Cyclingnews asked reigning champion Arran Brown about winning the Powerade Lost City Cycle Classic and gleaned some handy hints for this year’s participants.
1. You’ve won the race twice and been on the podium for the last four years. Will you be competing again as a privateer this year?
A: I will not be competing this year unfortunately. I have decided to take a break from racing and to place all my focus on developing our business, Cycle Fit.
2. Did you specifically target this race in 2012 – is it an important one to win and why?
A: I enjoy the speed and excitement of the racing, and the route was well suited to me as a sprinter. It’s the first big race that takes place during the second half of the season and it’s a good one to win for confidence.
3. What are your recollections from last year’s race?
A: We had just returned from racing in Europe for three months and I had good depth from the tough racing. I felt good throughout and knew I could win. I had a great team supporting me and at the end I managed to jump onto Tyler Day’s wheel and come past in the last 30 metres to win.
4. Is the course particularly suited to your strengths as a sprinter?
A: Yes, this race is really well suited for the sprinters – a very fast finish with flat, rolling roads. I have seen the wind pick up in recent years and this can split the bunch if the winds are strong enough.
5. What is unique or different about this race compared to others on the calendar?
A: It’s a really fast and exciting race.
6. Who are the riders to watch from a pro perspective and where would you rate yourself on that list?
A: I have not been competing this year but I have been following SA racing closely and, from what I’ve seen, Nolan Hoffman would have to be my favourite to win. If Nolan has some bad luck, Tyler Day would be my next bet for the win.
7. With a month to go, what training tips would you give the average rider?
A: Keep your legs turning. Try and get a longer ride into the legs at least once each week to allow your body time to adapt to the distance.
8. What advice would you give them in terms of race-day nutrition?
A: Hydrate well throughout the race; it starts off in fairly cold conditions. Make sure you have a good breakfast to give your body energy.
9. Do you still regard yourself as a competitive cyclist or is your Cycle Fit team more of a promotional vehicle for your studio?
A: To be honest, I did have the intention to race competitively this year in our Cycle Fit-RoadCover colours. Our business grew a little quicker than expected and so we made the decision to place all our focus on this development rather than our riding. I am also enjoying the new challenge. I do miss the feeling of winning races but, at the same time, I am also enjoying the social or fun side of cycling with friends, family and clients.
10. Last year was a particularly good year for you in terms of results. Since leaving MTN-Qhubeka, what have you been up to and what are your future plans?
A: I had a great racing career with some good results. I achieved all I wanted locally. Now I’ve been spending time doing the things I wasn’t able to do while I was a professional. I recently introduced my girlfriend to mountain biking and spending some time riding with her on weekends has been fun. Most of my time has been spent working long hours at the business with the team (Richard Baxter, Struan Brown and Nuno Muscolino). I love the thrill of this business and seeing the growth. My future plans are to develop it into a national brand.
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