2016 through the eyes of Jack Carthy
“I wanted the World Championship more than anything. I made sure I was in top form. I was hungry for this victory and nothing was going to get in my way.”
It is that kind of steely determination and almost tunnel-vision focus that saw British 26” rider Jack Carthy win not only that World title in Val di Sole, Italy, but also a whole bunch of other international competitions throughout the year.
Although donning the prized rainbow jersey was the highlight of his season, by the time the UCI Word Championships finals came around at the beginning of September, Carthy already had three victories from four UCI World Cup rounds under his belt. Three weeks after the Worlds, Carthy went on to win the fifth and final round of the UCI Trials World Cup to claim his third consecutive overall title.
All at the age of 20.
Carthy was still a teenager when he began making an impact on the international trials scene. He won his first UCI World Cup event at the tender of age 16. He won two Junior UCI World titles (in 2013 and 2014) and last year finished second in his first Elite UCI World Championships. Which left him determined to go one step better in 2016.
The season was long, meaning that from May through until the end of September he needed to perform consistently at the very highest international level.
“It is pretty hard to stay in your best form,” he admits. “I do lots of training on and off the bike. Regardless of the weather, I’m out on the bike challenging myself.”
He leaves nothing to chance, and has a new management team headed by manager, fitness coach and nutritionist Nick Hindle. The latter has secured important new sponsors for his athlete, and takes care of all matters administrative so that Carthy can concentrate on riding and training.
Under Hindle, he has intensified his gym sessions which has had a huge impact on his fitness levels and performance on the bike.
“In a short space of time I’ve got leaner, stronger and sharper. Nick understands how to get the best from me, and pushes me hard in the gym. He’s ex-military and is very disciplined. If I’m late for meetings or gym sessions he makes me do press ups. I’m not late anymore!
“I’m a very disciplined individual anyway. I keep reminding myself of the position I’m in, and that is the driving force behind my success.”
That is not to say that it is always plain sailing. The 2016 UCI Trials World Cup got off to a shaky start in Krakow, Poland, when the British rider finished in an uncharacteristic 7th place, failing to make the finals.
“Yeah Krakow was a strange one. I was riding well but then it all changed. I got stuck in queues waiting to ride the next section. I started to get cold, my attention went for a split second and I fell, was out of the competition and was unable to walk for three weeks.
“I was annoyed with myself more than anything. But you can’t dwell on the past. I trained hard to make up for the time off due to injury and focused on my battle. I’m good with pressure and I went in (to round two, seven weeks later in Menuires, France) knowing I’d done the work. And it showed!”
The rest is history. Carthy won all the remaining World Cup rounds and the UCI World Championships. In fact he’s won it all, so how can he keep motivated for 2017?
“I’m approaching it with a new determination. I feel fully charged and ready to do battle. I am the UCI World Champion and I plan to retain the crown for a long time!”
At the same time, Jack Carthy would dearly love to see the spectacular cycling discipline that is trials develop even further. He devotes some of his spare time to coaching children at a local cycling club: “These kids are the future of my sport. I’d love to see more young talent coming through the ranks like I did.”