Charlie Quarterman is full of positivity for the future, as he returns to Continental level in 2023, despite his fall from the WorldTour last year. He will ride for Italy's Team Corratec from January, as he works his way back to the top.
After a dream spell with Trek-Segafredo, Quarterman was unfortunately let go by the WorldTour giants but after a year spent at amateur level with French outfit Philippe Wagner Cycling, Quarterman told Cycling Weekly that he was ready to “crack on” and reignite his career after signing a contract with the Italian outfit.
“Last year taught me how to fight,” says Quarterman as he recounts lessons learned after a year out of the spotlight. “You have to look after yourself.”
“In the WorldTour you get most things done for you, although you still need to identify areas where you might need help, and ask for it as well.
"That’s a big one though really, last year I had to form the team around me, the team of physios, osteopaths and other people that I need to make sure I’m in the best shape possible for racing,” he adds. “The other big lesson is appreciation. It takes a year of not having it, to fully appreciate how much you have when you’re at a higher level.”
Quarterman’s time at Trek was heavily interrupted by the Covid pandemic, and he admits that he feels that he had more to give at that top level.
“I was disappointed to not have more of a chance with them, but I’ve come to accept that’s sport for you. I think the development unfortunately just came too late and it was only once they’d decided not to keep me that things finally started to come together,” he says.
The former British under-23 national time trial champion also revealed to Cycling Weekly that he was set to sign for Team Qhubeka before their unfortunate demise at the top level.
“I was actually set to sign for Qhubeka, it all looked really positive but then what happened with them happened. Then yeah, that’s how it’s possible to go from the WorldTour to French division one racing in just a few months,” Quarterman explains.
After getting a taste of the top level, dropping down to French division one would have been a shock to the system for any rider, let alone one still in the early days of their career.
Quarterman explains that going from the high life of a WorldTour bus, to turning up at races nobody had heard of before certainly took some getting used to.
“It was a very different thing, and it took me a while to get used to it,” he says. “It was more of the organisational side of things, as well as the size and the importance of the racing.
"You get used to starting these big professional races in the centre of some big cities, everyone knows what’s going on and people are aware of the race names. Then you find yourself starting a race in a French industrial estate.”
Suddenly, what may have felt like the end of the line for Quarterman was flipped on its head when he was offered a lifeline to resurrect his career with Italian squad Team Corratec.
Something which Quarterman says feels like a second chance.
“Yeah, definitely,” he says. “It puts a bit of pressure on next year, but the place I need to be to have my career in cycling and continue is at this level. I understand much more how the system works now, and I’m ready to have my biggest year yet.”
With a place on Team Corratec secured, Quarterman explains that he sees little point in setting goals that are too far ahead. Racing in Italy, he plans to take it season by season, and more importantly than anything, ensure he’s signed by the Italians for a second year.
“My aim is to make a name for myself and try to find my place in professional cycling now really. Obviously, the most important thing is to make sure I’m signed on for the following year,” Quarterman says.
“On the bike, I’ve just got to do what I’m asked to do, and then see what I can do on top of that,” he adds. “If that means that I’m trying to win for myself when the opportunity is there, I’ll do everything for that. Although I’m also on a professional team and need to do what I’m told when they want it.”
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