Last year, we caught up with the U23 rider Pete Kibble just as he was preparing for the next stage of his career, having signed on with the development team Zappi Pro Cycling. After his first six months with the team, we caught up with Pete to hear how he’s been getting along – and to find out what it feels like to be on the start line at the National Championships with Cav and Steve Cummings!
Freewheeling – Hi Pete, when we last spoke, you were just about to join the Zappi Pro team. What have you been up to since then?
Pete Kibble – I started off the year in Calle, Spain, with pre season training, then we headed across to Italy for our racing campaign, which consists of mostly UCI 1.2 level events and Italian nationals. I’ve also been back home for a stretch focusing on the national road and TT championships.
F – What is the average day like with the Zappi Pro team?
PK- Well this isn’t the average day for cyclists, but it’s our routine. At 8am I get up then go and weigh-in in front of Flavio (Ed – Flavio Zappi, Italian ex professional cyclist who formed Zappi Pro as a development team for young riders in 2009). Then we go for a 30 minute pre-breakfast walk, before coming back to have breakfast. Afterwards we have a few hours before our ride where I usually try and sneak a coffee and wifi access. We then go out and do whatever training ride we have planned. When we come back we have a salad – that is exactly the same every day, no exceptions! After lunch we have an afternoon nap, then a few hours to ourselves. We have dinner at 6:30 which we prepare and make each day, then we have to be in bed by 10. Not the most glamorous life I know!
F – Sounds pretty good to me! How many races have you competed since joining the team?
PK – I can’t remember how many races I’ve competed in off the top of my head, but it’s a fair few and mostly UCIs in Italy. These races are so hard it’s even an achievement to finish – there are around 200 starters in each race, and usually only 30-50 finish.
F – Wow, that sounds pretty hardcore! Speaking of hardcore, you achieved excellent results at the Nationals on the Isle of Man. What was the experience like?
PK– It was a great experience, and so cool to be lined up with the likes of Cav and Steve Cummings. I really enjoyed the race even though it was pretty brutal – the experience of racing around the famous Isle of Man TT circuit was something else (be it a lot slower than the likes of Guy Martin)!
F – There was some confusion towards the end of the National Road Race, with riders being pulled from the course. Are you able to shed some light on what happened and how it affected the U23 riders?
PK– There was a rule that if the leaders gained over 8 minutes on another group, that group would get pulled out the race. Our group was second on the road, and didn’t get any time checks or warning of when we were going to get pulled until we were black flagged. This meant that a lot of us – and a large contingent of U23s – didn’t have the chance to compete for 3rd place in the U23 race.
F – What a shame! It sounds like a great experience overall though! How has working with the Zappi team changed your riding, both in terms of physically being on the bike, and your mindset?
PK – I’d say I’m a pretty single minded individual, and know where my strengths lie so I don’t feel the team has changed me much as a rider. I definitely feel it has changed my mindset though, I’ve been learning lots about continental racing. I’d also say that on the downside I’ve become a bit over obsessive with my weight when I’m away.
F – What are your long and short term goals in cycling?
PK – My long term goal is to become a pro cyclist and race Grand Tours. My short term goal is to progress into a bigger U23 development team within the next 2 years.
F -What do you hope to achieve next season?
PK – Next season’s goals will be to build upon the learning curve of this test and try to gain some good results.
F – Since we last spoke you’ve started to write a blog, which has been a great read and such a good way to keep people updated. How have you found writing about cycling?
PK – I’ve quite enjoyed writing the blog as it’s nice to have somewhere to record my memories. I also think my family and friends find it interesting to see what I’m up to when I’m away.
F -Top tip for the Tour?!
PK – I think Richie Porte has a great chance this year. But as a Welshman seeing Geraint’s success, I’d love to see him go all the way to Paris!
F – We think Porte has the legs for it this year too! Thanks so much for your time and good luck for the rest of your season – we can’t wait until the day we see you racing on the Champs- Elysees!
To keep up with Pete’s European exploits, check out his blog here
For more information on Zappi Pro Cycling, please visit the website