Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsToby Perry - "My goal was to win a race - I've...

Toby Perry – “My goal was to win a race – I’ve done that now!”

-

There may not be u23 racing – or any other kind of racing – taking place in the UK but there certainly is in Europe.

Flavio Zappi’s boys are in full effect in la Bella Italia and Scotsman Calum Johnston is turning the pedals in anger in España.

And the man who won the XLIII Memorial Cirilo Zunzarren in Estella-Lizarra, Navarre, Northern Spain where Calum finished 14th recently, was an Englishman; 21 year-old Toby Perry from Ashford in Kent, by name.

We’d spotted Toby had previously finished second in a Spanish race this season, the Trofeo Joan Escola; he’s currently in Girona but will soon be moving to Huesca in Aragon, North West Spain – time we caught up with this young gentleman… 

Toby Perry
Toby Perry takes the first Dave Rayner Fund win of the season, the XLIII Memorial Cirilo Zunzarren. Photo©Martin Early

Congratulations Toby, tell us about your victory, sir.

“Unusually for Spain it was flat but with cross winds and pure pain for the first hour – then it was up and down to the finish.

“The big teams, Lizarte – that’s the development team for the Equipo Kern Pharma UCI ProTeam – and Laboral pushed on in the hills whilst I contrived to miss a corner and had to do a bit of gravel riding and cyclo-cross bike shouldering to get back on the race route – but I got back and clawed my way up to the front group.

“I was in a move with Calum Johnston with at 50 K to go but it came back then I got away with Pua Miquel Delgado from Lisarte – he’s a strong guy with two podium places in races already this year, prior to this race – we attacked each other but it came down to the sprint where I got the better of him.” 

And a second place the week previous in the Trofeu Joan Escola?

“I was on a good day for that one, I was away but caught with 30 K to go then went away again, got caught but still managed second in the sprint for the win.”

How did you get into the sport in the first place?

“I was about 16 year-old and I didn’t have much choice, I was originally into rugby but my mum – who’s a cyclist – bought me a ‘cross bike and entered me for the Rapha Super Cross – which I hated every second of! 

“I had a year away from the bike then rode another ‘cross and began to enjoy it.

“I finished school and made sure that I had the necessary exam results to get in to university if I want to take that direction when my cycling days are over.” 

What were your UK palmarès like?

“As a junior I won the South East Regional Championships, I got third in a stage in the Tour of the Mendips and won a kermesse in France.

“I haven’t actually raced u23 events in the UK; my first year I went to Belgium then last year was Covid and this year I’m in Spain.”

And I get trouble from Jos Ryan if I don’t ask; are you a Dave Rayner Fund Man?

“Oh yes!

“I first got support from the fund in 2019 and it’s been an amazing help, taking a lot of pressure away from me.”

Toby Perry at Trofeo Joan Escola. Photo©Moises Aguilera

Why Spain rather than say, France or Italy?

“The main reason is that my Belgian team folded unexpectedly and I frantically messaged every team I could find.

“I got two responses, one from The Netherlands and one from Spain – and here I am!” 

Team La Tova Asesoria Amudevar, is it a good set up?

“Yes, it’s run well and we have decent sponsors; I’ve still got to get my bike, a Sabato – I had one last year but broke it in a crash – so I’m racing on my four years-old training bike.”

Spain has a name for there being plenty of hilly and mountainous stage races but not too many single day races.

“That applies at the top levels of the sport but not at amateur/u23 level; there are plenty of one day races in the early season; our stage races will come in the summer.”

Toby Perry
Toby Perry has a Spanish licence which makes things far easier regarding Brexit. Photo©Martin Early

How’s the Covid situation there and what are your thoughts on the dreaded ’90 Day Rule?’

“At the moment it’s not so bad; you’re meant to stay in your own city but being with the team I have the relevant documentation to enable me to travel – but you have to undergo regular temperature checks and wear a mask.

“I’m not affected by the ’90 Day Rule,’ I applied for Spanish residency, last year and have a Spanish licence.

“If I had an English licence then I couldn’t race here as they’re restricting foreign riders from traveling to Spain to race in light of Covid.”

How was the 2020 lockdown for you?

“I spent it here in Spain in the apartment I shared with my Polish team mate.

“I did a lot of Zwift races, as many as three each week, they helped kept me sane!

“I did my training on the turbo on the veranda in the evening at 8:00 pm, it was just too hot during the day.” 

Toby Perry
Toby Perry with Pau Miquel Delgado. Photo©Martin Early

How’s the programme looking?

“Team management have told us not to pay attention to the race calendar with races getting cancelled – but we’re racing this weekend, 27/28 March and then in Durango, the week after that.”

What goals have you set yourself for 2021?

“If you had asked me that last week, I’d have said; ‘to win a race.’

“But I’ve done that now!

