Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Jake Tipper – Eddie Soens Winner on Life After Huub-Wattbike

"I just couldn’t hack any more sessions getting spat because I can’t knock out world record splits during our warm up!"

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Those HUUB/Ribble boys – our site has almost become the ‘Archibald & Gordon show,’ we’ve spoken to Jonny Wale and Dan Bigham is a regular. But what about that other lad, Jake Tipper?

We’ve never spoken to him – then he went and won the Eddie Soens Handicap…

Jake Tipper
Jake Tipper. Photo©supplied

Congratulations on your Soens win Jake, talk us through it please.

“Thanks I’m pretty chuffed with it. 

“Nothing was too complicated really. 

“Everyone in the scratch worked well to avoid any upsets like last year, we caught pretty early and kept committing men up the road, notably Si Wilson taking the pressure off us to chase. 

“We finished with three of us in a lead group of seven. 

“And my team mate, Gruff Lewis made the call to just work the sprint for me. 

“I almost messed it up at the end getting myself boxed as in but somehow snuck up the inside just in time to latch on to Joe Holt opening his sprint and I just managed to squeeze past him. 

“Although this left the finish too close to properly celebrate, I think I would have struggled to go no handed with my 90 mm wheels in anyway.”

Tell us about yourself – how old, where from and how did you get into the bike?

“I’m 28 years-old, I did all sports as kid before getting into triathlon age 13, I started racing with Halesowen as an U16 and converted just to cycling as a junior. 

“I wasn’t very successful as a junior or u23 but I just kept plugging away trying to focus on my own goals rather than the goals of the top juniors or u23 of my generation.”

You have a BS & MS in Sport & Exercise – do you use those to pull rank on Dan Bigham?

“Unfortunately physiology doesn’t quite have the same quantifiable silver bullets as engineering. 

“So if anything it just meant I shot ideas down rather than Dan being able to say ‘use these bars and save 7-10W’, which, while it doesn’t sound too exciting at least it stopped us running down any rabbit holes in search of snake oil. 

“Between us we all brought different strengths and weaknesses. 

“Collectively what we did do well was identify weaknesses and look to correct them. 

“Us all being on board with that was a real strength of ours from the start.

“After thought – There was a Dutch study measuring the effects of EPO on cycling performance up Mt Ventoux, that study found no significant performance benefits – with EPO!

“So you can imagine how difficult it is trying to work out which of the various MyProtein may give a performance benefit over 4km when top scientists can’t even prove EPO works!”

Jake Tipper
Jake Tipper was instrumental in the formulation of Team KGF. Photo©supplied

You were a founder member of KGF – now HUUB – tell us about how the team came to be.

“Dan had a bit of a ‘mare at the previous year’s national team pursuit, so decided he needed to find a stronger team. 

“He was a man short but knew I could at least ride the track so promised me I could just bang out a kilo, then get off the track and resume my winter training. 

“The problem came when it turned out he promised Jonny the same thing. 

“Leaving me about five weeks to suddenly get fit and aero, and somehow hang on to a time that would have got us top 10 in the previous Olympics.

“After we won I was then really enthusiastic to actually race in my national stripes again. 

“There are limited opportunities to wear national team pursuit kit domestically, I’d already asked Will Fotheringham (organiser of Halesowen track league) if he would put a TP on for us to ride.

“We knew the time was fast and Dan thought that alone meant we could just rock up to World Cups and get a ride. I had just tried to register a road team in Macao so was at least a bit familiar with the UCI regs. 

“So I called up BC and we found out we had already missed the deadline, but they would give us a week to register. 

“We got KGF on board thanks to our current lap split provider, Ellie Green – and just got it done to be honest. 

“It wasn’t rocket science, we had lots of battles getting through that first World Cup season, as it was a steep learning curve, but we just did what we could to the best of our abilities. If something cost money we hadn’t got, we just got the credit cards out. It was just that sort of attitude that got us through. 

“We didn’t let anything really hold us back.”

Jake Tipper
Jake Tipper and his Huub-Wattbike team made good use of the wind tunnel. Photo©Huub

You were with ‘Memil CC’ Finland 2018 – interesting… 

“Yes, that was a bit of a dream year for me, as mentioned above I never dreamt of overly ambitious goals, after my first season experiencing UCI racing in 2014, I just decided I would like that one season of racing a proper UCI calendar. 

“And overall it went pretty well, in the four main stage races I achieved two top 10’s in UCI .1s, won a stage of Morocco (2.2), and won a stage of Quinghai which counts as a pro win on PCS as it’s a .HC. 

“I even snuck a bonus Class 1 track win in at the Dublin GP to qualify enough points for bunch racing at Track World Cups, so while my results weren’t the most consistent that season I made the big ones count.”

Season 2018 – races in Taiwan, Morocco, Estonia, Finland, China – that’s a cosmo programme.

“I did an article for Cycling weekly in 2014, in which I mentioned that all my mates were off traveling the world, and whilst I couldn’t really d