Tom Southam Interview
Interview with a young British rider in a small Italian pro team.
and truly under way. Do you have ambitions to take part in a major tour one day? Where do you feel your skills as a bike rider are best-utilized one-day races or stage races?
TS: I think it's still too soon to say. I really don't think I'll ever be a contender for a long stage race, my recovery is good but I'll always have one bad day. I'd probably say one-day races but I need to sharpen up tactically to be really good at that.
IM: Given an opportunity to ride your dream race and have your dream team supporting you, what would be the race and who would be Tom Southam?s domestiques?
TS: My dream race is Paris-Roubaix. I'm working my way there, the round-a-bout way! It's a long way from Italy, but that race is something else. I think a real fantasy team for me would be a British one. We really do have the riders to have a pro outfit; it's just the lack of a sponsor. If you could get a team together with guys like Russ Downing, Kristian House, Rob Sharman, Yanto Barker, Jamie Alberts, and some of the
older guys like Roger Hammond, Jamie, Jez Hunt, and maybe throw a couple of antipodeans into the mix you could have a real quality pro team. When you see how a team like CSC, from Jack and Jones has developed Danish cycling you can see it's possible. It?s just the same old story of lack of interest from big companies in cycling.
IM: What are the best and worst aspects of being a pro bike racer?
TS: The best would be the satisfaction of competing with the best in the world. Knowing that there is no higher level to go to and when you succeed in these races you really are on your way to being a real bike racer. The worst is the people that love you when you?re good and then dump you as soon as you?re not going good, I still can't get my head around that. You?re someone's friend or not in my opinion, but to many people you?re just another pair of legs. It can be a very dirty grey world at times, nowhere near as shiny as it looks in the magazines.
IM: After a hard day in the office, how do you get away from it all?
TS: At the moment I'd probably go for a glass of red wine with some strictly non-cycling friends in the sunshine outside my favorite bar in the high street. I personally need to get my head as far away from the job as possible. I work hard on the bike in the day, rest well with some great music until dinner but after that I just switch off and get away from sitting down thinking about cycling. But here is a lot better than where I was in France. It's a small town so meeting fresh people is easy. In a city like