Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeInterviewsJames Shaw - Moving to Belgium and to Lotto Soudal U23 in...

James Shaw – Moving to Belgium and to Lotto Soudal U23 in 2015

-

James Shaw
James Shaw.

The last time we spoke to young Englishman, James Shaw he’d just won the junior edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Recently he’s followed in the footsteps of Adam Blythe and Dan McLay by signing for Lotto’s U23 ‘feeder’ team.

High time we had another word with him, we thought to ourselves…

Congratulations, James – how did the Lotto ride come about?

“The great John Barclay, who has been taking British riders out to race in Belgium for decades, arranged for me to meet with the team management at Lotto Soudal (Belisol).

The meeting was arranged for a weekend that I was out racing and we met in the hotel on a Saturday evening; we spoke at length about aims and ambitions and after that they offered me a contract for the 2015 season.

“They had previously had Adam Blythe and Dan McLay on their roster, which although nice to follow in the footsteps of such class riders does add a little to the pressure.

“Without doubt though, without John Barclay it would never have happened as the foreign races that I did as part of his team and the results I got for him have to be a massive part in getting signed.”

We last spoke to you after your Kuurne win – tell us about your palmares since then, please.

“I managed another good win at Junior Het Nieuwsblad.

“Got a second in the King of the Mountains at the Peace Race Nations Cup for GB and overall fifth on GC at the Keizer Tour.

“Back home I won the Junior Cicle Classic, the Tour of the Mendips and Cadence.

“In senior races I was sixth at the Milk Race around the streets of Nottingham and fourth on GC at the two-day Holme Valley Tour.”

When’s the first team ‘get together’?

“We got together at the HQ of Soudal, the big new title sponsor, in October. It was basically just to meet up and sort kit sizes out. etc.

“It was pretty big though as all the guys in the senior team were there, together with all the management.

“It was good to meet some of the other new guys although I knew them a little through racing over the season.”

When do you get the goodies; new kit, new bike – what’s the bike and groupset?

“Think we are looking for after Christmas.

“Bikes will be Ridleys with Campag groupsets; it doesn’t come much better than that!”

Is there a formal team launch – where and when?

“I definitely think there will be but I’ve not got a date yet. We go away on a two week training camp in February so it might be after that.”

Tell us about your programme – will you be riding Nations Cups for GB?

“I’d love to think so, Tao and Dan have had some good GB rides this season so it’s nice to know that if you go and race abroad you are not forgotten.

“Obviously it’s down to selection and that will be down to performance.”

James Shaw
James centre stage at the Junior Het Nieuwsblad. Photo©REM

How long did your winter break last – what do you get up to that you wouldn’t during the season?

“It was about three weeks immediately after the World Championships, after that I was doing some steady riding just to keep the legs moving. I’m now fully back into my heavy winter block.

“What did I do that I wouldn’t have normally done? Not worry quite so much about my diet, generally chilled, went to the Out the Saddle Dinner organised by Dean and Russ [Downing].

“I suppose I just did normal things without thinking too much about training and racing.”

Has the team given you direction on training?

“They allow me to determine my own training which for me is working with my coach Chris McNamara and Trainsharp.

“Chris will work me out a training regime that fits around my racing calendar.

“Working with Trainsharp has made a massive difference I think what Chris has taught me is that less is often more as I think that left on my own I would have a tendency to over train.

“I’m now learning that it isn’t all about quantity of training it’s about quality and this is why a professional coach is so important.”

Who’ll be your DS?

“It’s Kurt Van de Wouwer who is the guy who signed me.”

Have you started learning Vlaams, yet?

“I want to learn the language; I certainly don’t want everybody to speak to me in English just because they can.

“Embracing the whole racing abroad experience is part of everything I want; it’s more than just about the racing – it’s about the life.

“Having said that I am using Google translate rather a lot at the minute to answer e-mails!”

Are you looking forward to all those hellingen and kasseien in 2015?

“I’ve always loved Belgium roads and racing, I think having started in cyclo-cross it sets you up for the tough conditions, cobbles are great; just hit them at speed and try and stay rubber side down.”

Where will ‘home’ be?

“Home will be Herselt in the east of Belgium about 15km away from the Lotto Soudal service course.”

James Shaw
James and his prize donkey at Kuurne.

What was the best moment of 2014 for you?

“The World Championship was massive and although a top ten would have been nice, 16th was a solid result that I was happy with.

