Jesse Yates comes from a family steeped in cycling tradition. Deciding to leave his road roots behind and go his own way with a unique privateer project, 2023 has been a year of change. We had a chat with him…
Jesse, in a nutshell, tell us about P R O J X T - B U T T E R F L Y
It’s my privateer racing project featuring gravel, road and mountain biking. My calendar features ultra racing bits on the road as well as one day gravel events.
What is your background in the sport and how did that lead you to where you are today?
I started riding on the road mainly, then racing abroad. After I called it a day pursuing road cycling I’ve gone towards off-road and doing lots of that abroad, I found that’s the way I can still enjoy racing and riding the bike rather than stopping cycling after stepping away from just road racing.
What are your target races for summer 2023?
Win the Capitals Ultra Race solo and win the Badlands pair category.
What led you to targeting ultra-distance stuff and how is it different to what you’ve done in the past?
It’s so much more of an adventure and takes me back to the core of why I started cycling - to get fit and explore new places. To me it feels like such a true form of seeing how far you can push yourself and you go through a journey that you don’t get in a road race. It’s just doing big hacks, you find a lot out about yourself and what you’re made of
What’s different now compared to Jesse five years ago?
I had a tunnel vision of cycling that just focused on the road and I came to realise there’s so much more to cycling and the experiences you can get from it. I didn’t think I’d ever get into ultra racing.
What’s the hardest part of your racing project?
Planning everything myself and there always seems to be something I need to sort out. Deciding what events to do isn’t easy either and there’s a lot of travel with the best events.
Tell us about the bike that you’re riding?
I’m riding Reilly Cycleworks bikes. Both my Fusion road bike and Gradient T47 Gravel bike are titanium.
Frameset: Reilly Fusion (Road)
Groupset: Dura Ace 12 Speed 54-40, 11-30.
Wheels: Strada Hand Built Wheels PAD-45 Ultra w/ DT Swiss 240 EXP Hubs
Power Meter: 4iiii 172.5mm Crank
Bottom Bracket: SN-Vitae Module 47, M47-68
Finishing Kit: Vision Metron 5D Full Carbon Bars, 40cm
Saddle: Fizik, 3D Printed
Frameset: Reilly Gradient T47 (Gravel)
Groupset: Shimano GRX Di2
Wheels: Strada Handbuilt Gravel Ultra Plus Carbon 50mm
Power Meter: 4iiii
Bottom Bracket: SN-Vitae
Finishing Kit: Zipp
Saddle: Specialized Power Arc
Years in Cycling: 10
Born: South East England
Living in: East Sussex
Favourite place to ride: Nice, Côte d’Azur
Favourite race: Geraardsbergen Pro Kermess, Belgium (the oldest running kermess)