Fred Wright reached new heights in 2023 after taking his first professional win, and a big one at that, at the British National Championships, but felt he was “left wanting more” after a broken collarbone prematurely ended his season.
Wright sustained his injury at the Renewi Tour when a late crash on stage 4 saw him bloodied and cradling his right arm. He did state that the anticlimactic end to his season has left him hungrier for 2024, with the Tour of Flanders and Olympics at the forefront of his ambitions.
“Winning the Nationals was obviously the big highlight for the year and the Tour was amazing for the team,,” Wright told Cyclingnews during Rouleur Live.
“But I’m kind of left a bit disappointed because I broke my collarbone and basically didn’t have the end of the season I was hoping for… but that’s a good thing because I’m really motivated for next year.”
Wright took his second top-ten finish at the Tour of Flanders in April, only losing out to one-day stars of the calibre of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Mathieu van der Poel Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The highlight win of 2023 at the British National Champs then arrived in June, prior to the Tour de France.
It was a breakthrough victory for Wright on a course not particularly suited to him on paper given the 4000m of vertical climbing on the 189km course. But his emotionally charged performance finally guaranteed him a stint in the British Champion’s jersey.
“I think it [his season] built really nicely. I showed in Flanders that I was at a good level, doing it again for the second time was nice,” said Wright.
“This year was great and I get to wear the [British] stripes next year which is amazing but I think I was left wanting a bit more.”
Wright has established a reputation as a solid breakaway racer in Grand Tours, but that big stage win has eluded him as of yet. He didn’t fret about missing out, however, sharing the joy of his teammates Pello Bilbao and Matej Mohorič taking brilliant, emotional wins at the 2023 Tour de France for Bahrain Victorious.
“I would’ve said I was at the level to compete for a Grand Tour stage win, but the opportunity didn’t present itself with the way the Tour was raced,” said Wright. “I wouldn’t say I was so gutted on that front, there is more to come still for sure.”
At 24, Wright’s career is still in its infancy, and he’s contracted for at least two more seasons with his current…