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Continental Divide: the Daniel Whitehouse story, part 7

The 24-year-old reveals that EvoPro Racing will be back on the road in 2020 and he will be part of the set-up

After his recent open, heartfelt meditation on life back in New Zealand during the off-season, we caught up with Daniel Whitehouse to find out what his racing plans were for 2020. With the future of EvoPro Racing uncertain, we were keen to find out if he had a team in place. As he explains, he does. And moreover, EvoPro Racing will continue…

Evo is all go for 2020

Daniel Whitehouse at Le Race 2019. Photo: rickoshayphotos

With 2020 around the corner, what team will you be riding for next season?

For a long while, I was destined to be resplendent in pink with the Australian St. George Continental Cycling Team. Brett Dutton is a credit to the sport with the way he treats his lads, they’re a great bunch and I should have gone there a few years ago; it certainly would have been a kinder existence if I had. I can’t thank Brett enough for keeping the door open for me, he is good like that, genuinely. To the point though…

… I got a very unexpected, very welcome, belated Christmas present. Evo is all go for 2020. Aside from that, you’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m so glad and relieved that I get to be part of that outfit from the Emerald Isle for another year.

I understand it was an uncertain time for you and it must have been a hard decision about which team to ride for. How did things play out?

Morgan [Fox, the team manager] gave me a heads up about Evo back in October. Brett kept the door open for me for an astoundingly long time, he didn’t need to do that, but he did, and I massively appreciate that. A very real possibility, yes, almost to the point of certainty. It was not an easy decision either, it doesn’t sit well with me letting people down in general. Especially the likes of Brett, nothing I could say would do him justice with how he runs the team. And the fact that he takes riders in who have been battered and bruised by the sport, and regularly gets the best out of them again, I think that says enough.

I learned what I really needed this year: I need the right people. 

In the end, what made you stick with EvoPro for 2020?

The people. Morgan Fox, PJ Nolan and Alan Heary. The lads too. Cyrus Monk, Daire Feeley, and Wouter Wippert, we just get along. They are what gives me confidence that next year will be a satisfying endeavour, regardless of how or where we end up. At the end of the day, the kit, races and finances, I am all fairly indifferent to now. I learned what I really needed this year; I need the right people. 

What can you tell us about the team’s outlook for next season? Is it still looking for sponsors? And I’m guessing it will need to build a new squad, with many riders already having signed for other teams?

I don’t know awfully much at this stage. I do believe we are still looking for various parties to come on board. All I can promise is that we are here to do some good, not only ride bikes well. We’ve got a good environment and the staff and riders are brilliant representatives of what it means to be an athlete, a professional, and also, in my mind most importantly, to be well-rounded individual people off the bike too. 

You’re balancing full-time work with training at the moment. How would you describe your shape?

Yes, I work at Terrace Tavern nowadays. The last 6 weeks have been full-time, so this week was a nice reprieve with only 25 hours logged across four nights as we were fairly quiet. But I will be working 6 nights a week from now on as the summer hots up.

There are worse things in the world than being exhausted from training and having to go to a hospitality job you enjoy

Some nights I work until 2.30am, some nights I only get 4 hours sleep and some nights the customers seem to miss every opportunity to be polite. But that’s only part of the day. I work with good people. They’re charismatic, down to earth and it’s an enjoyable time with them every shift. There are worse things in the world than being exhausted from training and having to go to a hospitality job you enjoy; I am aware of that.

As for my shape, I will have to wait and see. For transparency and posterity, I put everything on Strava these days. Strava isn’t racing though and I’m looking forward to when those days come in earnest. 

Will you be riding the New Zealand Cycle Classic again, a race you’ve finished 4th in twice in the past?

Unfortunately, it would seem not. I would have loved to, but things have not come along as quickly [with the team] as we would have liked. I am content with that though, there will be another race, and we will be there. 

Daniel Whitehouse at Le Race 2019. Photo: rickoshayphotos

What’s your race programme likely to look like more generally?

Again, I am not sure. Not sure what I can divulge rather. We are an international team, with well-intentioned managers, from a country full of character. We will just have to see where that takes us, wherever it does though, we aren’t there for a haircut. 

I used to think I was a bike rider. Now I don’t. I’m me

Finally, what are your goals next year, both on and off the bike?

To be content. I’d like to win some bike races, sure. I used to think I was a bike rider. Now I don’t. I’m me, and, for the first time in a long while, I like that, and I’m content with just being Daniel Whitehouse. Every race I go into I will always do my level best to have a teammate on the top step. If that’s me, grand. If it all goes to custard, so be it. As for now, my goal is to be better today than I was yesterday. I’ll let you know when I get there.

Featured photo: rickoshayphotos

Read more

Part 1, 23 January 2019

Part 2, 3 February 2019

Part 3, 22 February 2019

Part 4, 19 August 2019

Part 5, 25 August 2019

Part 6, 19 December 2019