One of the big changes coming soon in the season will be that of Bradley Wiggins stepping down from Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix to headline his own Continental team, WIGGINS. The guys at Southeast Regional Series recently caught up with Brit racer, Daniel Patten who is also a member of WIGGINS and a man who won the SRS race in Knoxville last year.
The Southeast Regional Series presented by BikeReg returns for a third year in 2015 with a four-state circuit. The highly competitive weekends of criterium and road race events will begin April 11-12 in Florida, with the Panama City Criterium and Walton County Road Race, hosted by the Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council. Later in the year individual time trials will be added to the weekend races – Albany, Ga., Knoxville, Tenn., and Greenville, S.C.
Last year SRS showcased the best cycling teams for men and women across the U.S., with more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. Access to top competition allows individual elite and amateur athletes to earn a living and gain valuable experience. SRS is proud that see riders polish their skills and move on to national or international-level racing.
One such example is Daniel Patten. Patten is a 28-year-old from Corringham, Essex, located west of London. He has raced the past two years in the U.S., most recently for Team SmartStop presented by Mountain Khakis and Cycletherapy/VoMax. In 2014 he won the SRS Pro 1/2 Knoxville Road Race in August. He won four other races in the Southeast, including the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic Road Race.
For 2015, Patten has moved back to the U.K. to race for the prestigious Team WIGGINS, a UCI Continental team based in Great Britain founded by 2012 Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). The team is sponsored by Sky and has the support of British Cycling. Here is a series of questions and answers with Patton about developing his cycling in the U.S. and moving back to the U.K. His first race with the new team is underway at the moment (March 24-29) at the Tour of Normandie in France.
Tell us how it feels to be back in Britain with this new team. And what will you miss about racing in U.S.?
I’m very happy to be part of WIGGINS and looking forward to the season ahead. It’s a new team and has felt like a great fit from the word go! And being teammates and getting to work with and learn from Sir Bradley Wiggins is certainly a huge privilege.
I will certainly miss the friends I have made there in the U.S., hanging out with them, the new places you get to visit, the new people you meet along the way and being “on the road” in America. I have made really good friends, especially there in North Carolina and everyone has been so accommodating. I do plan to return to see them.
In 2014 you won the Knoxville Road Race at SRS. What did you think about that course?
I really enjoyed it! I had been reliably informed it (Knoxville Road Race) was a good course, something that would suit me. My good friends at Cycletherapy in North Carolina made it easy for me to go and race. Having only been back in the U.S. again for the previous couple of weeks and eager to race (and try to win) I was keen to make it. I had a new bike, and new hand-built carbon wheels. Thanks also to Knoxville resident Kaysee Armstrong for providing me a race winning sofa!
I really enjoyed the downtown criterium the day before too. I rode strongly in the crit, maybe too strongly at times, spending a lot of time on the attack, but missing the decisive split. When it came to the road race, I played it a little cooler until I made the move around 50km to go. I was looking at leaving it a bit later than that, but I tested the water, got a gap quickly and so there was no going back. Despite a late chase, I was glad to make it to the line alone and take my first win of the season.
You signed with the WIGGINS Continental team in your home country for 2015, congrats. What does your race schedule look like for this year?
Thank you! Being a brand new team, the schedule has been developing and I’m sure will evolve even further during the season. Our first team race will be the Tour of Normandy in France, a stage race during the last week of March.
We will be racing National Series Road Races/criteriums and Tour Series criteriums on the UK scene. I also look forward to towards the bigger international road races in the UK such as the Tour of Britain, Ride London and the new Tour de Yorkshire (organized by the ASO, organizers of the Tour de France). I will also look to be doing some races in Belgium throughout the season. As I’m sure you have read, Sir Bradley Wiggins has his program with Team Sky until the end of April including the classics in Belgium and France. He will then transfer across to the team from May onwards.
What would you tell other young racers who want to make a career out of professional cycling about competing in events like SRS?
Do it! Getting race experience is hard to substitute. Events such as SRS provide good, challenging, well-organized racing and something for everyone. Everyone involved was also very friendly and welcoming and the importance of that fact shouldn’t be underestimated. I was in Knoxville for just one weekend for the SRS event, but I have fond memories and certainly wouldn’t be hesitating about doing it or any the events again. Winning was clearly an added bonus and given how important that period of time proved to be in my 2014 season, the significance is multiplied. Thanks once again to Marilyn Cullinane and everyone at SRS!
Will you or your team try to travel back to U.S. to compete in any events in 2015?
I hope so! Though it’s not necessarily on the program at the moment, it’s early and things are evolving all of the time. With Sir Bradley Wiggins having won the Amgen Tour of California last year, with my experiences there and with the World Championships in Richmond, VA later in the year, it would certainly be good if the chance came up for WIGGINS to race in America.
To learn more about Daniel Patten and Team WIGGINS check out:
Instagram (@wigginsofficial @dfpatten)
Twitter (@OfficialWIGGINS @dfpatten)
Facebook page (WigginsOffiicial)
Registration is now open online for all four race weekends, including the opening event in Florida, April 11-12, 2015 in Panama City and Walton County. The series is the only elite and amateur road cycling series to offer points competitions spanning multiple states, which aims to attract riders and teams throughout the Southeast. All four events in the Southeast Regional Series presented by BikeReg.com will be managed and produced by Start Smart Cycling in Greenville, S.C.
PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA
April 11 – Panama City Criterium
April 12 – Walton County Road Race
May 16 – Albany Unchained: Time Trial and Criterium
May 17 – Albany Unchained: Road Race
July 11 – Tour Stop Knoxville Time Trial and Criterium
July 12 – Tour Stop Road Race
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
August 8– Greenville Time Trial and Criterium
August 9 – Greenville Road Race