Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeInterviewsJake Scott - An InterClub Win at Zandhoven!

Jake Scott – An InterClub Win at Zandhoven!


Stung by comments from VeloVeritas mentor and observer of all things vélo sport, Viktor that we’d taken our eye of the Flanders ball we’ve been paying special attention to the results from the Flatlands.

One which caught our eye recently was a win in the InterClub race at Zandhoven over 138K where Englishman Jake Scott beat Stef Vermeulen of KWC Heist Zuiderkempen to take the win.

InterClubs are ‘big deal’ races and the pro teams keep a close eye on the results – naturally, they’re not easy to win.

‘Illi Bikes’ is the name on Jake’s jersey, the team run by former Team Sky mechanic, Ken Illegems and his dad, soigneur Etienne.

We thought we should ‘have a word’ with Mr. Scott…

Jake Scott
Jake Scott.

Tell us about your win, please Jake.

“When I started the race my legs felt heavy, but after a few jumps to mark the breaks they got a bit better, my chain was jumping so I decided to change bikes about half way through, luckily I didn’t panic to get back because the race was starting to split, I moved up the peloton and jumped straight across to the break, most of the teams were represented so after a couple of laps we were out of touch.

“I tried splitting the break as it was still fairly big, but a couple of teams wanted a sprint, so I just stayed calm and found a gap with 150M to go and kept on going to the line, I knew I wanted to go left because there was a bump on the right that scrubbed a bit of speed off, where as if I hit left I had a smoother run to the line, It wasn’t straighter but it was definitely quicker.

“It was my first win of the season, and my first win in nearly two years since moving up to an U23, so to me it feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders, sometimes you doubt yourself if you can still win, so to cross the line first, mentally it helps a lot.

“Some riders can win consistently all year, but some don’t get that feeling, so yes, to get that one win is somewhat of a relief.”

How has the season been for you palmarès-wise?

“Palmarès-wise some might say it looks OK but really this year hasn’t been the most consistent, I’ve had a consistent string of results at certain points, but not a consistent year, it still looks better than last year however.

“When I really look at it I’ve missed nearly three months out of competition this year due to issues with my ankle at the beginning, and what were thought to be issues with my heart after the National Championships, but after checking and checking and checking it was found that everything is OK and there were no issues.

“As always I get back on track straight-away, and with the help I receive it’s hard not to keep aiming to push forwards.”

Where’s ‘home’ in Belgium

“Herselt, in the province of Antwerpen, but really were on the border between Antwerpen and Vlaams Braabant which helps a lot with the racing.

“I live with teammates and some great people next to a cafe which is set back in some woods, so normally it’s quiet and peaceful, which for me is good.”

Talk us through a typical week in the Flatlands.

“The Flatlands, that’s the funny bit really, living where we do we have a range of terrains, we’re not in the Ardennes where it’s up, down, up, down, but if we want to go for a good rolling day out its easy to do so, mostly the climbs are short and steep, which for me is good for training, but equally it’s so easy to go for a recovery ride, or head for efforts down the canal – but I need a good mix, and at points this year it’s been race recover, race, recover, but obviously that comes with rest and training also.”

Do you have a coach – what’s the ethos?

“No I don’t actually, I pushed hard to be coached this year but I can’t afford to do it, so I had to go back to what I’ve learned previously.

“It’s been quite exciting for me actually, it was hard during the winter, but I know what work makes me go well.

“Also living with who I do and surrounded by the people that I am is great, the advice is always there and all I have to do is ask, I’m close to a lot of people, and really it makes life a lot easier if there’s anything I need.”

You were an MTB guy originally, how did that lead you to Belgium?

“Yes I was, I’m not sure MTB lead to Belgium, but it certainly lead me to racing, it was track racing first after MTB-ing, then road, and the last couple of years it’s been more about the road.

“I came out here as a junior at weekends normally and the results were good, most of the time better than back in Britain.

“So I knew I wanted to race out here as an U23, but I was still at college for my first year, so I had to wait.

“I was able to spend a month racing out here last year to see if it’s where I wanted to be, and really it just confirmed I was quite comfortable in the Flemish surroundings.”

