Friday 5 with Travis Samuel

Travis Samuel, 23, is a Peterborough-native and a product of the Peterborough Cycling Club. After turning pro in 2014 with Start-Trigon, Travis spent 3 years with H+R Block where, in 2017, he had enjoyed a breakout season that attracted the attention of Canadian UCI Continental team, Silber Pro Cycling. Last weekend, Travis added the Elite Men’s Provincial title to his palmares, soloing out of a breakaway group of riders to take the win. We caught up with him a few days afterwards, and asked about the Provincial win, and life with the Silber Bullets.

Title Photo: VeloImages

Fast 5 with is the first in a series of quick 5-question interviews with PCC members and Peterborough cyclists who are redefining cycling excellence, at home and abroad.

In a post-race Instagram post, you wrote of the need to take a step backward. Can you elaborate on the feelings behind that?

Unfortunately I had a really rough spring block of racing and it was massive disappointment that was due to over-training. Last year I raced all the way into November my longest season ever and then I went to Girona at the start of January put in a massive two month block of training then straight to Tucson, AZ for March and team camp. I just overloaded myself way to much and never gave myself enough recovery time so was pretty burnt out by race time and got worse and worse through those couple of weeks of racing.

Silber Pro was super amazing and understanding in what happen. Silber Pro allowed me after Redlands to go home and take a step back to focus on recovery and to re-focus on up coming future races.

Tell us about your mindset going into Provincials. Did you have a set plan for your race?

Going into Provincials I was wanting to win if I was able to do it solo it would also be a huge confidence booster. I also really wanted to use this race to gage myself on where I was fitness wise coming back from time off and only having a solid two weeks of proper training heading in.

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Photo: Ivanrupes Photography

Now walk us through how the race played out, particularly in those last 10km.

At 10km to go they told the four-man breakaway I was in that we had 1:15 on the field and at that point I knew that the winner was going to come from the breakaway. On the last lap I just put in a bit of dig on the climb that got me away solo and the final 9km. I rode sub-threshold on the flats and hit the rollers really hard just to try to extend my gap on the other three, and was able to roll in solo.

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Photo: Ivanrupes Photography

2018 marked a change to Silber Pro Cycling. How did that come about and how are you settling in with your new team?

Yeah, I had an unbelievable year in 2017 with a lot of big results. I think talks with Silber Pro slowly began around the Volta a Portugal in August where I finished 5th in the prologue, taking the Young rider’s jersey for a day and then being a breakaway on stage 2 that came really close to winning on the day. Over the following few weeks of talks with Silber Pro they offered me a deal to make the change.

Coming into the 2018 season I was definitely nervous switching squads. You’re that new guy having to get to know new equipment, teammates, staff, management and just trying to figure out how things roll with them. We had a team camp in Tucson, AZ for almost two weeks at the end of March and that made that transition super easy!! Everyone on the team is awesome! It’s the most professional team I’ve every ridden for, the staff and management make it extremely easy for the riders where we just have to focus on riding or racing!

While the same IG post we mentioned earlier placed Nationals firmly on your radar, where else will we see you racing this summer ?

Yep, I’ve seemed to have some fairly good showings at Nationals in the past couple years. This year’s is a course I did last year at GP Saguenay and finished 6th on that stage, so I think I can put in a good crack. With roster selections not quite done for the races after Nationals I’m not sure where I’ll end up racing yet. But personally I’d like to just get back to racing with Silber Pro to help and have some cracks at winning more races and hopefully make a bid for the Tour of Utah roster.

We’d like to thank Travis for taking some time from his schedule to speak with us, and wish him continued success through 2018. To follow the exploits of Travis and Silber Pro Cycling, visit the team’s website.

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Photo: VeloImages

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