Wednesday 3rd March 2022
You may have been one of many to watch him race up Alp du Zwift against The Vegan Cyclist or follow his career path from regular Zwifter to now turning pedals with the Ribble Weldtite team. Cameron Jeffers took some time out of the team's training camp in Calpe to answer some of our questions including that sickening race up that virtual beast to what he is looking forward to this year. (All photos credit to Adam James Hope).
Bet you and the team must be itching to get a full season under your belt considering the amount of disruption there has been in the past couple of years?
Yeah, all the lads are raring to go. The last couple of years have proven difficult trying to plan for races. One minute you’re training for a UCI 1.2 in Belgium, then suddenly the race is cancelled and the goal posts are moved. It just makes planning training tough, as well as taking a hit on morale! However the calendar looks busy this year and fingers crossed we have a bit more normality so yeah, can’t wait!
Which races have you got your eyes on for this season?
Personally, I’m looking forward to the Tour Series. I’ve done well here in the past but it’s been a couple of years since I got a result there, so that’s definitely a target for me this year. Then obviously making the selection for the Tour of Britain. As a domestic cyclist this is the biggest race of our year, getting to race against the worlds biggest teams on home roads is a huge honour. I missed out on selection last year, so it’s a huge goal of mine to change that this year.
The team is currently over in Calpe getting essential training in. What are you looking to improve on – climbing, sprints, lead outs etc?
Generally it’s great to be riding with the lads. I think this year is probably the biggest shake up in roster since the team's inception a few years ago so there’s a lot of new faces. Working out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses is a key part of the team bonding. Most of us have been training alone this winter so it’s a great opportunity to work on some more race / bunch specific drills. Whether that be leadouts. Race simulation, or simply riding as a unit again. Calpe provides a perfect base for that. We’ve got some real strong sprinters this year with the likes of Red Walters and Matt King, but also some phenomenal climbers too, such as Zeb Kyffin and two new guys, Alex Peters and Stuart Balfour. So a lot of it is figuring out how we can best assist them.
You’re a YouTuber and Zwifter at heart. How has the transition been from e-sports to the real world racing? Have you felt all those Zwift hours has helped build a good baseline?
Haha, to be honest. I’m not a massive Zwift racer. I never have been. I took part in the British Champs a few years ago because it provided a great storyline on my YouTube channel, and my viewers became heavily invested in it. Don’t get me wrong. Over the past few years I’ve done a bit of racing through the winter and live streamed it on my channel, but it was mainly for content purposes rather than a real ‘love’ for Zwift racing. But yeah, it’s solid. Some of the hardest races you’ll do are on Zwift! So for motivation during the winter, virtually racing against other guys can really help you push yourself harder than you would do. But equally, if you do too much, you’ll end up doing too much high intensity before the season’s even began.
We remember watching you v The Vegan Cyclist race up Alp du Zwift. Some of the numbers you both produced were quite sickening to watch! What has been the hardest ride/race you have done virtually and on the road?
I’d say virtually. It was probably that race against The VC. Full gas up the Alp Du Zwift is horrific. There’s no rest bite, it’s relentless and unforgiving. But on the road, in terms of numbers I think I would go with the Durham Tour Series a few years ago where I finished second. For an hour, my normalised power was up around the 400w mark. Yeah that was pretty gnarly!
Training camps are obviously an opportunity for the riders to bond as much as get race ready but also assuming some of the riders can get up to no good. Anyone getting away with any pranks or mishaps?
Haha, not yet. But we are only 3 days in and everyone is still getting to know each other. Perhaps we’ll have to revisit this question in a week's time! I have caught Tipper holding onto the car a couple of times up the climbs. But that’s nothing new!!!
You’re also known for your YouTube trips and adventures accumulating 126k followers. Did you ever imagine becoming this popular on the platform?
Absolutely not. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Northern Ireland, it’s not exactly a breeding group for YouTubers! But it’s awesome and I never take it for granted. I originally started because I enjoyed making edit’s of me riding, and just having a bit of fun with it all. Not once did I think it would turn into my full time job, but here we are. I’m still having fun, I don’t take life too seriously, and I get to share my weird and wonderful adventures with thousands of other people. It’s brilliant.
Final question and we always like to finish off with a quirky one. Who would you like to race up Alp du Zwift? Can be current, retired or no longer with us. We would be up for a race but would require a hefty head start!
Hmmmm.. Tough one. I’m going to go with Sean Kelly. He was always known as a ‘proper hard guy’ who had immense power. It would be cool to see what kind of numbers he could put out on an out and out virtual climb. I wouldn’t stand a chance, but it would be an honour to race against him.
Thank you for your time and all the best for the season Cameron!