Owain Doull says his main focus for the coming season will be to ride the Spring Classics.
The Welshman is starting his second season with Team Sky and after competing at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in his debut season, he admits he wants more of the same in 2018.
“My main focus for this year is the Classics again”, said Doull. “I was fortunate enough to do all the big ones last year, Flanders, Roubaix, and even a couple in the Ardennes, and it really gave me the bug for it.
“Hopefully this year I’ll have a bit of a smoother run through and a more consistent start to the year, which will then hopefully help me be part of the Classics group again. I think it’s going to be pretty hard to make the teams, again like last year, with it being such a strong squad. But that’s my main focus.
“I grew up watching them and they’re the races I want to do well in and I’ve always targeted. But this year after riding them for the first time, you really get the scale and the magnitude of them. I remember after doing Flanders this year, the next day I was already thinking about Flanders next year. What I can change, how I can be better, and how much further into the race I’d like to go. Those are the races for me and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.”
By his own admission, the Welshman enjoyed an ‘up and down’ campaign after turning pro with Team Sky. Doull was all set to start the Tour Down Under in 2017 but ended up having his appendix removed after an emergency late-night visit to Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Twelve months on he is relishing the opportunity to tackle the race, with the benefit of a full season under his belt.
The 24 year old explained: “My first year with Team Sky was pretty up and down to be honest. I’d say overall there were more positives than negatives and I learnt a lot. In that regard, I feel positive about coming into 2018. All those experiences have brought me on a lot as an athlete and as a person. I’m really looking forward to trying to step up again in 2018.”