The Ribble Weldtite team hasn’t done too badly this season; James Shaw gave them two top five finishes in UCI stage races against the highest quality opposition and he was on the podium of the British Elite Time Trial Championship along with team mate, Dan Bigham.
And that’s without mentioning a very strong array of UK results; these performances should ensure good invites for the team next season.
Wearing the squad’s blue jersey – or perhaps it will be ‘Tour of Britain Splatter?’ – for 2022 will be Scotland’s Finn Crockett.
We always try to spotlight young Scotsmen who are ‘just doing it’ – especially if they come from one of our favourite parts of Scotland, The Brahan.
Congratulations on the contract, Finn – basics first please, how old are you, where are you from and what do you do apart from riding a bike?
“I’m 22 years-old, I come from Strathpeffer and am at Stirling University where I study French and Marketing.
“I hope to finish at uni. in May and would like to go full time on the bike thereafter, it would be silly to exploit this opportunity in a half-hearted fashion.”
How did you get into the sport?
“In Strathpeffer we have the ‘Strathpuffer’ 24 hour mountain bike race, watching that got me hooked and I rode the ‘Strathpuffer-Lite’ which is a 12 hour MTB race.
“We have amazing trails for MTB in the area but I worked my way up from that to riding the road.
“I had a little time away from the bike as a teen but came back to the road.”
Living in Strathpeffer means that you must have done an awful lot of travelling to get to races?
“It meant around an additional six hours travel to get down and back to races in Central Scotland – and races down south was even more.
“But that was just part and parcel of my being in the sport and since I’ve been based in Stirling at uni. things are much more straightforward for travel with Stirling being in such a central location.”
You were a ‘Spokes Man?’
“I have very good memories of my time there.”
Then Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli, where you were up until this season?
“After my time at Spokes and when I finished school I had a year out, working as a lifeguard and then started firing out emails to see about getting a ride with a team.
“It was late when Wheelbase got back to me, March I think but it’s been a great experience, Toby Dalton who runs the team is so passionate about the sport and they’ve provided me with great support.”
And now on to Ribble?
“Yes, awesome, I’d been looking to move up to a continental team and kept in touch with Ribble throughout the season – but of course the best way to get noticed is to post good results.
“I kept Jack Rees from the team abreast of my results and I’m thrilled to be on the team for next year.”
You took overall victory in the u23 category of the British Cycling Elite Road Race Series.
“That wasn’t really on the agenda, it just came with consistency; I was on the podium at the Lancaster Grand Prix, 10th at the Ryedale Grand Prix then top 20 in the Beaumont Trophy.”
“The overall classification was tied on points but I won on results count back.”
And you were getting round the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series nicely too?
“I do love a good crit – they’re hectic, chaotic; I was pleased never to be outside the top 15 in the Tour Series, 15th at Guisborough, 13th at Sunderland and 11th at Castle Douglas.”
Which of your 2021 results gives you most satisfaction?
“That would have to be my podium in the Lancaster Grand Prix, it was the first Premier Calendar race of the year, I was happy with a lot of my results this year but to be there sprinting for the win was a shock and a surprise albeit I started the race with the mind set of riding aggressively.”
The British Championship at Lincoln didn’t go so well for you, DNF.
“I started back at uni. in September and had a little bit of illness around that time and of course by the time October comes round a lot of us are ready to put our feet up for a while.
“I rode the time trial champs but got directed off course, I was happy enough with my ride in the crit champs where I was 11th but in the road race my bike decided to start it’s off season early and gave up the ghost.”
Have you ever considered going to the continent to live and race?
“University has always been in my mind, I wanted to get my education first and I think it’s worked out well, I have a good structure to my life with my uni. work and cycling.”
Do you have a coach and what’s the plan for the winter?
“I’m coached by former British Criterium Champion and Commonwealth Games medallist, James McCallum – he’s been my coach for four years and it works well for me.
“Today was my first day back after my break and it was a bit of a shock to the system.
“I’ll be in the gym over the winter and I like to ride my ‘cross bike a lot, mix things up, keep it varied.”
With Ribble’s solid 2021 season the team may well be looking at good international invites for next year?
“I haven’t raced at international level for a while so that would be nice but my programme has still to be decided.
“Hopefully the calendar will be more stable for next season with Covid causing less disruption?
“I’ll be just out of the u23 ranks – an ‘Oldie!’
“I look forward hopefully to another year of progression but really I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens…”