We last spoke to Douglas Dewey in April on the back of his successful French Spring Campaign with Hennebont Cycling.
When we exited the ‘Giro Bubble’ and recovered from the Post Giro Stress Disorder and finally picked up ‘The Comic’ (or should that be ‘Sportiv Weekly’?) ‘imagine our surprise’ when we saw our boy had been third in the National ‘10’ – ‘best have a word’ we thought …
Is it bad luck in France which has brought you home, tell us about it, please?
“Not quite; I planned on coming back to target some National time trials and try and get some publicity over here in Britain too.
“It’s going quite well so far!”
Are you not missing the bakers’ shops?
“I’m pretty good with not being tempted by the bad stuff.
“If I want something I’ll just eat it and then the craving is gone; I don’t think it’s healthy to deny yourself all the time!”
How has the French club been with you; have they kept their promises?
“I’ve not received a team bike that fits me yet and the kit is minimal, but I have my own bike anyway so I’m not bothered.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do some good races and shine which is the important thing for me. Hopefully the calendar will be organised for when I return.”
“Thankfully I’ve had the continued support of the Dave Rayner Fund which has helped me cover the living and racing costs out in France.
“I’m really grateful for their belief in me.”
Will you be going back over?
“Yes, after the National time trial and road race at the end of June I will be heading back over for another three months or so.”
Have you raced in the UK since returning?
“I did a local ’10’ and the National 10, where I came third, but nothing other than that.
“I’ve been busy training and catching up with family, friends and the In-Gear, TrainSharp and QuickVit guys.
“I’m contemplating racing a crit on Sunday but I’m not sure I can bring myself to paying £20 for a one hour race!”
Isn’t it hard to find motivation for ‘two men and a dog’ UK races after the glam of la Belle France?
“Honestly, yes, although in a sense it’s good because I’m much more relaxed now.
“After pressuring myself to perform in stage races abroad it’s not that big of a deal rolling around a ten mile time trial anymore.
“That said there’s nothing like having Sean Yates looking over your shoulder to provide some extra impetus.”
Tell us about your buildup for the British; which is priority – time trial or road race?
“I’ve been thinking about the road race for a while now and training accordingly.
“I’d love to get a decent result after effectively bombing out of it the last few years.
“I haven’t got any big races in the build up unfortunately as Hennebont Cyclisme didn’t get into the tour I was counting on, so I’ll have to try and simulate that in training to really push myself.
“From a results point of view it’s probably more sensible to just target the time trial as it’s easier to showcase what I can do, but I can’t deny that I’m a road racer deep down.”
Has British Cycling been in touch – you had some nice results in France.
“I must have missed their email…”
Will you be chasing the pursuit title, this year – how do you fit that in?
“Good question and something I haven’t really thought about yet.
“As my girlfriend will tell you I tend to plan up to a maximum of three days ahead!
“I’d like to give it a proper go but it depends how the road season pans out and whether I secure some potential opportunities to race elsewhere.”
After your break from France are you back where you want to be physically and mentally?
“Yes I’m getting there now.
“I picked up a virus in the few weeks before I came back and I was struggling to understand why I couldn’t recover or perform. I think I’m getting stronger mentally but when your body starts failing you and you don’t know why it can be tough to deal with.
“I’m back on track with the training and nutrition side now and having my coach Jon from TrainSharp always there to talk to helps a lot.”
How have you been filling your ‘down’ time in the UK?
“I’ve been really busy recently actually, with the training side, working on publicity and obviously seeing family and my girlfriend again.
“Living in the real world is quite stressful!
“I’ve been in a cycling bubble over in France.”
Is your amigo Sam Allen still at Hennebont – do you keep in touch?
“Yes Sam is still out there although he’s having a short break soon as we’ve both been racing pretty hard since February.
“We talk now and then.”
Sean Yates is coming up with you for the British, what’s his role in your career?
“He’s working for Jon at TrainSharp now and getting more involved with me as time goes on.
“I think he’s realised that I’m not a joker and I’m prepared to work hard for this.
“I’d like to think I’ve earned his respect and he’s given me loads of good advice recently.”
Did you follow the Giro and who’s going to win le Tour?
“I didn’t catch much of it but I got the general gist of Nibali smashing everyone in, like a boss.
“He is one cool cat (I’ve been a fan of his since he very nearly won Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year).
“My cycling knowledge isn’t great actually, but I’d be very surprised if Chris Froome isn’t up there in the Tour so I’ll back him.”
You can catch Douglas in action in the National Time Trial Championship in East Ayrshire on Thursday June 20th and in the National Road Race Championship in Glasgow on Sunday June 23rd.