When friends of VeloVeritas Dave and Vik – both devotees of Belgian palmarès websites tell me there’s a young British guy I should be speaking to then I take notice!
Scott Auld is the man, with an ever-growing list of podium finishes in the Flatlands.
We caught up with him recently:
You were Dave Rayner Fund man Scott, do they still support you?
“I was supported by the Dave Rayner fund in 2015/16; in 2017 I was supported by the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund, however this year I was without support.
“Thankfully my family supported me a lot and I managed to get some money from my team also.”
And you were a Zappi rider – how did you find that experience?
“I loved being a Zappi rider, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also a really incredible experience.
“I learnt so much on and off the bike and it definitely made me a stronger rider mentally and physically.
“Looking back it definitely changed me a lot as a person.
“I’ll always be grateful to Flavio for his help and giving me the opportunity to race some of the biggest u23 races in the world.”
I read though that you found la Bella Italia a ‘little lumpy’ for you?
“Yes, this time last year I had got it into my head that the longer climbs and hillier races were not suited to me.
“But when I look back I’m not sure if that is the case, I’ve had results in some very hilly races – but when it came to Italian UCI’s I was never quite there.
“Who knows why, but the amateur scene in Italy is not somewhere I would like to race again.”
VC Touchy, how did that ride come about and how well does the team support you?
“I wanted a change of scenery and my friend and ex-team mate Owen James of Cote d’Amour put me in touch with Jean Vantalon.
“He runs Cyclingnews website and also acts as kind of a rider agent for foreign riders who want to ride in France.
“In terms of team support, it was great for the first few months unfortunately there were a few dodgy dealings with the DS and the team was left with an insufficient budget for the final half of the season.
“It’s a real shame as I was just starting to find my rhythm in France and was aiming for a big block of UCI’s and stage races in July of which we didn’t get to do any.”
Where’s ‘home’ over there?
“Along with two foreign team mates I lived in the team house which was in Toucy itself.
“It’s around 150km south of Paris, a very small town with not much going on.”
How about the boring stuff – cleaning, washing, cooking?
“We are left to our own devices, I learnt how to look after myself on Zappi’s so it wasn’t much of a problem.
“Everyone has to pitch in and it makes things a lot easier.”
A French team but your best results are in Belgium?
“Maybe you’ve only heard about my results in Belgium?
“I finished second on GC at the Tour of Ulster in Ireland as well as picking up the points competition.
“I also finished second in a stage race in France in July.
“I would say I am better at stage races but to be honest I just love racing hard and Belgium is perfect for that.
“Joscelin Ryan once said to me that if you are a good bike rider you can do well in Belgium regardless of what ‘type’ of rider you are.”
Tell us about your recent win.
“That was only a small race in the U.K., but a win is a win right? (he chuckles).”
And the four second places on the bounce…
“Yes I seemed to have come to grips with how to ride a kermis and have hit some good form.
“I just haven’t quite been good enough for the win, twice I was a bit unlucky with riders up the road; the first one I just wasn’t fast enough in the sprint and was beaten by the champion of West Flanders – and the crit was my own fault.
“I underestimated the other guy.
“I also finished third today, two guys were up the road,
“I tried to get across with another five guys but that didn’t work.
“Then I attacked with 800m to go when there was a slight lull in the peloton and just stayed away till the line.”
Why do you think you’re coming good now?
“Like I said, I have been strong earlier in the year but there was a lull mid-season due to the uncertain circumstances with the team.
“But at the start of the year I managed some high places in UCI’s including 23rd at Paris-Troyes which had four pro conti teams in attendance.
“I was placing second in the Tour of Martinique, winning young rider and mountain jerseys until a large crash on the penultimate stage took me out the race.“