One of our youngest riders and newest additions to the Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team has taken this year’s Cyclo-cross season by storm! The 19-year old from Perth, Scotland has posted some incredible results so far this season and is looking to capitalise on this momentum going into the final, most important races of the season. Currently sitting second in the UK under-23 National Trophy Series McGuire has also turned his attention to the Belgian ‘Cross racing scene in the past few months to gain further experience and to weigh himself up against some of the biggest names in the sport. We sat down with him (socially distanced of course) in order to ask him a few questions about his season so far, and his future plans for the rest of the season…
Rory battles through misfortune at the Crawley round of the National Trophy to remain highly placed overall. Photo: Man Down Media
Hi Rory, thanks for joining us! How are you and how is the season felt so far?
I’m good thanks! It has been a pretty hectic season so far but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m excited to see how the next few races in Belgium will pan out.
The Belgian races you participate in are some of the most famous on the Cyclo-cross calendar, does this feel like it adds a lot of pressure to your race?
All races have pressure to them. Although some races have more pressure than others, the nerves are always similar and you have to deal with that just like the time before. I find as I gain experience I am more calm before the races. Having big-name riders around you also adds to the occasion but at the end of the day they are focusing on their races just as much as I am on mine.
Rory takes the win after a tight sprint at the Sunderland round of the National Trophy. Photo: Richard Howes
Speaking of big races and names, at the UCI World Cup in Namur this year you managed a very respectable 17th. How did it feel competing there and are you happy with your result?
Yes the World Cup race was incredibly challenging. You have to give absolutely everything from start to finish even more so than every other race! These are obviously the races you target at the start of the year however the approach is the same in the end. I felt like I rode this race really well however a flat tyre and a dropped chain hurt my chances of a better finishing position but these things happen and I’ll go again next year!
Rory wears the green National Trophy Cyclocross U23 Leader’s jersey going into the final round. Photo: Man Down Media
How do you find the transition between the British and Belgian racing scenes?
Both have their good points! In the UK I find myself at the front more often than in the mid pack so the Belgian races are an eye opener and great experience for that. The UK scene is always growing and the talent pool is widening incredibly quickly while the racing is still incredibly hard. The Belgian races however have huge crowds and the party atmosphere is difficult to describe without seeing it for yourself. Before the races it can add to the nerves, however when you are in the race you feed off it and you find that extra push to put on the show for the crowds.
Rory showed early season promise when he led from the gun at our local round of the National Trophy at Westmorland Showground in Cumbria. Photo: James Vincent
Rory’s recent results from his European race campaign:
- Namur, Belgium, Under 23 World Cup: 17th
- Dendermonde, Belgium, Under 23 World Cup: 25th
- Zolder, Belgium, Telenet Superprestige, Elite: 39th
- Louenhout, Belgium, Azencross, Under 23: 24th
- Baal, Belgium, GP Sven Nys, Under 23: 12th
- Hulst, Belgium, Elite World Cup: 38th
Everyone here at Wheelbase wishes Rory all the best for the final, most important races of the Cyclocross season. This coming weekend (8th/9th January) sees Rory competing in the National Cyclocross Championships which is being held in Crawley, a venue that Rory has already raced at this season. The following weekend (15th/16th January) marks the final round of the National Trophy Cyclocross series with the racing taking place at Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire; Rory is currently sitting in second place in the under-23 category as well as sitting second overall in the senior category. Rory’s final position for this gruelling winter-long series will all come down to his result at Broughton Hall, good luck Rory!
Written by Charles Crooke
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