End of season recap with Velusso supported rider Olly Moors
We recently sat down over for a coffee and a catch up with Velusso supported rider Olly Moors who we’re pleased to confirm has signed with British continental team, Ribble Pro Cycling.
Since we last spoke how was the second half of your season?
The second half of my season was consistent with a few bits of bad luck. I had a big crash in an Interclub in early July but tried to keep race fit throughout. I travelled back home and raced the National Circuit Champs in Norfolk and wanted to put a solid ride in there. The race split from the gun and in the end the front group only had a handful of us left. We were riding for the last spot on the podium but unfortunately with a lap to go a rider had an issue on one of the corners forcing me to have to unclip and slow; 11th.
After that I returned to Belgium only to be in a winning move of three with half a lap to go in a wet race and got taken out and crashed hard again. This forced a bit more time off but was still trying to race through it. Unfortunately a wound on my hip got infected and meant I had to go on a course of antibiotics for 5 days and take time off again. I managed to get over that and felt decent in training. In my first race back I was coming through a corner and hit a bump in the road forcing my chain to jump off and threw me over the bars. I had bad road rash and tore a muscle in my calf. Three crashes in a month and a half was not ideal considering my last crash was three years ago!
How did the move to Ribble come about?
I had been keeping my eye on the team for a while and really liked the way they went about things. While training in Mallorca and living in the Velusso Villa I met Simon Wilson out training who is on the squad and he had a lot of really positive things to say about the team. I wanted to wait and see if I could hopefully put in a good performance at Circuit Nationals and managed to so I contacted Jack Rees and we discussed some things and he offered me a contract!
What are you most looking forward to about racing for a British pro team next year?
I think having some solid structure, support and also having everyone speak my first language. It will be something completely new and different for me so I am excited to see how I adapt to the different style of racing and living. I think 2020 will be very different in the UK [with several continental teams folding] compared to previous years so it will be interesting.
Have you already quietly got your eye on any races in the calendar? If so which ones?
I have looked through the calendar and there are races that should suit me more than others. I like hard races that whittle down but also don’t mind bunch kicks. The Crits will also be an aim and excited to see what I can do there. The team will be doing UCI’s abroad and hopefully can perform well in those too. Obviously the two big ones are Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain (pending on acceptance) but I need to make team selection for those, so I want to be going well from the gun next season and continue my consistency from this season.
Where will you be living and training over the winter? Any special plans?
So I fly to Sydney on the 4th November for a month to start my first block of base training before flying home in December for Christmas. I then have a team weekend on the 14th December and then in January I’ll hopefully spend a month training in Mallorca before heading to Calpe on a 15-day team camp. All very exciting stuff.
What’s your plan for the end of the season and off season?
So I finished my season with the National Derny Champs where I retained my title and 5th consecutive victory. I then rode to Cornwall and back with my best mate and now I am taking about three weeks off the bike to go surfing, chill and socialise for once!
… yes we saw on Instagram lately that you’ve been putting in some serious k’s – tell us more about the Cornwall ride …
Haha, yeah that was a pretty crazy week! I have had ideas for a few years of riding to Cornwall and back. Door-to-door it was just shy of 1000km in 4 days. My best friend Dan Gardner said he wanted in, so off we went at 6am on a Monday morning. We split the days up well and basically rode through and off for 7-8-hours hours a day with some fairly heavy bags too! With a busy calendar over the last few years there has never really been an opportunity to do it but there was a gap of time where it would actually work perfectly. Doing a big 1000km week before some time off means I can really put my feet up this off season! Ended up doing 1,013km, 36hours of riding and 12,000m of climbing!
Looking back on your time in Belgium over the past few years, what would you say is your main high and low?
Without a doubt Belgium is the place to go and race your bike if you want to truly learn how to race. I spent time in different countries racing but Belgium was different. My first proper year there was a complete learning curve really. The team I was on had a big calendar with good races so I had to really step up, out of my comfort zone and perform. There were times where I would struggle and just come away with nothing. At the time I thought I came away with nothing but really every race that first year was probably more crucial than any other race since. I made monumental mistakes and I learnt from that over time. Without that, I would not be the rider I am today. After that season, 2018 and this season were completely different. Over the last two seasons I came away with 23 top tens, 14 top 5s and 4 podiums. I just had to be patient.
What three pieces of advice would you give to any aspiring junior looking to take the step to Belgium to cut their racing teeth?
First piece would be patience. It is cliche, but good things take time. In this day and age people expect things instantly but with racing, you must be patient. You can not expect a lot for your first year as the distances are longer, riders are a lot stronger and generally just more aggressive in their racing style. You cannot rush development and for some riders it takes longer to get to grips with things. You have to take away small personal victories from a race and then work towards a new small goal in the next.
Second piece of advice would be that you have to be hard working and really want it. Although you have to be patient, you can’t just sit back with your feet up waiting for results to float in out of thin air. Just because you are a talented junior, doesn’t mean that will easily transfer into the senior ranks abroad. Without even knowing you will be racing ex pros and guys that don’t look good but are actually machines with years of experience. A lot of riders fall into the trap of not finishing a race and then thinking a rest day the next day is deserved but if you have only done one hour of a race, you need to train. You have to be dedicated to every aspect of things when racing abroad. Generally riders have to do most things for themselves. At the races a lot of the teams do things for the riders but apart from that everything is on you. What is the point in wasting all the time and money to just throw it all away because you don’t really want it? You have to keep your eye on the prize but also allow some time to chill and have a bit of fun occasionally but in reality the season is a short period of time being roughly 6 months.
My last piece of advice would be to be prepared to be roughed up and thrown around a bit. The style of racing is completely different and there is not really any other country that race like Belgium does. Most the time it’s gutter to gutter and in one line. The gas pedal rarely comes off and when it does, you have either been left behind or missed a big move of the day. Be ready to spend a lot of time looking at a rear hub and sprinting out of every corner. Once you have got to grips with that, the rest just naturally happens and falls into place. These guys have been racing for years so maintain respect to every rider and keep your head down and work hard.
Find out more about Olly’s new team for 2020, Ribble Pro Cycling, here.