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Dreaming of turning pro: British rider Olly Moors planning for a bright future

Ambitious British rider tells Cyclist about his quest to get to Continental level and beyond, but how he's still staying realistic

Jack Elton-Walters
13 Aug 2019

At the recent British Circuit National Championships, Joey Walker (Madison Genesis) got the better of Isaac Mundy (Richardsons-Trek) in the men's race to earn the striped jersey. Just 14 other riders finished – the other 30 starters, including some well known names on big domestic teams, were lapped and pulled out before the end of the race.

One of those who did finish was Olly Moors in 11th place, which he says could have been higher but for a rival's mistake ahead of him on the final lap. Moors, 22, is a rider who knows what he wants but isn't getting carried away with his ambitions.

'For next year my aim is to go back up to Continental level. That could be in the UK or Belgium,' Moors says. Looking at his results so far this season and the dedication he gives to his craft, it's by no means a far-fetched ambition.

Moors currently plies his trade for Belgian team VDM Van Durme-Michiels-Trawobo CT but made the trip home to the circuit champs to ensure the British domestic teams – or those that will be continuing into 2020, at least – get a good look at this talented young rider.

It says a lot about the precarious nature of the British domestic scene that established names like JLT-Condor and more recently Madison Genesis have signalled their intention to call time on their tenures, something Moors is keeping in mind as he looks to step up to Continental level for the coming seasons.

'I think because of the state of British cycling right now with everything going on and with Madison folding, I don’t think any of the teams are in a position to guarantee rides at the moment,' Moors explained, adding that he's currently quite content living in Belgium.

'Belgium feels like home now,' he explains. 'I’ve lived in the same flat for the past three years. With how close the races are in Belgium, there’s no travel involved really because the races are so near.

'Even the big UCI races, everything’s within touching distance where in the UK you have to travel so far.

'I think my preference really is either/or in terms of a British or Belgian team, so whatever opportunities are given or are thrown my way I'm happy with. I’ve got a great family at home who help me when I’m in the UK but here I also have a good set of people around me.'

This deep into the 2019 season, the 22-year-old is able to reflect on what he's achieved so far and what might be left for him to gain from the remainder of the year before he dives back into his winter training regime. A key and obvious aim is to cross the line with his arms in the air at some point.

'I’d definitely like to get a win this year, I’ve been so close: I’m on about 13 top 10s and something like 20 top 15s!' he laughs. 'I’m always in the front, with the breakaways, with the front splits and always in a position to win but I just haven’t quite pulled it off yet.

'It’s definitely an aim for the rest of the year to get that win.'

Moors's ambition to race at a higher level is clear and his results suggest he'll be quite at home there but despite everything going in the right direction, he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

'I try to stay really realistic,' he admits. 'It’s so easy in life and especially in cycling to get ahead of yourself. I just kind of look at my natural progression and how far I’ve come over the last year or two but I don’t want to make any stupidly over-ambitious aims.

'Obviously it’d be nice to be in the WorldTour, that’s perhaps a final aim but I’ve also got to be realistic and take it all a step at a time. You’ve just got to be patient.'

Looking beyond his remaining races this year, and his pursuit of that elusive win, Moors plans to spend the approaching winter on Mallorca, which he used as a training base ahead of this season.

'I spent this winter on Mallorca and it was the best two months I’ve had on the bike in terms of training. On and off the bike, it's just perfect to have that structure. I was almost robotic at a point, nothing went wrong really.'

Moors is also in the privliged position of having a villa at his disposal for use in the off-season, acting as a house-sitter while the tourists are elsewhere at holiday brand Velusso's Mallorcan base.

'How well it went was really down to where I was staying, the Velusso villa is just perfect. The location is in the foothills of every mountain that any cyclist can dream of.'

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