Saturday, April 20, 2024

Robert Scott – Wins at the Tour de la Mirabelle and Paris-Troyes

"The standard is so high in the team that you have to fight for your place to get to the big races."


HomeInterviewsRobert Scott - Wins at the Tour de la Mirabelle and Paris-Troyes

When it comes to religiously perusing Continental race results, VeloVeritas mentor and soothsayer, Vik has no peer – but I do my best. A name that’s caught my eye this year is that of 23 years-old Robert Scott from Halifax in West Yorkshire who rides for the WiV-SunGod continental team.

I watched the team take the Galashiels UK Tour Series criterium win earlier in the year on the way to winning the overall in the series.

But they’ve also been riding very strongly on the others side of the Channel with Robert winning the UCI Tour de la Mirabelle in France and then the UCI 1.2 Classic Paris-Troyes, a race with roots back in 1926 and previous winners of the quality of Graham Jones and Jacques Esclassan. 

We caught up with Robert back in June as the British National Road Race Championships loomed on the horizon.

Robert Scott
Robert Scott taking the win in Paris-Troyes this year. Photo©WiV-SunGod

Paris-Troyes, a historic race to win, congratulations.

“Thank you, we knew it would be an aggressive race when we lined up – and it went from the gun.

“A move of 12 went and we had three in it, I could sense it was the winning move and bridged across to it, my team mate, Jake Scott came over too and the group ended up around 30 strong with everyone looking at us because we were so well represented.

“FDJ Continental were there too but unwilling to work and the attacks started – but we covered every one of them.

“Our Canadian, Ben Perry attacked with 15 K to go and FDJ used up all their guys to catch him with a kilometre to go; my guys gave me a text book lead out and we took the win with Matt Teggart fourth and five of us in the top 21 finishers – it was great team work.”

That win came on the back of the Tour de la Mirabelle success.

“Yes, I wanted to show that the Mirabelle win wasn’t a one off and my morale was good coming out of that race.

“I was second in the Mirabelle Stage One time short time trial to Corentin Ermenault with Stage Two a big bunch finish, then on Stage Three I took the win with Matt Bostock second – that result gave me the jersey.

“On Stage Four the team rode on the front for me all day, we came under a bit of pressure on the finishing laps with some of the GC guys up the road – but we brought them back late on; Matt won the stage and finished second on GC.”

Robert Scott
Robert Scott with the Paris-Troyes Winner’s trophy. Photo©Alexis Dancerelle

Have those results generated any interest from ProTeam or World Tour teams?

“I need to start putting some feelers out but I also have to prove that I’m not just good for a few weeks – that I’m consistent, the Nationals are an important race for me to demonstrate that.”

You’ve definitely moved up a level this year, what do you put that down to?

“Covid put paid to my last year at u23 in 2020 which was supposed to be a big year for me but…

“Then last year I was strong but didn’t have the legs I did in 2019, where I had results like fourth in the u23 Gent-Wevelgem; there was something missing.

“This year I think it’s just testament to the consistent hard work I’ve been putting in.”

Are you full time on the bike?

“I work the odd day on electrical work which is a good thing as it gives me a glimpse of the ‘real’ world and reminds me how fortunate I am to be doing what I’m doing with my cycling career.”

Robert Scott
Robert Scott climbs Michaelgate in the Lincoln GP this season. Photo©WiV-SunGod/Hugh McManus

Have you considered a move to the continent?

“After Covid I was looking for a French DN 1 or Continental team but nothing materialised.

“But Tim Elverson who’s our team Principal and the man behind the Canyon dhb SunGod continental team as it was last year and as it is now WiV SunGod, has put together a decent calendar and we have a great group of lads on board.

“The standard is so high that you have to fight for your place in the team to get to the big races.

“We have good events in France and of course, the British Premier Calendar races and the circuit race series in the UK.”

Who coaches you?

“I’m with Josh Hunt of CPC is my coach, it’s all watt based, I quite enjoy looking at the numbers.

“Whilst it’s OK making plans, you have to be flexible too – I only found out I was riding the Mirabelle Tour a few days before it – then you have to factor in dealing with the travel days.

“Right now I’m training for and tapering into the National Championships at Castle Douglas, Scotland in June.”

Robert Scott
Robert Scott during the British Road Race Championships 2022. Photo©Martin Williamson

You were fourth in the u23 2019 Gent-Wevelgem ahead of guys like Tobias Foss and Ben Healy, that looked like a ‘breakthrough’ ride?

“Yes, I started that season well but I was inconsistent, I’d be flying then two weeks later I’d be DNF; I’d hoped to ‘reset’ in 2020 but Covid put paid to that.”

You rode the Tour of Slovenia last year, with Pogacar, Ulissi, Mohoric and the rest…

“That was the hardest – and best – race I’ve ever ridden; it reminded me of the Tour of Yorkshire with so many people roadside; there were people along every part of the parcours.

“The race route was tailored to Pogacar; and the big teams were using it for Tour de France preparation so it wasn’t easy – but we came out of it with two top 10 stage placings.” 

How’s the rest of the season looking?

“I haven’t looked much past the Nationals but we have UK Premier Calendar and circuit races in July.”

* * *

Since we conducted the interview Rob’s run of good form has continued with a series of excellent UK criterium results including a win in Colne and second place overall in the UK Elite Criterium Series.

But it wasn’t just on the small circuits he performed well; perhaps the Nationals didn’t go to plan but he won the tough National Road Series, Lancaster Grand Prix and in the sadly foreshortened UCI Tour of Britain worked hard for a WiV SunGod team which punched well above their weight – holding every jersey classification jersey at one stage in the race or another with their Canadian rider, Ben Perry taking fourth overall.