If you walk through the pits and look at all the teams, YT has got to be up there for sure. It’s probably that one, Loic’s team or maybe the Athertons, aside from that it’s a little bit of a step down. I thought the best fit for me would be YT because most of the staff and Aaron are the same as Trek World Racing so I knew them all from 2011/12 and we’ve been friends since.
I thought if there was any way I could get on to that YT team that was going to be the best thing for me. I waited around for a long time, it didn’t come around until pretty late but I trusted Aaron.
I had to tell the other teams I was talking to whether I was able to ride or if they needed to get somebody else in October. I told Aaron and he said: “If I were you, I’d wait around.” I thought I’d take his word for it and I told them “no” on the hope that YT would work out. It wasn’t until January that I signed the contract with YT.
Was the fit of the team more important than bike itself. Had you ridden the Tues before signing?
No, I never rode the bike, I just knew the program was really good, I knew everyone on the program, I knew my mechanic Dan, I’d worked with them all on Trek World Racing so I just knew exactly what I was getting.
The bike fits me really well too and I could know that just by looking at the size. There’s a lot of the same stuff, it uses Fox suspension so that’s really familiar… and you can tell it obviously worked for Aaron!
It seems like there was an instant change in your form on YT. What do you put that down to?
I was healthy, I got to ride a lot this winter, I just feel like I had everything I needed to get those results.
I did feel at home right away. When I was on Scott I stressed out a lot about my set-up and I was trying to chase a better feel. This time I just got my bike feeling pretty damn good, as close as I could, and then just rode it and that helped a lot.
At Lourdes obviously I went right before it rained, I was hoping to get a top 20, I qualified 16th and I think I was going to do a similar result to that in the final and ended up getting lucky and got a seventh.
I’ve never done well at Fort William and don’t really like the track. For American guys it’s tough because British guys ride it so much and we don’t have anything like that sort of terrain so I struggled with it but to get a good result there was really cool.
You and Aaron approach training on a World Cup weekend differently to most teams. It seems like you barely ride at all compared to others who might pound out the laps. Why is that?
I started doing that this year with Aaron. In Lourdes I did one practice run on race day and I never did that few practice runs before so it was a first time for me.
If you notice, Aaron is really good at not getting hurt, he’s always in good shape and he’s never really injured. I think it’s because every time he goes up to do a run, he knows he needs to figure something out and then once he’s figured something out, it’s cool, he chills.
You can only ride as fast as you can down a World Cup track so many times before you crash and get hurt so I think he’s really good at managing the risk, if there’s nothing out there that he needs to gain then he’s just going to chill.
A lot of us have so much fun riding that comes first. You might not need to do another practice run or take another risk but you want to because it’s so fun and you’re loving.