An in-depth interview with Rory Townsend, arguably the best rider in the domestic peloton in 2019. The Irishman races for Tim Elverson’s Canyon dhb p/b Soreen team. In fact, he’s ridden under Tim since 2013.
His feats last season included two UCI road race wins, a further four UCI road race podiums, three National Road Series race wins, winning the Tour of Britain sprints jersey, a Tour Series win, 4th in the Irish national road race and selection for the World Road Race Championships. Not bad considering he’d come close to quitting at the beginning of the year after a crash at the Challenge Mallorca.
And yet, whilst many of his domestic peers earned contracts with World Tour and Pro Continental teams – including Matt Holmes, Jon Dibben, Gabz Cullaigh, Alex Richardson, Scott Thwaites, James Shaw, Mark Donovan, Ethan Hayter, Charlie Quarterman and Fred Wright – Rory narrowly, painfully, missed out. As he explains in the interview, he was very, very close to stepping up himself, only to be flicked because of his nationality.
He’s 25 now, an age at which some riders might be having second thoughts about their future. But Rory says seems more determined and more self-confident than ever. In the interview, he recalls a number of setbacks which have posed existential threats to his racing career and explains how each time he has come back stronger than ever. It would be no surprise to us if we see him making a step in the next year or two.
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- Classic Loire Atlantique. An annual UCI 1.1 road race in the Loire Atlantique region of France. See the results from 2019 here.
- Damien Clayton. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling coached by Rory. Damien went from being an architect to a UCI race winner in just three years. See our interview with him here.
- Grinta Coaching. The coaching company Rory coaches for, run by Simon Holt, DS at Canyon dhb p/b Soreen.
- Klondike Grand Prix. National Road Series race in East Cleveland, won by Rory last season, ahead of Connor Swift and Scott Thwaites.
- National B / ‘Nat B’. A British Cycling road race classification. Read our race race classification explainer here.
- National Road Series. The premier road racing series in the UK for men and women. Read our explainer here.
- Pedal Heaven. A bike shop.
- Perfs Pedal. The traditional season-opening road race in the UK.
- Tim Elverson. Team manager at Canyon dhb p/b Soreen.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. 2019 HSBC UK Men’s National Road Series – East Cleveland Klondike GP – Rory Townsend of Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes celebrates the win.