Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsErick Rowsell - "I do like to race a lot"

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

-

Erick Rowsell
Erick lined up in Mallorca last month. Photo©Nigel Wynn/cyclingweekly

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.

Netapp punched above their weight during season 2012 with strong performances all over Europe – notably the Giro, where they refused to lay down to the World Tour squadra.

Rowsell has been around a while, despite the fact that he’s only 23 years-old and NetApp could obviously see potential

In 2007 he took bronze in the British junior road race championship and individual pursuit champs as well as gold in the junior time trial champs.

The following season saw him with strong placings in continental road events; win the junior Tour of Wales and the British junior road race championship – whilst on the track he took two junior European silver medals, in the individual and team pursuit.

The following two seasons the medal tally slowed down, but in 2011 he was in the GB teams which came third in the team pursuit in the Beijing World Cup and second at the U23 European championships. On the road he took third in the U23 Tour of Berlin and 11th in the U23 Het Nieuwsblad.

At start the of 2012 we asked what his ambitions were for the year; ‘its something completely new, a chance to carry on developing, learn about different races, help my team get results – and it would be nice to get some results myself.

And get results he did.

His stage win in the tough Tour de Normandie was against opposition which included Rabobank Continental, Bretagne Schuller, Lotto-Belisol, Itera-Katusha and Leopard-Trek.

And whilst stages in the late lamented Tour Doon Hame were never easy to win, he added one to his palmarès.

However, his season was compromised by a crash in the European U23 Road Race Championship in the Netherlands and a bad collarbone break.

Last season was a long one, starting in Oman and ending in Lombardy with stage races in West Flanders, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, China, Spain and Great Britain along the way.

We spoke to Erick at the NetApp-Endura training camp before his season kicked off and he took a top 20 placing in the Clasica de Almeria.

Erick Rowsell
Erick found the Tour of Qinghai Lakes one of the hardest of his year. Photo©Mokhriz Aziz/Cycling Asia

How’s that collarbone, Erick?

“I got the metal plates out in October after my season finished.

“It was a really bad break which required three hours of surgery – but fingers crossed, it’s fine now.”

You had a busy year, around 70 race days.

“Yeah, it was a big step up from 2012 when I had around 40 UCI race days – but it’s not just the number of races; it’s the quality of the fields and the longer distances too.

“It takes you a while to get used to the longer race distances but it’s not just that, there’s the aspect of recovery to be ready for the next race.

“The jump in levels was pretty much what I expected and then of course there’s the extra travel on top.

“But the logistics are all very professionally handled at Pro Continental level and all of that said – I do like to race a lot.”

Qinghai must have been an eye opener?

“It was an experience, for sure!

“I think that after the Grand Tours it’s the longest race on the UCI calendar.

“It’s a tough race and you have to deal with a different culture around the race – but I think it was a really good experience for developing my core.”

And Lombardia was a hard way to end the year.

“I wasn’t great in that race and was DNF.

“A few of us in the team had been ill with food poisoning but it was nice to have started such a famous race.”

Which 2013 result pleases you most?

“It’s hard to pick one, I didn’t have any standout rides but I was pleased to finish Qinghai.

“The aim for 2013 was to build and learn and I feel I achieved that.”

Erick Rowsell
Erick looks comfortable at this year’s Volta ao Algarve. Photo©Bettini

Toughest racing of 2013?

“Qinghai again but as for one day races go Het Nieuwsblad was tough; I was just back from Oman and you’re thrown right into the first Belgian Cobbled Classic of the year – and they’re tough.”

Did you get much freedom in 2013?

“I had the odd opportunity but my role was a supporting one most of the time and I’m more than happy to perform that function.”

How was the winter?

“I took four weeks off and started on 1st November.

“I’ve upped-sticks and moved to Gerona in Northern Spain to take advantage of the weather, quiet roads and the fact that there are plenty of guys to train with.

“Paul Voss from my team is there and I’ve been out with Dan Martin and Dave Millar.”

Erick Rowsell
Erick looks nonplussed at the end of a Stage of the Tour of Turkey 2013. Photo©NetApp-Endura/H.A. Roth

How’s the programme looking?

“Pretty good; we have a lot of Belgian and Italian racing coming up but you can’t be sure about the bigger races until they announce the wild card selections – that’s one of the problems about Pro Continental, it’s not automatic entry for the major races like it is at World Tour level.”

How did the training camps go?

“We did a lot of hard work; a lot of climbing but I felt I came up a level from the training I’d been doing.

