Rider Interview: Ed Goode has followed Paul Double ever since interviewed him back in 2018. Ed recently caught up with Paul to hear the good news that he is moving up to the UCI ProTeam level with the Human Powered Health team.
Coppi and Bartali
Young Englishman Paul Double is a little bit “forgotten man” – there in the Italian continental team, competing against some of the best in the world – but not through PEZ, we follow his results, most recently an excellent seventh place in the final GC of the Tour of Slovenia, won by a certain “homeboy” is called, Tadej Pagachar with his loyal Polish supporter from the UAE, Rafa Mike, in second place.
In action with Human Powered Health
Paul was originally with Flavio Zappi’s development team in Italy, but then joined top-ranked Italian U23 team Colpack. It may not have been the best match and Paul returned to Zappi for the season – where he achieved an excellent fourth place at the Tour of Bulgaria – before joining Mg.kVis VPM last year, where he remains this year. Paul’s results this year are even more commendable considering he was hit by a car earlier in the year and had to fight back to stay fit.
Victory with Zappi
PEZ: You’re home in the UK in Somerset, are you on a bit of a break from racing at the moment?
Paul Double: Yes, there is a bit of a lull in the Italian calendar, so they allow me to spend time at home. Coming up is one day in Bulgaria on 24/07 and then we’re in the Italian late season semi-classic in August.
PEZ: Does your team have an additional sponsor this year?
Yes, we are now Mg.K Vis-Colour for Peace-VPM. Mg.k Vis – producer of vitamins and food supplements; vitamin C, magnesium, the kind of stuff you’d find in a health food store. VPM is a specialized enterprise for petrochemical production – lubricants, garden and household products, car detergents, etc. Colors For Peace is a non-profit association that promotes children’s art internationally with the aim of reducing cultural, social and economic distances between rich and poor countries; a bit, but as an Education First organization.
Giro di Romagna with the team
PEZ: Is the level of support good?
Yes, now we have a bus, and the image is good, and everyone is passionate about what they do, the juniors, the mechanics – but at the end of the day, we are a continental team. Equipment-wise, we’re still running good Olmo frames, but with Shimano Ultegra groupsets.
PEZ: And you have a new teammate in England’s Max Steadman, who won the Tour of Antalya in 2020.
Yes, I get along well with him and get good advice from him, the Canyon SunGod team he worked for before was good, well organized.
Green jersey in Romagna
PEZ: Where are you located?
I have an apartment in Porto Sant Elpidio in Marche on the Adriatic coast, it is not “special” place but nice. I do my own cleaning and cooking, but as much as I enjoy cooking, you lose the passion for it when you only cook for yourself. The apartment is above a nice bar, there are good local restaurants and pizzerias so I don’t go hungry. Now I have a car here, which makes life easier.
PEZ: How’s it going with Italiano?
Pretty good, I’ve been here for a long time and now I have an Italian girlfriend, she speaks English and helps a lot with the language.
Coppi and Bartali
PEZ: Who trains you?
I train on my own, I chase Strava KoM’s! I do a lot of steady work, but I also put effort into the lifts – I’m just doing what feels right for me, but I’d love to get the chance to coach at a higher level. . .
PEZ: This is your guide “obsessed with weight?”
Italians in general like to be light and lean and not eat too much – although I’m lucky to be naturally thin, it makes sense not to carry extra weight.
With Juan Ayusa (now with UAE Team Emirates) in Romagna
PEZ: You had some good races: sixth place in the International Tour of Hellas; ninth in the Adriatica Ionica, then seventh in the Tour of Slovenia.
Prior to these results I was also 15th in the Tour of Sicily but was still coming back after being taken out in that car. I wanted to win from Hellas but the break went early in the first leg and never came back – I have to say the Black Spoke guys were very strong though, Aaron Gate [now a triple Commonwealth Games medallist on the velodrome, ed.] won, third was Mark Stewart from Scotland. In the Adriatic race, I set my sights on the Monte Grappa stage, but I got a little overexcited there, went into the red and finished 18th, but came back to take third in the next stage. The reality of that race was that there weren’t enough big climbs in that race to make a difference. In Slovenia, the last day was pretty easy, but the last climb was wild; Mahorić and Pagočar were fighting each other, I was trying to cross Mike, but I just couldn’t follow him on the last part of the climb – but I was happy to be at the top of this company.
Interview at the start of the Giro dell’Appennino 2022
PEZ: Also some good one-day results: sixth in the UCi 1.1 Giro dell’Appennino and fifth in the UCi 1.2 Giro del Medio Brento.
I felt good in the Apennines, there were big crowds – I was in a group of 10, my sprint was not bad that day and I finished sixth. I was disappointed by Medio Brento, I went there as a favorite, but I got too full and left too early.
PEZ: Are you the team’s best finisher in all these races, do you get good support?
The guys are really, really good, Max Steadman looks after me and my New Zealand team-mate Paul Wright always gets me where I need to be – so no complaints, I’m really looking forward to the next part of the season. . .
During the break on the 2nd leg of the Sazka Tour
**** POSTSCRIPT: ***
During the interview, Paul told us that he has some exciting news “top secret” at the time – but we’ll let him explain in his own words:
“I am very excited to announce that I have turned pro with US ProTeam Human Powered Health – formerly Rally Cycling – for the 2023 and 2024 season. Starting with Zappi’s late on a completely different path, it was a battle. I persevered – I am pleased and proud. Really looking forward to the opportunities that come up!
The last year and a half with MGKVIS has also been great, and a big thank you to the whole team for everything. However, we still have some big races ahead of us where we hope to end the season well! In the meantime, I’m off to the Sazka Tour and the Arctic Tour of Norway to meet the guys at Human Powered Health!”
It didn’t take long for Double to jump into action with Human Powered Health
# We’ll be keeping an eye on Paul’s results – always happy to see a young man, “Just doing it!” #
We look forward to realizing the opportunities with Human Powered Health