Kristian House column
Last weekend the Tour of Britain started and, while I’m not there this year, I think for me especially and for most of the British guys it’s great to have that level of racing in the UK and the amount of support it gets now. Even the Polish guys that we have on the team at One Pro Cycling, they don’t show much of an emotional side usually but they are excited for it.
Probably my earliest memory of the Tour of Britain is one of the stages in London, I can’t remember what year it was but it started off like a crit. I remember being ridiculed before the race because I was using low-profile wheels; I was the only one on the team not using deep-sections, which is something I kind of became known for.
I got in the break that day with Tom Southam and Chris Sutton among others — it got brought back for a bunch sprint, but I got the mountains jersey on a relatively flat stage. I was at Rapha-condor at the time and it hadn’t grown into what it is now, so it was quite a big deal for the team at that point.
The other early memory I have is in 2006 when the race came down to Kent and went through my home town Canterbury — it’s nice to ride through there. However, there was a mix up with the race getting taken off course and the stage got nullified by the riders in protest — I wasn’t allowed to race. I had to hold my words back when I was interviewed that day because I was pretty disgusted with some of the riders but I didn’t have the clout to say anything — no one knew who I was.
Probably the best edition for me was in 2009 — racing the Tour of Britain as national champion was great. Finishing the last stage in London in the national champion’s jersey was pretty special, my family and grandparents were there. I think I finished 10th overall that year — it was a relatively flat year and it was all about time bonuses.
My other highlight would have to be winning the mountains jersey in 2012. That’s partly because of the way that I did it — being on the attack and being up the road. It brought me a lot of supporters.
Veteran domestic racer Kristian House rides for One Pro Cycling and has competed in 11 editions of the Tour of Britain.