and did OK with that; coming 4th at the road nationals in the U17 race.
“With the mountain biking not being so big back home you don’t get to travel much and there’s no money behind it so I got hooked on the road and haven’t gone back to racing the mtb seriously.”
You didn’t come up through the NZ track system?
“Nah! I’m not a fan of the track, I’ve a done a few races though, but never really got into it.”
You had two seasons in France – how did they go?
“My first season in France (2009) was really cool I lived in Eastern France by the Swiss border in the hills with two other Kiwi guys; we rode lower graded races to build some confidence then we graduated to bigger races.
“But last year (2010) was a different story I had a good team (Blois Cac 41), good riders, but the president was not a good man and he shafted most of his riders – apart from two guys – he’s not very popular at the moment!”
Why Belgium for 2011?
“I have a friend in Belgium (Clinton Avery) and with the people he knows – and the people that they know, everything worked out well and I found a new team (Dunkerque Close2).
“I stayed ten days with Clinton last year and really enjoyed myself in Belgium so I was keen to find something up around here for this year.”
How does Belgium compare to France as a place to stay – and to race?
“As a place to stay I like it way better than France.
“My first year in France was really good, being around the hills and what not; but this year I have a lot of friends near by – it just makes things that little bit easier and more enjoyable.
“Racing wise, I enjoy both the same, the style of racing between the two is a little different but I enjoy the racing in France and Belgium equally – so I’m glad our programme this year is 50/50.”
Do you go home to NZ for the winter?
“Yeah, I always head back home and get another set of sunshine in before I come back to Europe.”
Where’s home in Belgium and who does the cooking – any good?
“I’m living in a place called Moorslede-Roeselare.
“The family I stay with do most of the cooking; but some times I have to get my hands dirty and whip up a sandwich or something along those lines – I don’t get too excited over cooking.”
What do you do with your time when you’re not training/racing?
“I was getting out on the town bike a bit; hustling around the joint.
“But otherwise its just movies or I might go for a stroll and clock up some steps on the pedometer – or just taking the piss out of people on Facebook.”
Is there an Anglo community you train/race/hang out with?
“Yeah I hang out with Clinton Avery a lot – and his girlfriend – and there’s a few other boys over here to have a laugh with and clock up some miles.”
Who’s your role model?
“Probably Same Bewley (NZ team pursuit rider) and Clinton Avery; their both from Rotorua and both at a high level – I train a lot with them and pick up a lot of good info from them.
“But Heinrich Haussler is right up there, though.”
Which team are you with, how did you get the spot, do they look after you?
“As I mentioned, I’m with Dunkerque Close2 this season.
“I got on the team by just knowing the right people, really – and they were interested in taking me when I asked. Yeah, they look after me well; the DS is Nico Mattan – he’s the man! – so everything has been set up well.”
I see you had a big win at Oostrozebeke in 2010, tell us about that.
“Yeah that was cool, I spent 10 days with Clinton and we did some really good training – we both had good form so we rode together and none of the other riders knew what to do about us.
“It was a cool race to win and only my second race in Belgium.”
How are the 2011 results going?
“I haven’t had any results so far, so not the best, yet.
“I have had good form and have been up with the best guys in the races I have been doing, but I just haven’t been able to finish them off – but I’m working on it.”
Did you ride the U23 Ronde? – how did it go?
“Yeah, I rode the Ronde, it was awesome!
“I definitely want another go at, it although it didn’t go to well in the end; I lost two bottles in the first five K when I hit a pot hole (thanks bottle cages – I didn’t even want a drink!) so I just had a few sips off the other guys.
“Then at the feed, I lost another one – I paid for it big time in the end and only made it to the 130 km mark with the front group. After that I just shut up shop for the night really… lights out!”
What’s the goal for 2011?
“Just to get some results really – the same as any cyclist over here I think!”
And what’s your opinion on Shane Archbold’s mullet?
“Funny you ask me about this – I stayed with the track boys in Blauberg at the team house and I got to run my fingers through the thing.
“He has done well for himself, though – maybe we can get him in a shampoo and conditioner TV add and get him to do a little flick here and there?”
With thanks to Wade for his time, and wishing him good luck racing in the heartland this season!