Essex rider Daniel Patten has relocated to race in Belgium in hope of regaining a pro contract for 2018, after leaving Team Wiggins and finding himself without a team last year
The 30-year-old from Essex moved to Oudenaarde this spring and has been racing with amateur team Asfra Flanders with the aim of catching a professional team’s attention for next year. He spent 2010 to 2012 living and racing in Belgium earlier in his career, before joining Bradley Wiggins’s eponymous team in 2015.
Primarily a domestique, Patten raced at the Tour of California, Tour de Yorkshire and Dubai Tour for Wiggins in 2016. Though now predominantly racing the amateur scene, he’s targeting some pro kermesse races later this year as an opportunity to show teams what he can do.
“I’ve gone to a Belgian team and have a good [racing] programme. It’s still regarded as an amateur Belgian team but there’s so much good racing over there,” Patten told Cycling Weekly.
“I still do some pro kermesse races too which I’m putting a lot of emphasis on, there’s a lot of them in the second half of the season. It’s racing against the teams you want to try and get on, so hopefully some eyes will open.”
After realising he was going to be without a contract last winter, Patten rallied around to try to find a place on another squad, but as it was quite late in the year and although he had conversations with other teams, he found many were already full.
“Through the winter I was trying, trying, trying [to get a contract], but it was quite late in the day. Nothing was coming out, it’s difficult any time but it seems more than ever this [past] year especially,” he said.
“Coming out of Team Wiggins I was hoping it would still be a platform to lead to something else.
“The main thing was to try and keep the profile. I don’t want to stop there, I want to keep moving forward.”
Despite a lot of uncertainty at the start of this year, Patten admitted he wanted to keep his career going if he could and remained hopeful opportunities would come.
“It’s early days and it’s that optimism, that hope that you need to continue having because it’s hard enough as it is,” he said.
“I’m just going to continue ploughing along and hopefully the results and making people aware of it will open something up. You just never quite know – as this year – you never quite know what’s going to happen.”