A couple of months have passed since we first spoke to Tom Copeland, who’s living and racing with the French Team Champions, Bic2000, in the Finistère region of Brittany, so we thought we’d get in touch with him and bring ourselves up-to-speed with what’s been happening.
How have results been since last we spoke?
“They’ve been steady, no more podiums , a couple of top 10’s with a few in elites which are good.
“We also won the Coupe de France for Division 1 espoir and Division 2 clubs last month which makes us French champions and gets us good invites for next season.”
Has this year been a progression?
“Big time. Last year I spent most of the season riding small first and second category races in Brittany with the occasional elite race thrown in.
“Whereas this season I’ve only done a handful of first cats with a calendar full of Elite/pro races and stage races, and not just in Brittany.”
Have you eased back on training, yet?
“After finishing Paris-Tours on Sunday I’ve given the bike back to the team!
“The week running up to the race I was super motivated and maybe even did too much training – a 4hr ride on the Wednesday turned into a 5 hour45 minute epic!”
What’s Finisterre like in the autumn?
“The last few days have been really nice but cold in the morning and evening. Guess it’s like home really.”
Your last race is Paris — Tours Espoirs; that’s a biggie, is your team well organised for it?
“Yea we headed over there with as many helpers as riders so we were in good hands… in the race we messed up by only having one rider in the front split in the crosswinds.”
When do you come home, and what do you do over the winter; work, social and fitness-wise?
“I’m coming back home a week today, 20th October. I’m having a week over here to have a few nights out with the lads on the team as several are moving on next year so it’s a good way to say goodbye.
“When I’m back I’ll be working in the local bike shop over the winter until I come back out here.
“In terms of riding, I’ve got three weeks off the bike, after which I’ll gradually start building towards next season.
“I’m going to mix in some gym work too this winter which is new to me, so hopefully I’ll benefit from that.”
What happens to your apartment when you’re away?
“I hand back the keys to the owner when I leave as I’m moving up near Brest next year – where I’ll be living with a few other team-mates in a team house. I couldn’t do another year living on my own!”
What’s been your worst moment, this season?
“There’s been a few ups and downs, but crashing out of the early season classic Manche Atlantique was a real shame.
“I fractured my elbow but still rode on to the finish circuits 40 odd kms after I hit the deck.
“I wanted to finish as its such an awesome race but seeing as I couldn’t move my arm it was getting a bit dangerous… and painful!”
Is it the same equipe for you in 2010?
“Bic2000 again next season. There’s a few people coming too.”
“I want to get at least a podium in one of the early season classics and to get a top 15 GC in the Tour of Brittany in April.
“Also I want to increase on the number of wins I have had this season, one! (Well, two if you count Team Time trials in stage races).”
Do you think a pro contract is possible for you?
“Anything is possible if you want it enough. It’s a hard road ahead but I want to give it a shot. I know I’m never going to be a cycling god! But I love racing and winning so why not give it a shot.”
What’s the gossip in France about Bouygues and Cofidis losing their Pro Tour licences?
“Not too much will change for them apparently apart from some of the big names will probably move to other Pro-Tour teams. It also means we will probably come up against them in some of the category 1 races next season.”
Have you raced against the new world U23 champ, Sicard? What’s the gossip about him?
“I haven’t raced against him this season. He races for the Spanish team Orbea (the feeder squad for Euskaltel) so he doesn’t do too many races in France.
“I’ve raced against the rest of the team they had at the worlds… they’re all super strong. Gossip-wise, I don’t know, but he has come out of nowhere in the last year or so.”
French radio — your views, please?
Is Johnny Hallyday big in Finistère?
“I know he’s some singer out here, but I don’t much about him to be honest!”
What’s your favourite French swear word?
“Ah, the usual ‘M’ one!”
Thanks Tom, VeloVeritas hope you “winter well” as Russell Williams used to say, and we look forward to watching your progress next season.