Pro cyclist interview: Tom Moses rising to Rapha Condor JLT challenge

Team England rider ready for big few months after adding to rising stock in Glasgow

Rising star Tom Moses (Rapha Condor JLT) added to his rising stock at the start of a busy period for the young Englishman at the Commonwealth Games.

Riding in the front group for much of the race, only an ill-timed, late puncture prevented him from completing the race on a day when only 12 made it across the finishing line in Glasgow.

But Moses, who will start the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday in a support role for his British UCI Continental team, is upbeat about his performance in the race and his prospects in the coming months.

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With a trip to the USA planned, alongside – all being well – a Tour of Britain appearance and a spot at the under-23 world championships, Yorkshire-born Moses, 22, has plenty on his plate in the latter half of the season.

But the Rutland-Melton winner, who joined Rapha Condor JLT from Team Raleigh this season, is relishing the challenge.

I was really happy with how I was going in Glasgow. It was just such a shame to have nothing to show for it at the end of the race.

“The under-23 world roads will be right at the end of the year so they are my big ones – RideLondon, US, Tour of Britain, worlds – it’s pretty packed really.

“I was really happy with how I was going in Glasgow,” he told RCUK. “It was just such a shame to have nothing to show for it at the end of the race.

“It was different to most bike races because it was part of a multi-sport event. It was the first I’ve been to so it was it seemed like a massive scale-up from being at a normal bike race, just because of the amount of people there.

“I’d like to get a result in a stage of the Tour of Britain or over in the US. Right from the start of the year I’ve been performing well until up to the nationals where I had a bit of a dip.

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“But it’s a bit of a shame not to have got a result on Sunday. A top-ten there, which I was on for, would have been brilliant. A top-ten at the Tour of Britain would be great though.”

Reflecting on Sunday’s Commonwealth Games road race, which saw Geraint Thomas take gold for Wales and Moses’ Team England team-mates Scott Thwaites and Russell Downing finish third and fourth respectively, Moses admitted it had been a tough day in the saddle.

My recovery has been good. I’ve backed it off a little bit because the Commonwealth Games were the first in a block of big race from now until the end of the year.

And, despite his misfortune at the end, Moses hopes the race will prove to be the start of a very productive couple of months of racing.

“It whittled down straight away and it was just a wearing down process really by the time we got to the final few laps,” he said of the race.

“We lost a few riders each lap, and when Jack Bauer hit it, with 20 kilometres left, and took Geraint Thomas and Scott with him it was just really hard after that. It was a bit frustrating for me to suffer the puncture.

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“I had such a slow wheel change, then all the groups on the road and the convoy had passed me. I ended up changing the wheel myself because the neutral service couldn’t get my back wheel in the bike.

“By that time I was two minutes behind, there was nobody even close to me with there only being 13 riders on the road so that was me. There was no point in me carrying on.

It’s been brilliant at Rapha Condor JLT. I couldn’t have asked for a better start than my winter in Australia and then I’ve just been going from big race to big race.

“But my recovery has been good. I got straight back into training as we’ve got some good races coming in. I’m going to take it easy into the next few days because I have RideLondon coming up and then straight off to the US.

“I’ve backed it off a little bit because the Commonwealth Games were the first in a block of big races from now until the end of the year.”

With the team anticipating a bunch sprint at RideLondon, as was the case 12 months ago when Arnaud Demare ( won on The Mall, Moses’ role is likely to be in a supporting capacity.

Having missed the race last year with Team Raleigh, Moses is nevertheless looking forward to racing in the capital in front of what is anticipated to be a large crowd.

“The team’s got ambitions for the sprint,” he explained. “It’s likely to be a bunch sprint so the best thing I could do is get into a break to try to get some exposure for the team.

“If not, I’ll ride for the team’s sprinters. With travelling to the US the next day it would be good if I could just get a ride in the bunch all day!

“It looks like a great event. Whenever you get a bike race in London you get a big crowd. It will be interesting to see if they can rival the crowds they had in London for the Tour de France.”

The switch from Team Raleigh to Rapha Condor JLT has seen the former GB academy rider pitting himself in races across the globe – from Australia to France and Japan.

A stage winner at the Tour de Normandie – which saw him spend three days in the yellow jersey – Moses has also tasted success at UCI Europe Tour with his aforementioned Rutland-Melton win.

And he admits making the switch to John Herety’s team has proved to be a great decision for his development as a rider.

“It’s been brilliant at Rapha Condor JLT,” he admitted. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start than my winter in Australia and then I’ve just been going from big race to big race.

“I don’t think there are any other UCI Continental teams, or even the Pro Continental teams, who have a programme like we do. I’ve been going race-to-race, without any real stints without anything to do so I like it. We get really well looked after, and nice kit.

“After being on the GB academy for two years I learnt a lot there, but now I can really put it all into practice in these races.

“There’s also John’s advice. You learn stuff all the time and I picked a lot up when I was younger but now I can use that and with John’s help it really suits me.”

While RideLondon may be more about getting miles in the legs for Moses, the Englishman will certainly be a man to look out for in the latter part of the year.

And having mixed it with the likes of Thomas, Bauer and Peter Kennaugh at the Commonwealth Games, do not expect him to be overawed should the opportunity arise for success at the Tour of Britain.


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