Before moving to Saint Piran at the beginning of the 2018 season, he spent three seasons for Madison Genesis. So he’s had plenty of experience of top-level domestic racing, despite his young age.
His top result was winning the Tour of Ulster last season, a stage race that straddles Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He also came 8th in the under-23 national time trial in 2017 and in the same year was 6th in the youth classification in the notoriously tough Rás Tailteann.
His Saint Piran team is run by former JLT Condor rider Steve Lampier. Set up in 2018, it’s aim is to develop Cornish riding talent and to put Cornwall on the cycling map. The team hopes is to build a sustainable funding platform – supported by local businesses and organisations – so that it can step up to Continental level by 2023.
The team will be racing the domestic calendar in 2019, so we can expect Joe to be competing regularly against the British Continental teams. So it will be fascinating to see the extent to which Joe and his teammates can compete against the biggest teams in the UK this season.
His boss Steve Lampier certainly thinks Joe has the ability to ‘kick on’ this season: “Joe is a great guy. He really came out of his shell with us in 2018, took on pivotal position and achieved. This year, we will see a more relaxed but better-acting racer. He has started a university degree but his desire and need for racing is stronger than ever.”
If you’ve been following these introductory posts, you’ll know we’ve asked each of our rider journals contributors to kick things off by answering a few short questions. Here is what Joe had to say…
How would you describe yourself as a rider?
I think I’m a bit of an all rounder really, my skillset is fairly broad and I go alright on a lot of different courses. I wouldn’t say I had one defining quality, like a really quick sprint, but more of a general ability. I think it’s a good thing in the UK because the courses can be so varied.
Where will you be based in 2019?
I’ve just started a degree at the University of Sheffield so a lot of my time is spent there. But when I’m not at university I’ll be at home in Staffordshire.
Best result to date?
I would have to say winning the overall GC at the Tour of Ulster last year. It had been a long time since I’d won a race and was getting to the point where I thought it might not happen again! So it was really nice to get that monkey off my back. Also, it was a great race for the team, we had Lamps [Steve Lampier] as our DS which was a first for him, and meant that the guys on the road were all pretty young. We rode a really strong race that weekend and pretty much dominated. It did a lot for our confidence going forward.
What will your first race this season be?
We have a series of French races coming up in mid-February [a series of six races called the Circuit des Plages Vendeénne]. The other Saint Piran boys are out there for the full 10 days, but I will be flying out for the weekend races and going back for lectures during the week.
Main goal(s) for 2019?
I’d really like to win the Tour of Ulster again this year. We’re taking a really young team this year so it will be interesting to see how we go, but I’m super motivated to go back there. Going well in the races in the UK is always a big goal for me as well, so I’d like to step up again. I feel I made some big steps forward in 2018 so I’m looking forward to doing the same this year.
Featured photo: Ewan Thacker / www.ewanthackerphoto.com