WEEK IN TRAINING Lewis Askey
CYCLING WEEKLY|January 23, 2020
The week: December 30, 2019-January 5, 2020 Location: Baal, Belgium & Cannock, Staffordshire Training for: British Cyclo-Cross National Championships (January 12)
David Bradford
Widely tipped as a British road racing star of the future, Lewis Askey shot to prominence in 2018 when he won the Junior Paris-Roubaix. He confirmed his prodigious potential last year with nine top-10s in UCI races as well as big domestic wins including the Junior Tour of Wales and Isle of Man Junior Tour. For 2020, the 18-year-old is joining Groupama-FDJ’s development team as he steps up to Conti level.

How did you first get into cycling?

My mum did triathlon, and Cannock Chase, the mountain bike centre, is two minutes’ ride from our house. When I was little, everyone went mountain biking, and I couldn’t wait to join them.

You were a good swimmer too?

Yeah, I swam at county level and won my fair share of races, but only until I was about 12. I’d swim three times a week, but the coaches wanted us to train six times a week, starting at 5am. It got too serious for me; I wanted to enjoy riding my bike.

You’re still racing cyclo-cross, despite your focus being road?

Yes, but mostly just to keep my riding fresh and fun. I took nearly two months off my bike after the road Worlds, to recover ready for competing at under-23 level. So I raced the CX World Cup in Zolder [Boxing Day] and the under-23 race at Baal [New Year’s Day], where I finished 23rd, and the National Cross Champs in Shrewsbury, where I finished sixth.

Why did you choose Groupama-FDJ over other offers?

I don’t love the track, so wouldn’t want to spend a whole winter riding track [with British Cycling]. Going to FDJ means I have the opportunity to do a bit of cross, ride my mountain bike and do different things, keep it fresh and enjoy myself a little bit more. I just felt that for the type of person I am, FDJ was the best place in the world.

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