Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Jake Stewart – Second in u23 Gent – Wevelgem 2018

"Tour de Yorkshire is on the cards, which will be a great experience as a young rider if I get a ride there."

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‘ Jake Stewart, Great Britain? ’

Second in the u23 Gent-Wevelgem and third in the Trofeo Piva in Italy, strong results – but we know that name…

Ah!

Yes, he and Fred Wright won the Berlin Six u23 race in 2017 and VeloVeritas was their official photographer for the day best have a word with the man…

Jake Stewart
Jake takes a sling from Fred Wright. Photo©Ed Hood

Second in Gent-Wevelgem, a nice performance Jake, any “with hindsight’s”?

“Second in Gent-Wevelgem came as a real surprise to be fair, I knew I had good legs going into it and was going well on the bike, but to pick up second as a first year under-23 came as a real shock to me. 

“I got myself into a late move which managed to stick to the line, in hindsight…

“I should have opened up my sprint earlier, there was one rider that had pinged off the front in the final k or so, which if I had kicked earlier then I may have been able to roll on the line.”

And third in the Trofeo Piva, those Italian races are always hilly – and savage…

“We didn’t really know what to expect as a team in Trofeo Piva, this was the first real hard Italian race of the season for us, so we went in without any clear plan; it was more just to see where the legs were and make the call on the day. 

“A big team effort late on in the ride meant I got over the final climb in a good way and was in a good place to be able to sprint. 

“I made it hard for myself taking the long way around to the line but managed to have enough gas still left to take third.

Fifth in the Worlds junior road race last season, happy with that one or any “what ifs?” – that last lap was pretty wild.

“Fifth at worlds was my biggest results as a junior. 

“The finale of the race was pretty hectic and as always in racing there were many ‘what ifs’. 

“We did a big team effort and made the calls late in the race and fifth was the best result that we got.

Jake Stewart
Jake Stewart. Photo©Ed Hood

You’ve ridden the junior Paris-Roubaix twice, 68th then 25th – is that one for the future?

“I think any rider’s dream is to ride Paris-Roubaix one day. 

“It’s a race that I’ve grown up watching and get excited about every year; it’s by far the best race on the calendar and definitely the one race that I’ve had the most fun riding.” 

The Ronde last week and a DNF – you would be expecting more?

“First year u23 is all a big learning curve. 

“The Ronde is a super hard race – I guess after the result I had at Gent-Wevelgem I would have hoped for more, but at the end of the day the legs were where they were and you’ve just got to accept that.”

How did you get into the sport and which of the British Cycling programmes are you with?

“My dad had always ridden a bike and I realised I was pretty rubbish at most other sports. 

“I’d tried football, martial arts, swimming, running etc. and realised I wasn’t very good at any of them but the one thing that I wasn’t too bad at was cycling. 

“From there I got involved with my local cycling club, Solihull, and from then on it’s just taken off. 

“I’m now training full time on the GBCT Senior Academy.

Jake Stewart
Jake is at home on the road or the boards. Photo©Ed Hood

Where are you based and what’s the regime like?

“We’re currently based between Manchester and the u23 house in Montichiari, Italy. 

“Although recently for the Belgium block we’ve been staying at the girls u23 house in Zottegem, Belguim. 

“Now that we’re into the season the regime is pretty simple – racing, recovering, and when we’re not doing that, training.”

2017 you did a lot of track racing, Berlin Six Day and Euros for instance, will there be less track and more road, this year?

“Not really, through the winter we had a big track block in the lead up to the national track champs, I also rode the national Madison champs and a few rounds of the Revolution series in Manchester and Glasgow. 

“The u23 euro track champs is also still on the cards depending on team selection of course, as we’ve got a strong track team on the programme, so there are still plenty of opportunities to take on the track. 

“It’s all about a balance and getting in a good road racing block also, we’re definitely fortunate to have such a good road calendar thanks to BC, so it’s all about getting in the good racing where it matters and getting the best quality out of the opportunities we are presented with.