Spain, Salads, and Steve Cummings – On the Start Line with Pete Kibble

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.
PK IOM
 
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.
PK
 
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

From Rhigos to Roubaix – Looking to 2017 with U23 rider Pete Kibble

Here at Freewheeling we love seeing the up-and-coming riders progressing through the ranks and taking big wins. This year Pete Kibble, riding in the Welsh team jersey, won a fantastic second stage of the Junior Tour of Wales atop Rhigos mountain after a gruelling route packed with climbs and traditional Welsh weather! To make it all the sweeter, it just happened to be his last stage race on UK soil as a junior. Next season, Kibble will be riding with Zappi Pro Cycling at U23 level, after recently signing a new contract. We caught up with Pete to hear all about his hopes for the 2017 season and beyond….

Congratulation on signing with Zappi Pro Cycling! How did that come about?

Getting a ride with Zappi’s came from having a conversation with Flavio Zappi at the Ras de Cymru in Wales. We kept in touch since then and he asked if I would like a ride in the summer. It was a hard decision as I also had an offer from a UK team but I weighed it up and felt as though I would develop more by racing on the Continent in tougher UCI races. It’s the entire lifestyle I’m looking at, living abroad, learning to speak Italian; not just the racing.

What was the highlight of your 2016 season?

The highlight of my year was winning the Junior Tour of Wales Stage 2 up Rhigos mountain, definitely. This was my first real big win and to do it on home soil, at my favourite race, just topped it off. I had a few other highlights but this race really topped it off for me.

kibblerhigos
‘This was my first real big win…at my favourite race’ – Kibble wins on Rhigos Mountain, Stage 2 of the Junior Tour of Wales 2016. Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough

How have you changed as a rider over the last 12 months? Was there anything specific that you were working to improve?

I wouldn’t say I have changed as a rider style-wise over the last 12 months, but I have progressed tactically, learning how to race better. I would say my biggest improvement came in TT’s this year, knocking my PB down from a 20:40 to a 19:15 and placing highly in most open TT’s I did.

What are your hopes for the 2017 season?

My aims for the upcoming season are to continue learning, and to put in place the building blocks of experience for my career. It will be a big learning curve and the racing will be a whole new experience. It’s also a big step up into U23s, but I aim to get some top 20 results once I get into the style of racing.

kibble2
‘I don’t use power meters at the moment – I just go on feel and heart rate’ Photo courtesy of Pete Kibble.

Describe your riding style – do you go for sprint wins, TTs, mountain stages or GC?

My style is definitely suited to racing for GC. I’m a good climber and I like tough terrain. I haven’t got a great sprint so I like races where the terrain dictates the way in which the race will be won. I also like time trials and I do a lot of them.

Which do you prefer, one-day races or stage races?

I definitely prefer stage racing to one day races as it suits my style of riding a lot more; it’s about being consistent which I feel is a strength of mine. One day races are usually decided in a sprint which isn’t my forte.

Who is your favourite rider in the current pro peloton?

My favourite rider has to be Tom Boonen – he’s just uber cool and is an incredible tactician. I mean it takes a hell of a rider to win Paris Roubaix 4 times!

Which cyclist would you say has inspired you the most?

Most inspirational cyclist for me has be Chris Froome. He seems like the most unlikely person to win the Tour de France looking at his background and where he’s come from. He just lets his legs do the talking and has become incredibly successful, winning the Tour 3 times which is phenomenal.

Did you manage to get to the road-side to watch any of the Tour of Britain stages this year?

I watched this year’s Tour of Britain in the Cotswolds on Dursley hill. It was great to see so many spectators and people really embracing the race.

We notice that you’ve started a blog – how are you finding the writing and blogging side of things?

I enjoy writing the blog as it’s something new. It’s good to do as a distraction from training, it will get a lot better when I’m away racing during the season when I have so many new experiences to write about!

What is your favourite bit of cycle kit – what could you not ride without?

My favourite piece of cycling kit has to be Oakleys – I have quite a few pairs. Probably too many…

Stephen Roche feels that race radios and power meters are making racing less exciting, what do you think about such new technology?

With regards to Stephen Roche’s views, I can understand where he’s coming from as there is a lot of data that affects the way races are won – riders become very calculated. In that respect it definitely could be more exciting without the use of so much technology. However there are a lot of plus points with regards to rider safety with the use of radios. Power meters are a really good training tool, and I don’t think a lot of riders will take a lot of notice of their figures during a race. Personally I don’t use power at the moment I just go on feel and heart rate.

Sagan will be riding in the Rainbow stripes for another year after his win in Doha. If you could only win ONE of cycling’s most prestigious jerseys, which one would you choose and why?

My favourite jersey to win would have to be the yellow at the Tour de France. It’s the most prestigious race in cycling and it’s such a large human endeavour to win it. It takes so much to get a result at the Tour de France as it’s 3 weeks of full on racing, and there are so many variables you have to be such a rounded rider and have fantastic support to succeed.

Good luck Pete – we wish you all the best!

30 SECONDS WITH……PETE KIBBLE, WHO JOINS ZAPPI PRO CYCLING FROM VELOCITY GLOBALBIKE IN 2017!

Pete Kibble joins the U23 ranks in 2017 – he’s certainly one to watch! We asked him our quick-fire questions earlier, look out for our full length interview soon!

What was your first ever bike like? An Action Man mountain bike that I rode 24/7.
Books or Movies? Both. Favourite Book – Davis Millar, Racing Through the Dark. Favourite Movie – The Kingsman.
What’s on your MP3 Player? I listen to all sorts depending on my mood, I always listen to music while I’m training. I like Two Door Cinema Club quite a lot.
If you could go for a café run with any cyclist from history, who would it be? Mario Cipollini
If I wasn’t a cyclist I’d be… Race car driver.