Friday, June 14, 2024

Finn Crockett – “I’m an old boy now, I turn 23 this month!”


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Following on from our interview with Scotland’s 2022 Commonwealth Games selections we caught up with a man who’s enjoyed a great start to 2022 and who’ll be riding the Road Race in Birmingham, Ribble Weldtite’s Finn Crockett.

He was just back from a five-and-a-half hour training ride when we spoke – hard core…

Remind us a wee bit about yourself please Finn – and how did you get in to the sport?

“I’m 22 years-old, I come from Strathpeffer and have just finished my degree at Stirling University where I studied French and Marketing – that’s my biggest win of the year so far! 

“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.”

How are you adapting to the ‘pro life?’

“It’s been pretty stressful trying to balance training and racing with university work – but as I said, I’ve just about finished at uni.

“And I’ve just started a part time sales job – two days each week.” 

Finn Crockett
Finn Crockett enjoys that winning feeling in Gifford at the start of the season. Photo©Martin Williamson

Is James McCallum still coaching you?

“Yes, he’s excited about my selection for the Games, he was a Games medallist himself, in the Scratch Race at the Melbourne Games in 2006. 

“My training load hasn’t particularly increased but I have three big events coming up – there’s the National Road Race Championships at Castle Douglas on June 26th then there’s the Games – with the Time Trial on August 4th in Wolverhampton with the Road Race on August 7th at Warwick – and hopefully the Tour of Britain which starts on Sunday September 4th in Aberdeen.”

The Legend that is Colin Sturgess, former World Pursuit Champion as your DS at Ribble Weldtite

“He is indeed a Legend, a great guy, we have a good relationship, he’s my DS but also a good friend.”

You rode some road races in Scotland then went into the Tour du Loir et Cher in France against strong opposition – a culture shock?

“I was happy with how I rode at the UCI 2.2 Loire et Cher; I had a fourth, a seventh and a ninth place on stages and was ninth on GC.

“It’s a hard race, very different from a Scottish event but I rode the Scottish races as preparation on the basis that a race is a race and you’re getting quality miles in – it prepares you mentally and physically.”

Finn Crockett at the Rutland. Photo©Dean Reeve

Victory in the UCI 1.2 Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic, ‘Britain’s Paris-Roubaix,’ nice job.  

“I carried the form from Loir et Cher into The Rutland, everything went perfectly for me, I had my team mate Stuart Balfour in the break with me and he did a great job for me.”

No ‘mechanicals’ in the race? 

“Nothing; no punctures, I was on 28mm Continental GP 5000 tubeless clinchers, I was very lucky. 

“The tubeless set up means you’re not going to get pinch flats because you can run them at much lower pressures, even in a criterium you run them at 60 psi which gives comfort and grip – I remember when I was a junior, pumping my tyres up to 110 psi.” 

You were displaying a few ‘war wounds’ at the Galashiels Tour Series criterium.

“Yes, I came down in the first round at Guisborough that was what you saw at round two in Gala but then I came down again round five at Clacton – not the best.

“It was great to be racing on home roads though, we had Gala then round four was Stranraer.

“Then, as I said, the British Road Race championships are at Castle Douglas on Sunday so I’m also looking forward to that opportunity to race on home roads.

“My training is geared to building up for the British.” 

Finn Crockett
Finn Crockett sporting bandages at the Tour Series criterium in Gala earlier this season. Photo©Martin Williamson

Do you still qualify for the u23 British title?

“No, I’m an old boy now, I turn 23 the month.”

How did the Tour Series finish up for Ribble Weldtite?

“Harry Tanfield was third in Guisborough and second in Stranraer; I was third in Gala and Sunderland whilst Ollie Peckover won in Barking.

“We won the team prize in Sunderland, Stranraer and Barking but lost out overall to WiV SunGod by 66 points to 62 points. 

“We were always at the ‘pointy end’ but fair play to SunGod.” 

Will you be riding the Time Trial in the Games?

“That’s yet to be confirmed.”

Finn Crockett
Finn Crockett is part of a strong Scottish squad for the Commonwealth Games. Photo©Martin Williamson

What are Scotland’s Games chances?

“Whilst we can play the ‘underdog card,’ I think we have a strong team with Sean Flynn – he’s been well placed in races like the Trofeo Porec, Istrian Spring Trophy, Strade Bianche di Romagna and Coppa della Pace.

“Mark Stewart – won the New Zealand Cycle Classic and was third in the Tour of Hellas.

“John Archibald – hasn’t raced much this year but we all know his capabilities.”  

Have you had a chance to research the Games Road Race circuit?

“Not in detail but it looks very much like a kermis course; it’s 10 laps of a 16 kilometre circuit around Warwick, starting and finishing in St. Nicholas Park giving a total distance of 100 miles.” 

And your goals for the rest of the year?

“Firstly, I want to go into the British and do as well as I possibly can.”  

VeloVeritas agrees that it is a strong team but they’ll be up against World Tour opposition; it’s not up to them to make the race – exploiting the rivalry between the countries fielding World Tour riders should be the name of the game.

We wish them well.  

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Sadly, just before we published this interview with Finn we learned he had tested positive for Covid and will likely have to sit the Nationals out. A great shame but hopefully he won’t lose too much condition and his form will be as good as possible for the Games.