Top 10 in the junior Ronde in 2013 – nice ride…

“Difficult, really when I look back on that I think, I should have been higher there position wise, it’s a ride I look back on and have mixed feelings about.

“At the time my form was good.

“I remember we missed a cobble sector out on our recon ride, so I had to chase to get across to the front split in the race, but really the last sectors were too far away from the finish to make anything major stick, and other teams were looking for a sprint, but yes a top 10 was a strong result and the team management was happy so it was a good day out.”

Jake Scott
Jake on his way to his first win for a while – and it was a belter.

And you rode the Tour of Serbia last year, who was that with and how did it go?

“The Tour of Serbia was a strange one; I went with Haribo-Beacon as the team was called at the time, we had five riders and one member of staff Charlie Tennick, but we had two experienced riders in the team with in Pete Williams and James Sampson, so it made life a bit easier.

“I remember the race been a dangerous survival really, it was good hard racing, but sometimes you would just think; ‘there must be better roads than this in Serbia,’ I remember double puncturing on some raised tram tracks, but at the time it was getting me in good condition for the Nationals that were in Wales last year.”

How did you get the ride with Illi Bikes?

“My friend rode for the team as a first year, and after I spent a month racing out here I applied to the team, a couple of meetings later I signed the contract and I was looking forward to 2015, and to this day I believe it has been one of the best places to develop and learn.”

Describe yourself as a rider; what are your strengths?

“That’s a hard one really, some people watch me and say I’m a sprinter, but really if you look at the races that I do well in, it’s always a wearing down process or a breakaway/split, I’m not the fastest, so I have to take that sting out of other people’s legs, and if it’s a smaller group I’m more confident to leave it to a sprint.

“But also this year I’ve learned that I can make the difference over any little or good climbs in a race, I’ve been able to use it this year and it’s worked a few times to make the group smaller and thin down the selection.”

What do you need to work on?

“Resting, I’ve learned more this year about that aspect and maybe that is going to be a key aspect to next year also.

“On the bike however I would like to work on my sprint a bit more, and really just have that power and confidence to make more of a difference.”

What’s your favourite aspect of Belgium?

“The life here, you can relax a lot with the people, and they’ve always got something planned for us during the year to have some time out, or to just step away for an evening or so.

“I also like the racing and the conditions, there’s always a race to do, and the standard is high, it has really brought me on and has proved to me that it is a school of bike racing in Belgium, nothing is ever the same.”

Jake Scott
Jake with his teammates – and the flowers.

And least favourite?

“Really nothing, it’s nice to live having to look after yourself, and I think it’s important to remember to enjoy it a bit more, and be serious without been serious 24/7.”

When do you come home for the winter?

“At the beginning of October, the plan is to have some time off here because the bigger InterClub and Belgian cup races are getting less and less, then head back home and work for a bit to get ready for my return next year, and also to pay for a trip away over the winter to go training.”

What will the winter be about?

“I’ve said it above, but really I need rest this winter, it’s been a longer season for me with a lot of problems, so for me I want to try and press on later in the winter, and possibly do some cyclo-cross for some enjoyment in the earlier periods.”

What’s the plan for 2016?

“Maybe you’ve guessed already, but it’s a return to Belgium for me, I’m sure it’s going to be with ILLI Bikes once again as I want to learn to win consistently, I’m not looking for money, I’m looking for the opportunity to develop and progress, and really to start progressing towards a higher level.

“And if it’s OK would like to add an extra ‘thank you’ to:

“The Dave Rayner Fund, Pedal Potential, and the ‘Albion Cycling’ shop in Holmfirth, for their support throughout this year.”

We wish Jake ‘all the best’ for the rest of 2015 and season 2016, we’ll be keeping an eye…

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

Kasper Keeps Cool in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2020

I love the drive from Gent up to Kuurne for the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classic... staring out of the car window at the fields, the canals, tree-lined avenues, the steeples, tiny concrete roads that would be great to explore on the bike. There was a little rain on the way up but by the time we got to Kuurne it was a mild, sunny morning; ideal for wandering down the main drag where the busses line up and checking out 2020’s new hardware.

