Tuesday 3 July 2012

Hugo Walters (NFCC) talksTempo, Geraint Thomas & Kenyan Marathoners!

New Forest CC’s promising youngster, Hugo Walters, has been taking his exams and is probably fed up with answering questions but he agreed to answer a few more for “E D”. Hugo,15, is studying at King Edward VI School in Southampton and does not appreciate the 45 minute each way journey eating into his training time! Walters, it seems, is into every aspect of cycling and is serious about his training. Dad Patrick is also in the New Forest club and they often train together. . “ My sister Jemima isn’t really into cycling so my Mum generally stays with her whilst my Dad takes me to most races.” Earlier this year they left mum Emily and Jemima at home and spent a week training in Denia in Spain. “We took in some Vuelta climbs, the first time I have ridden Grand Tour climbs” Walter may well be a name to watch and he clearly loves his cycling so the first question was pretty obvious…………
How did you get involved in cycling?
HW “I’ve been riding since I can remember but i only seriously started riding when I was around 11 doing a lot of mountain biking it was around the time of the Beijing Olympics and I was pretty inspired by Julian Absalon’s win and all the British medals. For my 12th birthday though I got a road bike, it was a really nice 43cm frame bianchi womens bike covered in a flower paint job so I stuck stickers over all of the frame and got out cycling. From there i started doing races and ive been enjoying it ever since.”
What is your favourite discipline and least favourite?
HW “I favour road cycling to other disciplines but I don’t have any I actually dislike. This coming winter I’m going to do cyclocross for the first time and that looks like really good fun. I’ve been watching a lot of the Belgian races on the website Sporza.be through the winter and it looks like a lot of fun. I enjoy the track too but I don’t really see my future on the boards if I’m honest. I think my future is going to lie with more hilly races. I think I fit the climber/sprinter mould and my uncle is Italian and they’re moving back out to Tuscany so I hope to go there some time for holiday and get some racing in on the continent. I think the racing over there would suit my current build more.”
How much and what sort of training are you doing and how do you fit it in to your weekly schedule?
HW “I do quite a lot of short, high intensity efforts around my school terms mainly due to time constraints due to exams and homework. I’ve got a coach, Colin Batchelor (total cycle coach) so he writes up my training plans although come the holidays I can get out on the roads for 3+ hours every day and get some specific training done. My favourite ride is probably cycling over to Brockenhurst and riding through Ornamental drive and then up Bolderwood Hill which is a pretty nice route if you’re riding after school and the sun is shining down. If my sensations are good I will try to ride Bolderwood hill at tempo and then at the top refuel and turn right and descend to Lyndhurst which is always a pretty fast from there I ride to Beaulieau and will have a cafe stop there before riding home at tempo.”

Do you enjoy any other sports?
HW “ I don’t really compete in any other sports but I do follow a few other sports. I’ve got quite a lot of respect for triathletes my favourite is Chris “Macca” McCormack. My dad was born and brought up in Kenya (like Chris Froome) so I watch a bit of athletics from time to time. Sorry but I always support the Kenyans rather than the British in running. You’ve got a pretty high chance of watching a Kenyan winning in the marathon.”
Who inspires you?
HW “I’ve got a lot of respect for anyone who makes it to a professional level in cycling. My favourite cyclist is Jeremy Powers. I’ve been watching a lot of the series behind the barriers which is a reality TV show about Powers who is an American Cyclocross pro. I like his really relaxed attitude before races and just how chilled out and funny he is before races and then can still perform (he won the US national Cyclocross championships) My other favourite riders are Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquin Rodriguez and Fabian Cancellara. Nibali is not afraid to attack which I like and he’s one of the best descenders in the pro peloton, someone willing to take risks on the downhill and that’s something I like. Cancellara is similar in that respect but in the classics he is in a league of his own and I like Rodriguez because he’s got a style of racing I would like to have when I’m older and he’s the same weight and height as me currently (although I don’t think that will last for long). I also have huge respect for the professional Cyclocross riders and my favourite is either Bart Wellens or Zdenek Stybar and out of British riders my favourite is Geraint Thomas. I’ve been lucky to ride with him for two days solid doing some of the Belgian cobbled climbs and he’s a really down to earth, nice normal guy.”
How has your season gone so far?
HW “This year has gone relatively well although it could have gone better. My main aim of the season was the North West youth tour but I didn’t get selected. I didn’t really understand the selection as they had 80 places and said they would do the selection on British cycling rankings and I was well in the top 70 but I’m not going to dwell on the past. I’ve done some RSRs with British Cycling and hope to do a few more Portsmouth races. I’ve got the Alps Open tour coming up in August which is an event in the French Alps where you cycle around 120km every day for 5 days over the French cols. There are usually a small number of French pros there so I am pretty excited to be able to ride with them. Due to that I have been doing a fair amount of endurance training in preparations. I did enter the BSCA national hill climb championships and came 2nd in the over 15 age category which I am pleased with as well becoming BSCA south of England champion for hill climbing, I will still be in the same age category next year so am looking forward to defending my title.”


  1. An excellent interview. Hugo is really clued up and a great ambassador for New Forest CC and the sport in general. BJ

  2. good work hugey boy