“We were very lucky with the weather in Majorca – it only rained one morning but we still got out in the afternoon.”

Erick Rowsell
Erick and his teammates training in Mallorca last month. Photo©NetApp-Endura

What do you want from 2014?

“I don’t have any specific targets; I just want to continue to build on what I’ve learned over the last two seasons.”

Lessons from 2013?

“A lot of small things, no massive things in particular – all just part of the process…”

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

Phil Trodden – From Rugby to Cycling to National Championship Medals in Two Seasons!

"Hey Ed, hope you are well? Just thought I'd let you know the Scottish guys are racing Ras Muhman this weekend, a four day over in Ireland. Phil Trodden in particular is riding for Scotland. I don't know if you know Phil, but he is an absolute gent and a proper racer..." That was the message from British Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart – best not argue with those trackies, they can get very emotional – so we dropped Phil a line and here’s what he had to say to us.

Luke Davison – Loving the Belgian Style

VeloVeritas & Co. always tries to keep an eye on what’s happening in the Heartland of Flanders. If it’s not Vik, then it’s Dave who tips us of about who’s burning up the kermises – the name of 23 year-old Australian Luke Davison caught his eye with back to back kermis wins.

Pavel Sivakov – the hottest U23 property in the world

What’s the best thing an aspiring world class athlete can do? Pick their parents carefully, of course. The hottest U23 property in the world right now, Pavel Sivakov did that very thing; dad Alexei was a pro for 10 years with Roslotto, BigMat, CCC and Auber 93. As an amateur he won the Tour of Serbia and as a pro the Circuito Montanes; he rode the Vuelta and three Tours de France.

James Shaw – Winner of the Junior Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2014

What have Geraint Thomas, Adam Blythe and new sprint star – he was only narrowly beaten by Boonen at Kuurne – Moreno Hofland all got in common? There’s a clue above in the place name: they’ve all won the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. And adding to that illustrious list is another Englishman; 17 year-old James Shaw from Heanor in Derbyshire, he rides for HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team in the UK and took the honours with a perfectly timed move in the finale of one of the world’s premier junior races.

Finlay Young – a Junior, winning Senior Races

Junior racing isn't exactly flourishing in Scotland, so it's good to see one of the youngsters getting a bit of the limelight - 17 year old Finlay Young took the honours in the Jack Murray road race at Dunfermline over the weekend.

Kyle Gordon – Big Plans for 2020 and Life in the HUUB House

But we’re pretty sure that no 100 mile time trial champion has ever been on the keirin podium? Enter, that man Kyle Gordon – quality time tester, ever-improving pursuiter and now sprinter. We caught up with the man from Alness just before he jetted off to Australia and a round of the UCI Track World Cup.

At Random

Grenoble Six Day 2006 – Sixth Night

The last day at Grenoble Six Day 2006 isn't too hard for the riders, there's a points race, a time trial and then the big chase - 180 laps of the 210 meter track. I did hear guys complain though that the lack of warm-up races made for sore legs early in the Madison.

Luke Durbridge – Critérium du Dauphiné Prologue win

Despite having the advantage of starting as last man in the Dauphine’s 5.7 kilometre prologue time trial, Britain’s defending champion, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) couldn’t best the time set by 21 year-old world under 23 world time trial champion, Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge-Orica & Australia).

James McCallum – Rapha’s ‘Busiest and Oldest’ Pro

We caught up with James McCallum after a busy weekend which combined the British Madison Championships, a Revolution meeting and a cyclo-cross.

Gary Hand – From Rider to (Gran Fondo) Organiser

Gary Hand used to be a regular on the pages of VeloVeritas, he raced in France; he was always in the mix in Scottish road races; he was the driving force behind the formation of the powerful Endura team in 2009 and in 2012 achieved a long held goal of winning the Scottish Senior Road race Championship. And he’s back, at the helm of Gran Fondo Scotland.

La Vuelta a España 2010

The La Vuelta a España 2010 presentation was in Sevilla this year (normally Madrid), the start town of next year's race. Some of the old stars of cycling where in attendance; Thevenet, Olano, Hinault and introducing the show Pedro Delgado. Hinault pointed out that one of his hardest day on a bike was the stage to Avila in 1983 which he won stage and overall.

Winning the Winston Criterium & Returning to Europe!

Once again its been a hectic month or two and so too much to write about in a single blog post. I really should start writing a book! So I am going to keep this fairly short and sweet focusing on another victory (in the Winston Criterium) added to season 2013 and a return to Europe after five months away!