Ian Field: This is a Hard Game

Hey everyone, Ian Field here - it's great to be here on VeloVeritas! Well, after a really good opening race to the season recently it was always going to be difficult to back it up seven days later - and so it proved.

Andy Fenn – Winner of the Gullegem Koerse 2013

One of the biggest professional kermises in Flanders is the Gullegem Koerse, first held in 1942 when Belgian legend Marcel Kindt claimed victory. Since then it’s been won by many of the hardest kermis riders in the game – Willy Tierlinck, Wilfried Nelissen, Nico Eeckhout, Gert Omloop to name a few. Not to mention some of the best roadmen of their eras; including Nico Mattan, Peter Van Petegem and Philippe Gilbert. And for this year’s edition we can boast of a Scottish winner in Andy Fenn – well, his mum is Scottish and he rode the Commonwealth Games for us in Delhi.

Hamish Haynes – Letters from Belgium #2

Hamish Haynes: Hi folks, I'm very happy with the progress I have been making here, I'm confident of now delivering the required results. I've been having a lot of fun racing and training getting some really good sessions done, with a very positive feeling on the bike. It's not all gone my way though...

The VV View: Recovery Ramblings from the Sofa, incl. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

There’s never a good time to be in hospital but Grand Tour times apart, the start of March isn’t bad with cycling printed matter and video footage aplenty readily available, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad...

Mixing it with some Kermis Kings

Kermis Kings... Perhaps a combination of Mallorca, having a hectic time before getting out to Belgium, and a bit of illness and settling down in Belgium, but for the first few weeks certainly I have been feeling rather lethargic.

At Random

Brian Temple – Scotland’s First Commonwealth Games Cycling Medallist

Brian is the man who won Scotland’s first cycling medal back in 1970 when the Commonwealth Games came to Edinburgh for the first time. Australia and England were the top cycling nations in the competition with riders like Englishman Ian Hallam (who won the pursuit) and Australian John Nicholson (who won the sprint) and were expected to dominate the 10 mile; but a break comprising Vernon Stauble (Trinidad), Jocelyn Lovell (Canada) and Temple sneaked away from the Big Guns and stayed away.

Lothian Flyers Road Race

Gavin Shirley (Nevis Cycles RT) made the trip to the Scottish Borders today, and went away with the win in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion, the Lothian Flyer Road Race, narrowly edging out two fast Vets, Chris Brown (Stirling BC) and Steve Nutley (Fife Cycling 2000).

When Scotland had a National Stage Race: Part 2 – The Pro-Am Years

In Part 1 of "When Scotland had a National Stage Race" we saw the domination of the East Europeans that ended with the introduction of Professionals in to the Scottish Milk Race. The first year it was the British based pro's, then the big boys in the shape of the Belgian Isjberk-Gios team arrived in 1978 and set fire to the race, so instead of an East European domination we now had a Continental Pro domination, but they had something the Czechoslovakians, Poles, East Germans or Russians didn't have: style; class; and that "Pro-appeal".

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 1; Jerez de la Frontera (TTT), 12.6 km. The ‘Telephone Team’ Take It

Movistar win Stage One in Jerez de la Frontera – no surprises, then. Perhaps we could have expected more from reigning World TTT Champions, QuickStep but with Tony Martin just back after a break and a technical parcours where it would have been easy to pile up, the Belgian team took no chances and finished fifth.

La Vuelta a España, Stage 15: Notes from Lagos de Covadonga

It's 10:00 pm and we've just finished dinner in our 'local' at Cangas de Onis, we were here last night too. The Mahou is cold, the food is good and the wi-fi is free. It's a working dinner, words and pictures get dealt with in between patatas bravas and chorizo. 'Lagos de Covadonga' - one of the Vuelta legends.

Ponferrara World Road Championships 2014 – Juniors & Women. Jonas Bokeloh & Pauline Ferrand-Prevot

I hate to keep moaning about these Worlds, but ... There's no way you can get from the two K to go sign at the foot of the final descent and up onto the climb. Barriers, tapes, police, volantarios (volunteer janitors) - grim! A man who can't walk the course ends up in too many bars.