In this episode, we bring you the first part of a feature-length interview following Stevie Williams’ remarkable cycling journey.
The 24-year-old Welshman joined the pro ranks after a sparking 2018 season. That year, Stevie won two stages and the overall in one of the most prestigious U23 races around – the Ronde de l’Isard. If that wasn’t indication enough of his talent, he followed that up with a stage win and 5th overall at the Baby Giro.
The results earned him a WorldTour contract with Bahrain Merida – now called Bahrain McLaren – but his debut season with the team was virtually over almost before it had begun. Towards the end of 2018, he began to suffer from sharp knee pain every time he got on the bike. Whilst the cause of the pain was unclear, it was an injury which effectively derailed his season. Despite aborted attempts to race at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie, most of the year was spent trying to get to the bottom of the problem.
The issue was eventually discovered in September 2019, when he was diagnosed with a rare condition called fabella syndrome. Stevie underwent surgery to rectify things and then began a long process of rehabilitation, supported by both his team and the Sport Wales Institute.
After many challenging months, he eventually made his return to racing in August this year at the Czech Tour. Since then, he’s gradually been edging his way back into shape, culminating in selection for this year’s Vuelta.
In this first part of the interview with Stevie, recorded not long after his comeback race in the Czech Republic, we chat about how his bike racing career first began, his years riding at the domestic level for Pedal Heaven and JLT Condor, his switch to the SEG Racing Academy and his career-changing ride at the Ronde L’Isard.
Part 2 of the interview, focusing on his long fightback from injury, will be out soon.
This podcast is sponsored by Continental Tyres.
Featured photo: Bahrain McLaren / Le Col