When we heard on Sunday that our blogger Ian Field had won the British Cyclo-Cross Championship on a dry and sunny day in Suffolk, we wanted to celebrate that win with a chat.
Ian hadn’t stayed in England long – heading back to his Belgian home immediately after the race, to prepare for another event the following day, but we caught up with him today and began by asking him about the weekend.
You’re based in Belgium – was the trip to Ipswich a flying visit?
“Yes, I returned to the UK on the friday morning and travelled straight to Ipswich to recce the course.
“We stayed in a small cottage just outside of Hadleigh to make it easy to get to and from the course on Saturday.
“Sunday I raced, then travelled straight back to Belgium that evening, as I was racing again the yesterday.”
Take us through your race?
“I got a good start and settled down into the lead group, Liam Killeen seemed content to set the early pace and I was happy to follow.
“Although Killeen was riding at a good pace, there was still a group of five at the front and I knew I had to break it up.
“I put in a couple of attacks, which Killeen followed but the rest of the group became distanced.
“It was then just left to me and Killeen to battle it out for the last couple of laps.”
There was a ‘coming together’ with you and Liam Killeen in the final corner, what happened?
“I attacked Killeen coming into the final decisive, off camber section so I was first into the corner.
“Killeen touched my back wheel – maybe in an attempt to come back past me – but unfortunately for him he fell, which is just part of racing.”
With your teammate Jody Crawford in third place, Hargroves Cycles took two of the three podium places, the sponsors must be happy?
“It was a pretty special weekend all round for Hargroves Cycles, as the team picked up three Individual National Titles and two Team National Titles.
“Jody played a vital team role in the chase group during the race and I was really pleased to see him take 3rd.”
You raced in the ‘States at the start of this ‘cross season?
“Yes, I was out there for just over three weeks staying on the East Coast, I raced seven UCI events picking up two wins and some vital UCI points for my European campaign.”
You’re in your third season based in Belgium?
“I decided to surround myself by the top echelon of cyclocross racing in Europe, to try to further my career.
“Racing and against the top guys week in, week out really brought me on, even just by watching them you can learn so much.”
Can you explain a bit about the nickname the Belgies have given you, “Field de Brit”?
“It’s just as it sounds really: ‘Field of Britain’.
“Since I am the only male British rider racing every weekend out here, I think it’s because I’m the only person constantly representing Britain.”
You’ve said in the past that being considered a Flandrian made life a little easier in the races – now that you’ll be in the gleaming white jersey of British Champion, do you imagine anything will change?
“I am pretty much a regular face at all the races now, and I’m beginning to get treated that way by fans and riders.
“Hopefully with the British jersey now on my shoulders, I’ll be even more recognisable and maybe receive abit more recognition from fans and race organisers – in terms of start money.”
And white shorts – please don’t say you’re going down that route?
“The kit has been designed already, and has black shorts with white panelling down the sides.”
Are you into the bike-tech aspect?
“Yes, I like to know how everything works so I can work on my own bikes if needs be.
“Plus, feedback to sponsors on equipment is vital to get the best out our bikes.”
Specialized have their own ‘cross tyres, but do you use Dugasts like many other riders in the Superprestige series and the World Cups?
“I use a mix of tubs at the moment.
“Specialized and Dugasts, in order to get the best possible combination for conditions.”
Do you train or race on power?
“Not at the moment, but it is definitely something I am looking to do in the future.”
Tell us a bit about your training, how much running training do you do?
“My training schedule varies from week to week depending on my race schedule and goals.
“It can literally be anything between 10 and 25 hours a week.
“A mix of strength, endurance and power work is needed – whilst technical skills always need constant training.
“As for running, I only do a small amount during specific cyclocross sessions.”
A lot of Belgian ‘cross riders don’t race much on the road in the summer, what does your year look like?
“I: will basically have March off the bike, and then gradually build up training and racing hours over the summer.
“Usually I’ll be racing between 20-30 days during the summer months, either in the UK or out in Belgium.”
What do you consider your best ever ‘cross result?
“Winning the National Senior title!”
You started racing ‘cross at a young age, what got you into it?
“I got into it through a friend at school who was putting together a school team for the British Schools Cyclocross Championships.”
Have you ever been part of any official British Cycling “Plan”?
“Yes I have – I was on the British Cycling Mountain Bike Academy for three years where I raced all over the world, competing at mtb World Cups and World Championships.”
The World Championships are in a couple of weeks’ time – are you racing before then?
“Between then and now I have two World Cups, in Lieven, France and Hoogerheide, Holland.”
We saw you racing in the Koksijde World Cup in November, on the same course as the Worlds will be. Tell us how that went.
“It went really well for me, and I scored my best World Cup results of the season so far there.
“It was great to do it in front of so many British supporters and it gives me confidence for the World Championships, with my aim there of making it into the top 20.”
Your ultimate goal Ian?
“My ultimate goal is and always will be to be a regular top 10 cyclocross racer in the world.”
With thanks to Ian for his time, and wishing him all the best for the World Cups and the World Championships.
1 Ian Field 1:02:08
2 Liam Killeen 0:00:03
3 Jody Crawforth 0:00:17
4 Paul Oldham 0:00:20
5 David Fletcher 0:00:45
6 Tom Last 0:01:57
7 Nicholas Craig 0:02:20
8 Simon Richardson 0:02:40
9 William Bjergfelt 0:02:44
10 Lee Williams 0:03:17
11 Crispin Doyle 0:03:26
12 Roger Hammond 0:04:15
13 Stuart Bowers 0:04:26
14 Matthew Barrett 0:04:30
15 Stephen Adams 0:04:33
16 Chris Metcalfe 0:04:44
17 Darren Atkins
18 Tony Fawcett
19 David Collins 0:04:49
20 Daniel Booth 0:05:04
21 Jamie Newall 0:05:12
22 Michael Cotty 0:05:13
23 Darren Barclay 0:05:29
24 Dieter Droger 0:05:39
25 Lewis Craven 0:05:45
26 Daniel Lewis 0:06:19
27 Simon Maudsley 0:06:20
28 David Lines 0:06:45
29 Andrew Naylor 0:06:52
30 Noel Clough 0:07:02
31 Scott Chalmers 0:07:12
32 Keith Murray 0:07:25
33 Gareth Whittall 0:07:36
34 Andrew Waterman 0:07:49
35 James Thompson 0:07:53
36 Ross Tricker 0:07:58
37 Matthew Denby 0:08:03
38 Paul Robertson 0:08:17
39 Tim Guy 0:08:29
40 Steven Clarck 0:08:58