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After the exodus: Tom Moses interview

The 26-year-old on his time at JLT Condor, why he switched to Madison Genesis and his hopes for 2019

Like the rest of his former JLT Condor teammates, 26-year-old Tom Moses finds himself with a new team in 2019. But Moses’ move wasn’t one forced upon him but JLT Condor’s closure. It was one he chose for himself, joining Madison Genesis in search of new motivation.

By the middle of the summer, and before we even knew JLT was finishing, I’d signed for Madison

Moses has proven himself to be one of the strongest and most consistent riders on the domestic scene. Winner of the Rutland Melton Cicle Classic as a 21-year-old in 2014, he has continued to notch up road wins on the domestic scene, his latest being a stage victory and the overall classification in last season’s Tour of the Reservoir.

After a successful start to the season in the new eRacing competitions, he’s now looking for success on the road, in both crits and the National Road Series races. We caught up with him shortly before his first road race of the season, the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix, to ask him to reflect on his time at JLT Condor, why he switched to Madison Genesis and what he hopes to achieve this season.

Photos by John Smith (Same Old Smith Photography)

Tom Moses, 7th April, 2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

First off, you had a five-year stint at JLT Condor. How do you look back on your time with the team?

The last 5 years with JLT were great. I had so many good times with the team and John [Herety]. The team was run properly and gave us riders a great programme of racing that took us all over the world experiencing different racing on pretty much every continent. 

JLT Condor’s absence this year probably opens up the competition in the domestic scene

What difference will JLT Condor’s absence make to the UK scene this year?

The team was such a mainstay of the British scene and a team that, especially in its last couple of years, really stepped up and led by example for all the other Continental teams. Sometimes the way we were dominating almost felt like it was suffocating the British scene but you can’t take your foot off the gas and let the other teams win some races for the good of the scene. It was up to the other teams to step it up and therefore raise the bar. JLT Condor’s absence this year probably opens up the competition in the domestic scene.  

Tom Moses, 7th April,2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

How early on last season did you know you’d need to start looking for a new team?

It wasn’t until the middle of the summer that we got news of the team’s future being in doubt. At first there wasn’t a massive worry amongst the lads that it was going to be over, as we were confident in John getting another sponsor or JLT continuing on a smaller budget, but it just got later and later on into the year and a new sponsor just wasn’t coming forward. Then I think the timing of JLT being bought out by an American company just ended any hope of them carrying on. It was a pretty low time for the team. When we found out it wasn’t carrying on by the time we got together for the Tour of Britain. 

I was losing motivation as I’d gone from a leader of the team in my first few years to riding for sprints all the time

And how did the move to Madison Genesis come about?

I started talking to Madison during the Tour Series. I was ready for a change. I had been at JLT Condor for such a long time and my role there was falling into too much of a domestique role, especially with all the sprinters we had. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed doing it most of the time but once I’d fallen into that role for a few seasons I was losing motivation as I’d gone from a leader of the team in my first few years to riding for sprints all the time. I got fed up of just riding round races I knew I could have a good chance of winning if I had a go for myself. And I think other teams could see that. By the middle of the summer, and before we even knew JLT was finishing, I’d signed for Madison. 

Tom Moses, 7th April,2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

When we interviewed Jacob Hennessy earlier this year he said that adjusting to a new team can be an important factor in terms of rider form and happiness. Is that something you can empathise with? How are you adjusting to life at Madison Genesis?

We’ve got a great group of lads at Madison. It’s not been hard to fit in and be accepted into the team. I’ve been teammates with most of them in the past, so the move to the team was pretty easy for me. The support we get from Madison is great. Until you are actually in the team you don’t realise how many people are working behind the scenes to make it all happen. It’s been nice to be welcomed into the team by them. 

You’ve just competed in the final of the British eRacing Championships. How much of a priority was the eRacing season for you and the team?

eRacing has definitely helped to shorten the winter, it’s nice to have something in that period between January and March to get stuck into. We were very lucky to have Elite Direto turbos provided to us from Elite. It comes at a period where there’s no real racing on for the team so they got fully behind us. It’s great coverage for the team and for the riders. 

Tom Moses, 7th April,2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

How has training for that fitted with your preparation for the road season? Will there be a period of adjustment for you, to keep used to a longer racing format?

I’ve never been the sort of rider to struggle with the duration of races. If anything my strength is being good at the end of a long race, so the intensity of Zwift races has only complemented my training. I think people get obsessed with hours on the bike. I have been in the past. Just smashing out big week after big week you just get tired and have no punch when it comes to racing. So that makes the intensity of Zwift racing the perfect complement to winter training. It’s hard to go out in the rain and cold and just ride round getting long hours in, when you can get quality work done in half the time on Zwift.

The style of racing, the terrain, and technical nature of the race suits me, so I don’t see why I can’t pull it off again

I understand you’re down to race the Cicle Classic this season. You won it back in 2014. Is that a race you think you can do well in again? 

Yeah, definitely. I was only 21 when I won it and it’s a race I enjoy every year. It’s become a race everyone in the UK wants on their palmares, so to have it on mine is pretty nice. The style of racing, the terrain, and technical nature of the race suits me, so I don’t see why I can’t pull it off again. 

Tom Moses, 7th April, 2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

Beyond the Cicle Classic, have you got an idea of what your race programme will look like? 

I started in the Volta Limburg Classic as my first race with the team. Then I ride the Klondike Grand Prix, followed by two days off, and then straight into the Tour de Loir et Cher. That should set me up nicely for Rutland and then into the Tour Series. Then it’s all the National Road Series and the National Circuit Series, so it starts to get busy soon. And then it’s non-stop until September. 

You mentioned in your interview with the team that the Tour Series will a be goal for you this year. What’s the motivation there?

Again, it was just about having new motivation. I’ve done well on the road in previous years and shown some good rides in crits, but in 2018 I wanted to commit to the Tour Series and see what I could do. I think I proved in 2018 that I could do well, despite crashing hard and ripping off most of the skin on my hand in training after the first round. I still got some good results, but it left me even more motivated to go back and see what I could really do with a bit more luck and having skin on my hand!

Tom Moses, 7th April, 2019, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Photo: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography

What would a successful season look like for you this year?

First on the list is to win the Tour Series as a team. It’s pointless trying to win individual rounds at the expense of the team prize, so to be part of the winning team even if I don’t win an individual round would be nice. And then after that, I’d like to win a National Road Series race just to keep the record of winning one each year going! 

View the full gallery from John Smith’s photoshoot with Tom Moses below.