Friday, September 24, 2021
HomeInterviewsScott Thwaites - The Goal for 2013 is a First Pro Win

Scott Thwaites – The Goal for 2013 is a First Pro Win


Scott Thwaites
Scott has had a great start to his season.

In the excitement of the Classics season opening and an unusual but epic Primavera it’s easy for results to get overlooked.

Two which caught the VeloVeritas eye were the fifth place in the Handzame Classic and seventh spot in le Samyn achieved by NetApp-Endura’s Scott Thwaites – both hard races in brutal conditions.

Thwaites is only 23 years-old but has crammed a lot in – cyclo-cross, triathlon, MTB, a British Criterium Championship, a Premier Calendar overall win and now Belgian semi-classic arrival.

His first mention in despatches was for third in the British debutants’ cyclo-cross championship in 2005; he was second in the same event in 2006 and second again at junior level in 2007.

Triathlons and mountain biking were next with a win in the British U23 MTB Championships coming along the way.

He turned pro with Endura in 2010 on the strength of that title and exploded onto the British scene with a win in the hotly contested and highly sought after Lincoln GP in 2011.

The rapid progress continued last year with a dazzling UK season; the high lights of which were the British Criterium Championship and the overall win in the Premier Calendar.

Thwaites took time to talk about his excellent start to 2013 soon after his Handzame result.

Scott Thwaites
Two very strong performances for Scott already this season show his great potential.

That was a good ride in Handzame, Scott.

“The weather was like most races in Europe have been this year; cold, wet and windy. At the start the wind caused a big split in the peloton but as many teams had missed it they rode to bring the groups back together on the finishing circuits.

“Coming in to the finish my team committed early at 15 K to go to bring back a small breakaway which had gone off the front; they did a great job of getting me to the red kite.

“In the last kilometre I was on my own and with a big crosswind it was difficult to move up so I made my move early and was pleased to get fifth.”

Seventh in le Samyn, another nice result.

“Yes; I was happy with seventh as I hadn’t raced for four weeks since starting my season in Argentina, so it was nice to see that my hard work at home was paying off.”

You seem to excel when the going is tough?

“I suppose from living in the North I have got used to grippy roads and bad weather.

“So when it’s like that in races I’m comfortable with it.”

How was San Luis – with the heat and the travel?

“The travel was the biggest nightmare; it took around 35-40 hours each way and with the changes in climate it was important to do everything possible to stay healthy.

“The race itself was well organised and had a great range of stages.

“I really enjoyed the week and if it wasn’t for the long travelling I’d be happy to go back.”

Scott Thwaites
Scott rode a good San Luis earlier in the season.

In the three races I’ve mentioned above you’ve been dueling with the very best sprinters; you must be pleased you’re getting so close?

“I’m happy with how my season is going so far and the team has only ridden for me once so getting three top 10 placings is great.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn and that will take time but each week my confidence is growing and I’m getting closer to the win.

“I’m just waiting for that day when everything clicks.”

You’ve adapted really quickly to the rigours of a Euro programme.

“I’ve got a coach this year which is something I’ve never had before and he’s helped me to train far better than previous years. I feel that I’m more of an all-round bike rider and a lot stronger in general.”

You won cyclo-cross medals as a debutante and junior – but didn’t pursue it, why?

“I was doing well in Britain, but it’s a massive difference from racing in Europe.

“On the road there seemed to be more money and opportunities for a competitive career in Britain and abroad.”

Then you did triathlons?

“I did a few triathlons before getting in to cycling, my dad used to do them.

“They were good fun but I couldn’t swim well enough to progress.”

And were U23 MTB champ – why come to the road?

“At that time there weren’t many MTB races in the UK and it was too expensive for my parents to subsidise my travelling all over the world to race.

“The road just had so many more races and opportunities.”

Scott Thwaites
A multisports background in his youth has given Scott a “good engine”.

You exploded on to the road scene in 2011 by winning the Lincoln GP; that must have been a special day?

“Yes, for sure.

“Winning any Premier Calendar race would have been great, but to win the Lincoln gets you that little bit more respect.

“It also gave me the confidence in my ability and belief I could win Elite races in Britain.”

You won the crit champs and the Premier Calendar overall in 2012; many riders say you can’t really be competitive in both

“That’s rubbish!

