Team: Virgin Blue RBS Morgans
Sponsors: Virgin Blue, RBS Morgans, Pegasus Racing, SiS, Shell, LAS, Speedplay, Ascend,
Occupation: Technical Manager CSG Australia.
Career highlight to date: Vic Road Champs 2010
Favourite cyclist: Jens Voigt
Favourite movie of all time: Dazed and Confused
CT: Congratulations on your win in stage 5 of the Tour of
CP: Cheers mate. It was certainly a surprise considering my goal for the day was to get Pat Shaw the win. I remember waking up to a windy and wet day thinking – ‘Here we go, this is going to hurt.’ When we arrived at the start the wind was howling. The course had everything that suited our team: big descents, hard cross wind sections, long climbs and short steep ramps. After a good warm up (thanks Scooter) we were on our way round for 3 laps of the 48km circuit. 1 lap in and it was clear the conditions had taken their toll – there were riders everywhere. It came down to a 4 man final between Pat Shaw, Rohan Dennis, Cam Jennings and myself. To come out on top was an awesome feeling and by far the most memorable result that I have had to date. I owe this result to the Virgin Blue RBS Morgans team. All the boys did their part. Having Pat Shaw in the final was a great confidence boost and for him to take second was icing on the cake!
CT: The Virgin Blue - RBS Morgans team rode such a strong race to smash the Drapac boys, did you think the plan would work as well as it did?
CP: We were lucky enough to have a course that suited each of our riders. Although tough, the conditions were on our side. Pat Jonker gave us a plan and it came together perfectly. His experience was essential on the day and we couldn’t have pulled off the first and second results without him. There is a really relaxed and positive vibe that flows throughout the team making it easy to get motivated for the harder races. You can have trust in all the team members which is a very comforting feeling. Drapac had a tough job to hold the Yellow jersey that day, and I didn’t think we would be able to get up the road without one of their riders. However, with Pat Shaw as captain on the road our whole team was able to play a part in the results.
CT: How do you see your role in the Virgin Blue - RBS Morgans team?
CP: I am more of a GC rider for the hills and tougher races. My sprinting isn’t something I pride myself on. However, I am there for the team. Whether it is for GC or helping the others out. I get just as much satisfaction out of any one of my team mates winning a stage, or as has happened this year, a team mate winning a tour.
CT: Is it your ambition to race with a Pro Tour team in the future? Maybe a Fly V
CP: Absolutely. I would love to take my cycling to the top level. It is something that I have always dreamed of since my running days. With Chris White’s passion and drive, Fly V Australia is heading towards being the first Australian Pro Tour Team. It is a team that any
CT: As a junior you weren’t a half bad runner. Why did you switch sports?
CP: Thanks Sam. I could ask you the same question. I had a great time running and enjoyed some fantastic results, however, my head was pushing me towards cycling. I saw my future in cycling and owe a big thanks to my family and Turramurra Cyclery.
CT: Do you enjoy cycling a lot more than running?
CP: My running career was very serious and was all I knew from a young age until 21 years old. Cycling came along as a fun activity. It was something that I always enjoyed doing. My running career was based around a training group with coach, James (Jimbo) Fitzgerald. The training group that Jimbo created was, at the time, something that couldn’t be matched. We had a great fun and relaxed atmosphere and it is a feeling that came back this year with Virgin Blue RBS Morgans. All the people involved in the team from management to riders have made the sport really enjoyable and right now, there is no other sport that I would rather be doing.
CT: Any regrets?
CP: No regrets mate. They only get you down.
CT: Let’s get down to some training talk. How many rides are you doing per week? What is the approximate mileage for a big week?
CP: Up until this year, I had not had a coach and all my training was done commuting to and from work. It would range between 300 – 400km per week.
With the Virgin Blue RBS Morgans team came Pat Jonker. He has been writing my program all this year. It is completely different to the old commuting. There is a lot more structure involving more efforts than I ever thought imaginable.
I used to think the more k's the better and how wrong I was! My biggest week would only be 500km. It’s hard to do any more than this while working full time.
CT: Can you give a breakdown of a typical week during an intense training block?
CP: Each week is different, but they all involve lots of trainer efforts at specific watts. I try to focus on my diet during an intense week. Eating right and proper recovery is almost as important as the training itself.
CT: What is your favourite training location?
CT: What are the goals for the rest of 2010 and into 2011?
CP: We will be finishing off the Scody Cup series with the Tour of Tasmania. I will be on the hunt for a podium finish, however my main goal is to come out on top of the National Road Series table.
I am looking forward to be able to ride full time in 2011 and continue my career towards great results overseas. I want to keep having fun while getting closer to the top level of the sport.
CT: Thanks for your time mate
CP: Anytime Sam. Thank you.