The Ring’s Race Reporter, Glenn Te Raki (GTR), catches up with local gun and the Ring Summer Criterium Series ambassador Stephen Hall (SH).
GTR: Hello Stephen, welcome and thank you for joining us here in the Ring as a race ambassador.
SH:Thank you Glenn, it was an honour to be selected as a race ambassador for this historic criterium series, I can’t wait for things to kick off later this month! I am excited at the prospect.
GTR: Firstly, you posted a warm endorsement of our event on your social media, we thank you for this and we would like to know, how important do you see this form of racing series for our State, and what do you think it brings for local riders?
SH: I believe this new racing series is an important development in the progression of cycling in Western Australia.
By bringing criterium racing to several different courses across the metropolitan and peel areas, the reach of cycling is gradually spreading to a wider audience. From an athlete point of view racers are subject to vastly different circuits as well as interesting sub plots developed week to week in regards to the overall series leads which will be exciting for both the cyclists and the viewing public alike. Having seen the luxury of consistent racing first hand in countries like Belgium and the USA, it is a great privilege to have a stacked summer of racing right here in WA.
GTR: We know you have been racing all around the World this past season, and you spent some time in the US, can you let our readers know what you have been up to? And what type of racing do you personally prefer?
SH: For the past three years I have spent the majority of my time in North America competing in major track events and pro criteriums. Based predominantly on the east coast of the US, I raced a busy calendar this season competing for my trade team PA Lightning, sometimes racing as often as four times a week. As the year draws to a close, 2016 was my most successful season yet with a break through 8 pro criterium victories amongst consistent results on the Trexlertown track circuit. In my early twenties I spent several years racing in Europe and even now after three years since I’ve been back, it’s still tough to pick a favourite between the raw visceral nature of a Belgian kermis and a full tilt twilight criterium in front of thousands of people.
GTR: With our Ring series held well into the 2017 summer, what else do you have as a focus for the 2017 season? Where will we see you competing other than in the Ring?
SH: Luckily in 2017 I’ll get to combine the two. My plan for the next six months is to bring in the new year racing the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals guest riding for the Revive Cycotix Cycling Team before a strong preparation leading into the Australian National Track Championships in March. Once my track commitments are out of the way I’ll spend six weeks on the road using the Ring Criterium Series as the perfect spring board before heading to Europe for a stint of racing in April-May and finally back to the US just in time for the season opener.
GTR: Thank you again Stephen for taking time away from your training to spend some time talking to us here in the Ring, we wish you well not only during the series but for all your endeavours in 2017
SH:Thanks again for your time, I look forward to a big summer of racing and will see you at Race 1 on November 20.