“Just the thought of being there again in future is all the motivation you need to train on an early cold Sunday morning whilst everybody else is in bed in the warm.”

Any disappointments?

“I got ill after the National Champs and missed a few good races, thankfully I got over it although it took a few weeks, I just got back for the Tour of Wales and the Worlds.”

What are you looking for from 2015?

“I’m not underestimating how hard it is going to be, I just want to prove my commitment, dedication and to try and build foundations for a second and third season as an U23.

“At every new stage you start as the smallest fish in the pond you just need to try and grow into that big fish…”

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

A Weekend in the Flatlands; Het Nieuwsblad 2013 and a Cancelled KBK

VeloVeritas and chums were over at the Belgian season opening Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classics. Unfortunately the latter was cancelled but we still snapped away – here’s a selection of our favourite images from the weekend.

Thomas Gloag – “I find myself getting better as the road slopes upwards”

Tom Pidcock’s stunning performance to win the ‘Baby’ Giro - with three stage wins along the way - over-shadowed a very promising ride by his Trinity Racing team mate, Thomas Gloag, the young man from London getting stronger as the race progressed.

Robert Hassan – First Super Six Winner of the Year

If it's the first weekend of the month and the snow drops have burst through - it must Scottish Super Six time. VeloVeritas caught up with the first Super Six winner of the year, 19 year-old Dumbarton man Robert Hassan (Endura/Pedal Power Development Team) the day after he'd triumphed over 65 miles of beautiful East Lothian countryside in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion at Gifford.

Gary Wiggins – a Legend with a Tragic End

The late Gary Wiggins’ sister Glenda Hughes, took to social media recently to remind us that some 13 years have passed since the big Australian died under mysterious circumstances. Wiggins had many sides – depending on how you knew him – which prompted us to re-run our review of his European glory to tragic end.

Lendelede Kermis 2007

Lendelede, early afternoon, and we've missed the start - but the sun is shining and our hero, Guy Smet is riding. This is a kermesse. A criterium, like Friday night's, is usually on a circuit of one to two kilometres which is generally urban in nature, and the event will last one to two hours. A kermesse course, on the other hand, will be on a circuit of six to eight kilometres, and whilst it will start and finish in the village main street, it will be largely rural, race duration will be two to three hours.

Joe Parkin – Still Racing, But Just For Fun!

"A Dog in a Hat," has to be one of the best books about pro cycling ever written. Author Joe Parkin took some time to talk to VeloVeritas about life, bike racing, his next book-yes, and Lance!

At Random

Riding with F1 driver Jenson Button

Back in mid-December, VeloVeritas pal Mike Zagorski noticed that 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button was in Hawaii, by happy coincidence the same island that he lives on.

Joss Lowden – Olympic Rider has eyes on The Hour Record

British rider Joss Lowden who rides for Drops Le Col, on the sea level Derby track in England rode 48.160km in 60 minutes - 153m further than the current distance - in an ‘unofficial’ one hour ride and will be going for the official UCI record in Switzerland later this year.

The Giro d’Italia 2010: Good Times Bad Times

Good Times Bad Times - CIAO! The Giro d’Italia version 2010 has begun. We started racing up in Amsterdam (which, while not technically* part of Italy, was a cool place to start racing from) with a time trial, followed by two road stages. The start of a Grand Tour is always cool — the whole team starts to find extra gears, and the organisation is singing by start time.

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 – Day 6

It must be the end of term at Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007; "Mr. Happy", stoney-faced derny pilot and former king of the big motor drivers, Bruno Walrave was actually laughing at breakfast - hey! It's pay day today too - always good for morale.

World Road Championships 2011 – Day 4, rest day

No races today, time to catch up with some old friends, the gossip and write up the Worlds Elite rr preview and fit in an interview - I have to justify my existence. We're about 20 K from the city of Copenhagen in Naerum, which is right on the course. It takes two trains to get to central Copenhagen, but they run frequently and bang on time. Our meeting this morning was with Dane, Jimmy Hansen.

Michael Mørkøv – From the Tour to the Olympic Track

One of the men who enlivened the race amidst what was a pretty dull GC battle in this year’s Tour de France was Saxo Bank –Tinkoff Bank rider, Michael Mørkøv. The Dane wore the leaders’ jersey for the king of the mountains during the first week and was in the breakaway more than 800 kilometres during le Tour.