A MINUTE WITH: SIMON HOLT
The 19-year-old Rapha-Condor-Recycling.co.uk rider is looking forward to proving that he’s more than Chris Newton’s apprentice.
How did it feel being the home star in front of the big crowds at Newport?
It was awesome. I went to school and college in Newport so I’ve got a lot of friends there. It was at quite a special time of year as well because everyone was back from uni. The whole town gets behind that race and on every corner I heard my name being shouted.
What was it like growing up as a cyclist in Shropshire?
It really is a good county for cycling and it’s quite hilly around Ironbridge and Ludlow. Telford’s got a good history, with quite a few pros like Steve Jones and Ian Fagan coming from the area.
Was your older brother Ian (a criterium specialist) a big influence on you?
He got me into cycling. I grew up with him going to cycling races but I wasn’t that interested until I went out to see him race in Italy and got a ride in a team car. It was then I remember thinking, “This is something I want to do.”
He’s 11 years older than you, have you got siblings spanning the age gap between you?
No, but I’ve got a sister who’s older than Ian. I was the accident waiting to happen!
How was it riding for one of Britain’s top teams this year?
It was a massive change really. Chris Newton passed a lot of knowledge down. We were
riding well as a team in quite a few races, so we could put Chris in a position to win it.
How do you think things will change following the team’s merger with Rapha-Condor?
It’s going to be a big step up. There’ll be a two-tier programme for the domestic and international calendars. I’m going to be expected to go out and win.
Do you have any particular races in mind?
I’ll target the national crit series because I’ve gone pretty well in them this year. And maybe one or two Premier Calendar races.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to follow in the footsteps of Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas and join a ProTour team.
By which route?
I’m not on the Academy and that’s partly because I’ve not really ventured onto the track. As long as I progress correctly and show myself in road races,
hopefully I can get noticed.
Have you not fancied having a go on the track?
It’s something I’d like to do this winter. I’ve lived away from my parents since I was 16 and it’s only recently that I’ve been mobile with a car.
What do you do to relax?
I like going out with my mates, going to the cinema, listening to music and being with my girlfriend.
Tell us a joke?
Why does a milking stool only have three legs? Because the cow’s got the udder!