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2018 Men's Tour Champion: John Hale
July 3rd, 2019
ToS: Hi John, congratulations again on last years Men’s Tour victory! After 5 stages you won with a lead of 44 seconds. Since Three Sixty Sport have been running the Men’s Tour (7 years) that’s our greatest win margin - how did you prepare yourself mentally and physically going into the races?
JH: I didn't really have any opportunity to prepare myself mentally before the tour began - I was really busy with work and even snuck in a day at Henley Regatta on the morning of the Ditchling HC! I guess that took my mind off it though. As for physically, I was racing many weekends, and getting in some extra training in the evenings by lengthening my commute.
I definitely took advantage of the great weather we had last year.
ToS: Reflecting back, what would you say were you Top 3 moments or memories from last years Tour?
JH: I think on the first road stage when we executed our WORX team plan to make sure myself or Jamie was in the break - we ended up with both of us in it! Then the second road stage when I pulled off the win up Kidd's Hill after the team burnt themselves out for me, that was special. I guess the TTT then capped off the weekend with a win for all of us.
ToS: It’s clear that with Worx Factory Racing you’re part of a strong team - winning the Team Time Trial at Goodwood Motor Circuit in Stage Four, as you just mentioned, is testament to that. What makes or made the team click and what have you all been up to for the past 12 months?
JH: I'm not sure exactly why we got on so well, but I think we were a pretty chilled group. It's nice not to stress too much over all the details sometimes. Since the race we've barely seen each other really - Jamie's been off racing with ActiveEdge, and the rest of us have been pretty busy with work. Plus I've moved to Oxford for my job, so sadly don't get the chance to go riding with the other WORX guys much.
ToS: With the Men’s Tour just weeks away, do you have any tips for the 2 returning stages?
Ditchling Beacon Individual Time Trial (3rd Place)
JH: I paced this all wrong. I should have listened to the advice I was given: don't burn too much energy for the first drag - stay aero and chill out - it gets much harder! Mind you... it worked out in the end!
Kidds Hill Road Race, Ashdown Forest. To jog your memory, you won this stage in the boiling heat and wearing the yellow jersey!
JH: Maybe the yellow jersey helped reflect the heat..? I would advise pacing this stage. The climb saps the legs, and attacking every lap is not the quickest way round the course.
ToS: How did you get into cycle racing / competitive sport and what kept you pinning numbers on your back?
JH: I came into cycling at the end of 2016 following 15 years of rowing. I'd gradually made my way up towards the top of rowing, but realised I was never going to make the GB squad. I finally called it quits and needed a new challenge to fill its place. Given that this is only my third season racing the bike there are plenty of exciting challenges left to keep me interested.
ToS: Do you have any words of encouragement, support or advice for people who are interested in or are currently taking their first steps in the sport?
JH: For sure. The main message for me is to do it because you enjoy it. I try not to go into races with too much pressure on myself because it's not fun anymore. Race hard.
ToS: Finally, what’s next for you? Are you eyeing any upcoming races in the U.K.? Do you have an interest in racing overseas or other competitive sports?
JH: I've been racing a few Nat B's this year and also the Ras Mumhan in Ireland. I've been going surprisingly well given work commitments, and might just nab my elite license. Next up are the BC National TT and Road Race - I didn't expect to get a place in either, so nothing to lose!
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