Today’s episode features an interview with 25-year-old Max Stedman. Max is a climber by trade, an asset that last year helped him to win the early-season Tour of Antalya and break the British Everesting record in September.
Max currently rides for Tim Elverson’s Canyon dhb SunGod squad. In fact, Max has ridden for Elverson since he was a second junior. Like his teammate Rory Townsend, who we interviewed last year for the podcast, Max’s results on the road have been promising enough so far to suggest he deserves a contract with a Pro Conti or even WorldTour team.
Despite only switching to riding full-time until relatively recently – choosing to balance his cycling career with completing a university degree in his first few years as a senior – he’s a five-time UCI race winner and has managed to pull off a number of eye-catching results against top competition over the years.
Four of his UCI race wins have come at the Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage race in China, a race in which he won a stage and the overall in both 2017 and 2018. These were important results for Max at the time, but it was his performance at the Tour of Britain in 2018 that first made us think he had the potential to step up to cycling’s higher ranks. He finished 20th overall in that race, but without a team time trial performance that lost him a lot of time, he may well have bagged a top ten. Certainly, 9th place on the queen stage up Whinlatter Pass, crossing the line with Tom Pidcock – and ahead of Primoz Roglic that day – suggested he was one of the strongest riders in the race.
Last year’s Tour of Antalya win – a 2.1 race that included WorldTour opposition – confirmed that Max had the talent to turn pro. As Max explains in the interview, that performance led to WorldTour interest. Of course, since then, the Covid pandemic has pretty much put his race plans on hold. But he did, nonetheless, use the pause in racing to break the British Everesting record.
We covered a huge amount of ground in the interview. Starting with his journey into cycling, topics discussed included:
- His early track racing prowess
- What has kept him with the Canyon team so long
- Whether the British scene has been the right place for a climber like him to showcase his talents
- His madcap adventure to race the Tour of Bulgaria in 2016
- His breakthrough rides at the Tour of Quanzhou Bay and the Tour of Britain
- Learning how to successfully ride 30-minute climbs in Europe
- His Tour of Antalya win
- Interest from Jumbo-Visma
- Whether at 25 he ever considers how much longer he can keep chipping away at turning pro
- Breaking the British Everesting record
- And his plans to make an attempt at the world Everesting record later this year.
Show sponsored by Continental Tyres.