[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The end of the 2016 racing season is fast approaching. It has been a successful inaugural season at the Pro-Continental level for ONE Pro Cycling who have raced across the globe in their bid for cycling success. The team has seen a number of podium spots, top-ten finishes and made their World Tour debut at this year’s Tour of Poland.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We caught up with ONE Pro Cycling’s Head Sports Director, Matthew Winston, ahead of the Tour of Britain next week to find out how the team has fared over the season and what is in store for the teams home race.
Factor Bikes: The team had their World Tour debut this year at the Tour de Pologne. Looking back, how was the experience of racing in the World Tour level? Is it much different from the other big races the team does across the year? And what learning experiences did the team get out of it?
Matthew Winston: The experience at the Tour of Poland was a key one in terms of growth of the team. For a first year Pro Continental team to get an experience like the Tour of Poland is brilliant for everyone involved in ONE Pro Cycling. The step up is massive and was noticed by everyone in the team. We are use to racing against World Tour teams now week in week out however when all 18 teams are in the same race plus an additional six other teams it makes a massive difference. All the riders commented on the change in speed during the last 20km of the stage. We learnt a lot in Poland that we have taken away and spoken about on a number of different levels over the past few weeks. We have definitely come out of the race stronger.
FB: There has been a number of successes so far this year. Is there one that stands out against the rest? If so, why?
MW: It is difficult to pick one moment out of the 13 victories we have had this season. The first one in New Zealand was cool as it got the ball rolling for the season and it is always important to get the first victory under your belt for the year. The one that stands out the most is probably the Tour of Norway, our first .HC victory and the only race I wasn’t in the team car for. I was stood at the finishing line watching on the big screen and was jumping around like crazy as Steele crossed the line with the spectators stood against the barriers just staring at me wondering what the heck was going on.
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FB: Can you sum up the ONE Pro Cycling season so far?
MW: I feel we have made an excellent start to our Pro Continental life. We have managed to get stuck in at every event we have been at and been competitive at every race we have been in. I am proud of what we have achieved so far this season.
FB: What has been your favourite part of the world to race in this year and why?
MW: It has been great traveling to so many places this year. Obviously its nice to be involved in races such as Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, those races that have legendary status within the sport and I have watched for years on TV. Then obviously traveling around Poland in the World Tour bubble was really cool. I’ve been to some far flung places too which has been amazing, New Zealand, Australia, Korea and Utah. If I had to pick one, it would have to be the Arctic Race Tour of Norway. Starting a race on the Arctic Circle is pretty unique and special.
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FB: What are the team’s goals for it’s ‘home race’ the Tour of Britain?
MW: The Tour of Britain will be tough this year. Last year as a first year team we were relatively unknown, we could slip up the road and chase jerseys and get in the breaks whilst the bigger teams sat back and waited for the finish. Now we are a bigger team and there will be a lot more eyes on us. It would be fantastic to win a stage but we will look to animate the race and see what that brings.
The tour of Britain starts on Sunday in Glasgow and concludes in London on September 11th where ONE Pro Cycling will be hosting the official ONE Pro Cycling House party on Sunday afternoon.
Tour of Britain stages:
Sunday 4th September – Stage one – Glasgow to Castle Douglay 168km
Monday 5th September – Stage two – Carlislie to Kendal 195km
Tuesday 6th September – Stage three – Congleton to Tatton Park, Knotsford 182km
Wednesday 7th September – Stage four – Denbigh to Builth Wells 217km
Thursday 8th September – Stage five – Aberdare to Bath 205km
Friday 9th September – Stage six – Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor 150km
Saturday 10th September – Stage 7a – Bristol to Bristol (ITT) 15km
Saturday 10th September – Stage 7b – Bristol to Bristol 76.5km
Sunday 11th September – Stage 8 – London to London 100km
ONE Pro Cycling Top Results:
1st stage two Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
1st stage two Ronde van Midden Nederland (UCI 2.2)
1st GC Ronde van Midden Nederland (UCI 2.2)
2nd stage eight Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
2nd Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic (UCI 1.1)
4th stage two Tour of Yorkshire (UCI 2.1)
4th stage one Tour of Croatia (UCI 2.1)
7th stage one Dubai Tour (UCI 2.HC)
1st Rev Cycle Classic (UCI 1.2)
1st Beaumont Trophy (UCI 1.2)
2nd New Zealand National Championships Road Race
3rd stage three Herald Sun Tour (UCI 2.1)
5th Grote Prijs Jef Scherens – Rondom Leuven (UCI 1.1)
5th GC 4 Jours de Dunkerque
10th Cadel Evans Road Race (UCI 1.HC)
6th GC Tour de Langkawi (UCI 2.HC)
Represented Australia on the track at the Rio Olympics
1st ITT U23 New Zealand National Championships
2nd Road Race U23 New Zealand National Championships
7th Road Race New Zealand National Championships
4th GC New Zealand Cycle Classic (UCI 2.2)
5th Road Race New Zealand National Championships
1st stage three Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
1st stage five Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
7th Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika (UCI 1.1)
8th stage two Tour de Langkawi (UCI 2.HC)
10th stage four Vuelta a Burgos (UCI 2.HC)
1st stage seven Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
1st stage three New Zealand Cycle Classic (UCI 2.2)
2nd ITT Poland National Championships
5th stage four Tour of Denmark (UCI 2.HC)
6th Road Race Poland National Championships
1st Tro-Bro Leon (UCI 1.1)
2nd Tro-Bro Leon (UCI 1.1)
2nd KOM Tour de Yorkshire (UCI 2.1)
7th GC Sibiu Cycling Tour (UCI 2.1)
Steele Von Hoff
1st stage one Tour of Norway (UCI 2.HC)
1st stage one Sibiu Cycling Tour (UCI 2.1)
3rd stage three Herald Sun Tour (UCI 2.1)
5th Omloop Mandel0Leie-Schelde Meulebeke (UCI 1.2)
5th stage 1 Vuelta a Burgos
8th GP Stad Zottegem (UCI 1.1)
7th Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja (UCI 1.1)
9th stage nine Tour of Korea (UCI 2.1)
ONE Pro Cycling
1st Team Time Trial Ronde van Midden Nederland (UCI 2.2)
5th Team Time Trial Tour of Croatia (UCI 2.1)