Q & A with Adam Hartley
Adam Hartley joined the Academy ahead of the 2019 season, after a solid year in the Team GB squad. The British rider completed a strong Tour de Bretagne, where he raced fully in service of the team but struggled a bit in Ronde de l’Isard and Giro d’Italia U23, which were two goals for him. However, the talented climber took it all out in Giro valle d’Aosta and powered to second in the overall classification. 

How do you feel about your result in Aosta? Talk us through a bit through the race:

I am super delighted with the outcome of 2nd on General Classification, and also consistency across the stages. It’s results like this that make all of the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile. Aosta is a very tough race, arguably the hardest climbing race in the UCI U23 calendar, that suits my strengths and those of the team. For the team to arrive with a plan and depart with a stage victory, a day in yellow, and two riders finishing in the top 10 on GC is incredible. For the race itself, the prologue was not so interesting as I knew the race would be contested in the mountains. I gave it my best shot but the mid-field result did not concern me. Stage 1 started well as I got myself in the early break and finished 4th on the stage behind the incredible “Ide”, who won the stage to go into Yellow. Stage 2 was mainly focussed on defending the Yellow and we all worked hard to give Ide the best chance to continue in the jersey. Some bad luck with a puncture caused Ide to expend a lot of energy and lose the jersey. The consolation was that I moved up to 3rd on GC. Stages 3 and 4 were all about trying to crack the new Yellow Jersey, Mauri from EFC – L&R – VULSTEKE, but he proved to be an extremely resilient climber! I was pleased to be able to show myself in the high mountains and ride alongside some of the best climbing talents in the world such as Inkelaar, Ries, Bagioli, Hailemichael and co. Stage 5 was all about the final climb, staying out of trouble, and working as a unit so I could begin the final climb in good condition and near the front! I think I paid back my teammates by fighting hard to finish 8th on the final stage. It feels great to be part of the SEG Racing Academy who provide such a great environment to develop as a bike rider in the best races in the world. Every credit to Mauri for winning the race overall.

What was the preparation going in towards it:

After struggling to recover from a virus that started at the Ronde De L’Isard and carried through to the Giro d’Italia U23, I was really keen to turn the page and make a good preparation for Aosta. Vasilis Anastopoulos (our coach) planned my blocks for late June and early July that steadily built my fitness to a good level. Unfortunately, I had to miss the National Champs in order to prepare optimally for Aosta. The blocks of training involved long endurance rides in the mountains around Girona, interspersed with lots of intense efforts. Obviously, in the few days leading up to the race, my training was tapered so that I arrived in the best condition with bags of form!

What is next? Can you share a bit about your coming goals and ambitions?

I have now arrived back in Girona and this week will be all about recovery but at the same time trying to maintain good legs for the upcoming Tour of Alsace that begins at the end of July. Last year I managed to finish 8th on GC, riding for the Great Britain academy team, and of course, I would like to improve on that result with SEG racing. Following on from that, it would be a huge privilege if I can don the National colors once again for the Tour of L’Avenir and play a role in the GB team at this very prestigious race. Last year I crashed hard on Stage 6 and then suffered in the mountains so it would be good to return and take some confidence with me off the back of Aosta. Selection, however, will be very difficult owing to the strength in depth in the UK ranks. All I can do is focus on the upcoming race and hopefully deliver another solid performance. Of course, I still have my sights set on riding the Worlds in Yorkshire, but again, the selection process will be very rigorous. All I can say is I have the determination and confidence to aim high and it will be hugely disappointing if I fall short of my 2019 targets