“A top rider can win any race.

“I didn’t do any specific crit training; I concentrated on the road and just brought my strong roads legs to the crits. It was just a case of using my head to be in the right positions.”

It must have been reassuring that a squad like NetApp was happy to have you on board?

“I was happy to get the nod from NetApp-Endura. It was partly an acknowledgement of the results I’d achieved in Britain and in UCI races.

“But also a show of confidence in me; after three years developing with Endura they believed that I could continue to get better.”

What have been the biggest changes since the merger?

“Getting used to the different style of management and how the team is run.

“It took a few months for everyone to gel and fit in; but now the team feels very together and we are improving in races as a result.”

What’s it like getting used to the change of equipment?

“It’s not a big deal for me.

“Even if you stay with the same team, you usually get a new bike sponsor or at least a new model for each season; so every January I go through the same process of measuring everything up and transferring dimensions across to the new equipment.”

Scott Thwaites
Scott has no problems adapting to new equipment.

What are your goals for 2013?

“I still have a lot to learn at the top level; so I hope to get the opportunity to ride some World Tour races to gain experience.

“Having achieved several top 10 placings already I also hope to get my first professional win.”

Where do want to be career-wise in five years time?

“I would like to be in the World Tour and have ridden a Grand Tour and the big classics.

“This is obviously very ambitious but I like to set my goals high and we will see how things pan out.”

Our thanks to Team NetApp-Endura for the use of their images.

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.

Related Articles

Alex Wetterhall – Ronde van Drenthe 2013 Winner

It’s been a grim spring for pro bike racing; Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Nokere Koerse had to be cancelled due to foul weather and Sunday’s Milano-Sanremo was compromised by snow. One recent race featuring Alex Wetterhall which did go ahead despite savage climatic conditions was the UCI 1.1 196 kilometre Ronde van Drenthe in The Netherlands.

Erick Rowsell – “I do like to race a lot”

It’s been a while since we last spoke to young English rider Erick Rowsell (and yes, that’s his sister) - it was at the time when he was one of eight Endura riders (and just five Britons) to survive the inevitable cull which occurred when the team merged with German Pro Continental squad, Netapp for season 2013.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 16: Martigny > Bourg-Saint-Maurice, 159km

Sitting here in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, perhaps I'm going to revise my opinion that l'Equipe's Tour coverage isn't as good as the Gazzetta's Giro coverage. The Gazzetta looks better, but the L'Equipe goes so deep.

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 13: Savona – Cervere 121km. Cav, What a Sprinter!

Cav, like him or loathe him, what a sprinter. His train is by no means HTC - the GreenEdge boys were much better organised, yesterday - but all that does is to underline his quality. Today, in the stage from Savona to Cervere, he was isolated and boxed - he was free-wheeling at one stage - the gap opened and he was through it in a blink.

Dan Patten Blog: All the bad luck at once!

So it's been a few weeks since my last Dan Patten Blog post. This is because I was waiting until something went my way again... I'm still waiting! The last few weeks of racing has been filled with bad luck, with mechanical problems at the wrong times and a few crashes to go with, not to mention a national championships that was reduced to a training ride.

Young Scots at the AVS Cup at the Gent Six Day 2016

Sunday starts with the climax of the under 23 Six the AVS Cup. Not long ago I would have struggled to believe that home grown Scottish talent would be riding Gent but with Mark Stewart in the elite event and Andy Brown and Grant Martin in the U23 this is a Scottish success story.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Mountain Bike, Elite Men. Anton Cooper the Strongest

Despite being one of the youngest riders in the field, 19 year old New Zealander Anton Cooper proved to be the strongest and the savviest by surprising the two riders still with him heading towards the finish with a sudden and sharp acceleration off the front of the string to go clear with just a few hundred uphill metres remaining. Teammate Samuel Gaze (himself only 18 years old) reacted quickly to pass Daniel McConnell (Australia) to take second place just three seconds behind Cooper.

UCI Track World Cup 2012, Glasgow – Friday

The first major competition on the brand new Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow was the three-day UCI Track World Cup. We've been racing the Wednesday night Track League here since early October, and the Scottish Championships were held a few weeks ago, with the invitational two hour 'Thunderdrome' event taking up an afternoon and covered live on Radio Scotland, but this was something else.