James Oram: Ready to go big in 2015
21-year-old James Oram is entering his fourth season with Axeon Cycling (previously known as Bontrager-Livestrong and Bissell Development) and he is prepared to step up and leave his mark on the races he’ll do, so that the end of the year will bring him a pro contract. A strong TT rider (10th in the U23 World Championships in Ponferrada), the Kiwi made some nice developments on the climbs in the past seasons, which helped him become a protagonist in races like the USA Pro Cycling Challenge or the Tour of Alberta.
This week, James Oram is in New Zealand, where he’s preparing for racing both the U23 time trial and road race at the Nationals, hoping to start the year with some nice results, just like in 2014. Then, Oram – who will be one of Axeon’s leaders – will focus on the UCI America Tour, being aware that he has the skills to go big in the most important stage races of the calendar.
– James, what’s been the highlight of last season for you?
Finishing off my time with the team at the Tour of Alberta was amazing. There’s something about having success from a team effort that is far more enjoyable than a personal. The more, the merrier they say!
– Did 2014 have any downsides?
My crash at the Tour of California was my downer for the year, but I was back up and running a lot faster than expected, so can’t complain.
– What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?
To be patient. But more importantly surrounding yourself with the right people. With good people, good things happen.
– Have you set your mind on goals for 2015 yet?
When most of the peloton will still be training in January, I’ll be racing the New Zeeland National Championships, that’s definitely always one I want to tick off. Good results at the Tour of California, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge are my main focus though. Can’t wait!
– Results pages don’t always tell the full story. For example, in 2013 you were top 20 in Colorado, while working for the team.
As amazing as being on Bissell is, you have to remind yourself it is the number one U23 team. At Colorado last year we had Lawson Craddock and Nate Wilson going for the overall, so to help them out, and still have some success for myself was huge. It was definitely a result I needed to show I’m on the up.
– The Axeon team has been amazing at getting guys to the World Tour. What are they doing right?
As I said earlier, you are a result of your environment. Good people, good times! Axel Merckx and his team know the right riders to sign to fit the team and it’s mantra. It’s only serious when it needs to be!