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Douglas Dewey – “I have to start proving I can make it”

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It was back in the spring when we last spoke to Douglas Dewey; he’d just won Gent-Staden, the first big race on the Belgian amateur calendar. Since then he’s ridden a very varied programme, including stage races in France and Belgium, hard fought kermises, a silver medal in the British Elite TT Championships and bronze in the British Pursuit Championship.

We thought we’d better do an end of season ‘catch up’ with the versatile Englishman.

Douglas Dewey
As Douglas Dewey (in black) says, “You can’t get better than a win”.

Were you happy with how 2012 went, Douglas?

“Yeah, pretty happy, I had a very good start to the season, tailed off but ended the year well – and I learned a lot about stage racing over the year.”

Winning Gent-Staden was a great start.

“I was obviously flying but didn’t realise how strongly I was riding.

“When I look back, I think I was close to having over trained.

“But as far as the start of the season goes, you can’t get better than a win – perfect!”

Did you get any offers due to that result?

“The team was really, really happy and a lot of Belgian guys took notice – I could see that I was getting watched a lot more in races, after that.

“But it was at the start of the year and it’s a long time ago, now…”

Tell us about your 2012 palmares.

“I rode a lot of tours; three of them in a three week spell – Tour des Deux-Sevres, Vlaams Brabant, le Tour de Franche Comte and Tour de la Manche.

“I made for a tough July, but I came out of them very strong, once I’d recovered.

“I think that was one of the reasons I had a good end to the year.

“It was just a shame that we did no more after that – I’m looking forward to more stage racing in 2013.”

Douglas Dewey
Douglas Dewey’s new team colours for 2013: Hennebont Cyclisme.

[Here’s a selection of Douglas’s results in 2012, Editor.]

  • 2nd: British Time Trial Championships
  • 3rd: British Pursuit Championship
  • 40th: Wervik Elite 1.12 Interclub
  • 5th: Merelbeke Statie 1.12B (Elite/1/2)
  • 4th: Deerlijk 1.12B (Elite/1/2)
  • 12th: G.C. Ronde van Vlaams Brabant (Elite 2.12)
  • 4th: Ronde van Vlaams Brabant, TT stage.
  • 3rd: G.C. Tour des Deux-Sevres:
  • 5th: Tour des Deux-Sevres TT stage
  • 1st: Kruishoutem 1.12B (Elite/1/2)
  • 3rd: Koekelare 1.12B (Elite/1/2)
  • 66th: Kattekoers (Deinze-Ieper) UCI 1.2
  • 3rd: St. Maria-Lierde 1.12B (Elite/1/2)
  • 1st: Gent Staden UCI 1.12A (Elite/U23)

Are you with Terra for 2013?

“No, I’ve got a new French team for next year sorted – Hennebont Cyclisme in the Morbihan region of Brittany.

“I went over and saw the manager on Sunday and arranged it all – it’s good to have something concrete.

“France suits me better; the racing is a wee bit more relaxed – it’s just mad in Belgium!

Did you come across much ‘monkeydom’ about contracts and the like, in Belgium?

“A little bit, promises are made and then they fall short – but I think that much of it’s said with good intentions…”

The National Elite TT was a good ride – silver.

“I was really happy with that one – but I was rubbish in the 25 champs, eighth or ninth.

“My form was good for the TT champs though; I was on a nice bike, checked the course out beforehand and rode to my SRM’s.

“I perhaps paced it slightly wrong, but it was nice to get the silver behind Alex Dowsett.”

Douglas Dewey
Douglas Dewey is very modest regarding his superb results.

And third in the pursuit.

“Ironically, my time position was higher; up to third from fourth – but my time was slower with 4:35 to 4:33 last year.

“But it was good to win the bronze medal ride off after losing it last year.”

You obviously have potential on the track.

“I’ve ridden the track championships for the last few years and it’s good to have something to focus on for the year end – but the pursuit is a very specific event and I find it hard to make a sudden change.

“I tend to get carried away with the road and I think to prepare properly, you’d need to devote a couple of months to it.”

Any stirrings from British Cycling?

“Unfortunately not, I’m off their radar – they have their own guys, their own programme.

“It’s disappointing because I’m competing at as high a level as their guys are.”

And you’ve just done a big block of training in Tenerife?

“It was partly to see friends out there – but it’s an awesome place to train with the mountains and the scenery.

“The climbs are two hours long – really good training and part of my build up.

“I’m not a big turbo fan, they’re hard on the head, I’d much rather be out on the road.”

What’s your take on the Lance debacle?

“Disappointing but not surprising.

“At that level, riders are paid millions; it’s not the same sport as the level I’m at.

“It was professional sport during that era and the drugs were part of that scene.

“But it’s disappointing because when I started, Lance was the man. But it’s good that it’s all out in the open – the UCI has to be stricter though.

“And I think that the drugs testing should be done by an independent body.

“I wasn’t tested when I won Gent-Staden but I was tested twice at kermises – when I finished second and third.

“But there is a lot of testing done in Belgium.”

What do you want out of 2013?

“I suppose I have to start proving I can make it.

“I gave myself two years – 2012 and 2013 – to get there.

“This year was good because I learned a lot through riding a big variety of races.

“In 2013 I’d like to ride more tours, particularly ones which have a time trial – I’d love to win a Tour overall.

“It’s hard to be specific about goals until I have my programme – but I know that to the Pro Tour teams; ‘wins are what matters!’”

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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