Oakworth rider Tom Moses is looking forward to his first year with a professional cycling outfit after signing for Team Raleigh.
Just days after news broke that a stage of the Tour de France will take place in the Keighley district next year, the 20-year-old joined up with his new team-mates at the official launch of Raleigh’s 14-man squad for 2013 in Nottingham on Monday.
The former Oakbank School pupil has spent the last two years at the British Olympic Academy and is now looking forward to competing at continental level, having signed a one-year contract with the iconic British outfit.
He said: “I can’t wait to get started and I should hopefully take part in some big races with Raleigh this year – one or two European races mixed in with British national races.”
Moses has been riding UCI stages in Europe while at the Academy, mostly in support of team members, and the move gives him an opportunity to find his full potential.
But he is content to play whatever role is required and said: “I’m the youngest guy in the team. Most are in their mid-twenties and I’m quite happy to ride for others.”
Having competed in last year’s Tour of Britain, Moses (pictured) is still pinching himself at the fact that the Tour de France will take place just down the road from where he lives next year.
He said: “It’s going to be fantastic. I rode the Tour of Britain last year and the amount of people who were there watching was just unbelievable. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when the Tour de France comes. It’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world.”
Moses competed in the same field as Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the British flagship race last September, though Wiggins had to withdraw midway through with a stomach complaint.
And the youngster, who finished 74th, admitted it was a baptism of fire. He said: “It was quite tough. I’ve never been in as big a race as that and it was a bit of an eye opener, seeing how quickly some of the pro teams, like Sky, go.”
Yet Moses is aiming to make it among the elite and, when asked if he hoped one day to compete in the Tour de France himself, he said: “Definitely. If I can step up each year, then hopefully I‘ll have a good 15 years to give it my best. Joining Team Raleigh at continental level can only help me.”
Having spent two years developing at the British Olympic Academy – based at the GB headquarters in Manchester – Moses has had the best possible grounding.
“I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a massive step up,” said the 2009 British National Junior Cyclo-cross champion. “I’ve gone from doing 120km rides up to 220km and learned how to become a professional cyclist.”
Moses flies out with Team Raleigh today for a ten-day training camp in Mallorca and admitted he was looking forward to escaping the cold snap.
“I’ve been out riding and the temperature has been -2.5 degrees. It takes a hell of a lot out of you and you can only do that for a few days.”
The team’s first races will be in France in February before they return to compete domestically in March.
Following its hugely successful period in the 1970s and 80s, which culminated in a Tour De France win in 1980, the new Team Raleigh has been in existence since 2010 and has been steadily progressing through the ranks of professional cycling.