“Now I want to keep getting good results with the ambition of stepping up to a UCI Continental team, if possible.” 

Good to see a young man ‘just doing it,’ we wish him well and will be keeping an eye on those Iberian results.

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

Hamish Strachan – “I thought Italy would play much better to my strengths”

You may have read our recent interview with Senor Flavio Zappi here on VeloVeritas? This season the Zappi Racing Team will have strong Scottish representation with Messrs. Hamish Strachan and Matthias Barnett quitting Bonnie but chilly Scotland and the brooding, icy waters of the North Sea for La Bella Italia and the more benign waters of the Adriatico.

Calum Johnston – Locked-down on Etna

It’s a wee while since last we spoke to Scottish ‘Zappi Man’ Calum Johnston who’s out there in Bella Italia, chasing the dream - but when we heard he was stuck on a volcano in Sicily we just had to learn more.

Charlie Quarterman – National ’10’ Champion and a Two Year Contract with Trek Segafredo

It’s been a big week for 20 year-old Oxford man, Charlie Quarterman; he won the British 10 mile time trial championship, promoted under Cycling Time Trial rules and just days later it was announced he has a stagiaire ride with Trek Segafredo for the remainder of 2019 running through into a two year contract.

Junior Tour of the Kingdom 2019 goes to Finn Fisher-Black

Overhauling a 34 second deficit from Saturday’s savage Lomond Hills Stage One finale, New Zealand rider Finn Fisher-Black in the colours of Netherlands outfit WWV Junioren took Stage Two and the overall win at the Junior Tour of the Kingdom in Kennoway on Sunday.

Mark Donovan – on winning the Aubel-Thimister-La Gleize stage race

Here at VeloVeritas we try to keep abreast of what’s going on across in Europe, one result which caught our recently eye was young Mark Donovan winning the Aubel-Thimister-La Gleize junior stage race in Belgium. Never an easy thing to do against all those would-be GVA’s. Best ‘have a word.’

Matthias Barnet – “I just love being on the bike and able to compete”

Seven years ago, in 2014, we interviewed Matthias Barnet, he had just won the 2014 British u16 Criterium Championship on the technical Hog Hill circuit at Redbridge, London. Since then we’ve not heard much of the man but when we spotted that he had signed up with Flavio Zappi’s squadra for season 2021 – along with fellow Scott, Hamish Strachan, who we spoke to recently – we just had to have a word with him.

At Random

Ian Boswell – “A three year deal with Sky gives me confidence”

Baby Giro winner, Joe Dombrowski is just half the story when it comes to rising US stars joining Team Sky for 2013. Dombrowski’s friend, countryman and Bontrager-Livestrong team mate, Ian Boswell is another young man who’s been busy this year, attracted a lot of attention and will be joining the Team Sky juggernaut.

Dan Patten Blog – New Colours for 2013!

So this is my first blog post from across the pond aka stateside aka the USA writes Dan Patten. Despite everything tending to be bigger here in the US, I intend to keep my blog postings shorter and more frequent this year (well this is the plan!). It's been a little over 3 weeks now since I took off from London Heathrow. A smooth flight to Philadelphia was followed by some airport time before another flight onto Greensboro, North Carolina...

Robbie Mitchell – 24 Hour TT National Champion

Robbie Mitchell (Auchencrow Thistle CC) does things the hard way; he’s never ridden a 12 hour time trial but jumps right in at the deep end – a 24 hour time trial. And not just any old 24 hour time trial, the CTT National Championship; oh yes, and then he goes and wins the thing… 

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 17: Pau – Col du Tourmalet; Top Two Ahead, Big Gaps Behind

'Andy talks tough !' say the headlines, he did try his best yesterday, his men used whatever was left to drive up the lower part of the Col du Tourmalet - then he went for it. However, not for one moment did it look like Alberto Contador was under pressure.

Jason Macintyre Memorial Time Trial Goes to John Archibald

On a morning which delivered everything from flat calm with balmy sunshine – complete with midges – to a stiff breeze with stinging rain it was Pro Vision Cycle Clothing’s John Archibald once again delivering the result over 17.8 ‘sporting’ miles around lovely Loch Leven in the Jason Macintyre Memorial Time Trial which was also round four of the CTC ‘Knights Composites Classic TT Series.’ Billed as the ‘Tour of Glencoe’ that was a slight misnomer albeit the race did skirt Glencoe village and pass through Invercoe it was more of a ‘Loch Leven Loop’ but whatever the name the backdrop was stunning – Scotland at it’s best.

Ian Cammish – “I’d have ridden 600 miles a week, if that’s what it took”

To my shame, I couldn’t tell you who the reigning BBAR is, but if this was the 80’s I‘d have little problem in informing you. Cycling Weekly printed regular updates of the table standings, with the final ‘50’ on Boro’ always a big deal – that race could make or break your bid for the prestigious top twelve.