Pat Shaw isn’t backward in coming forward, he says what he thinks. This doesn’t always go down that well with those around him but to the people who are close to the family man...that’s just Shawy. Shaw (25), had his biggest year on the bike in 2011 as a member of the winning Genesys Wealth Advisers team during the national road series. Along the way he took out the Tour of the Murray River as well as helping teammate Nathan Hass to wins in the tours of Gippsland, Geelong and Tasmania culminating with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
The stunning year by the Tasmanian based team came as no surprise to Shaw. “I knew after a couple of early season training camps that all the riders in the Genesys team had potential and that if we could all combine our qualities together that we would be a very strong team”, he said.
Shaw was handed a lifeline by the team’s co-founders Andrew Christie-Johnston and Steve Price after several options elsewhere didn’t materialise at the end of the 2010 season. It was a ‘choice which i will never regret’ for Shaw who set about restoring his career and developing a leadership role with the team after missed opportunities in Europe.
He’d travelled to France in 2002 and raced as a junior before being selected in the national team for the junior world championships in Verona, Italy, the following year. He later returned to Italy with the national development team as and under twenty-three and rode well enough to be picked up by an amateur Italian team called U.S. Fracor where he spent the next two years.
There he raced alongside Richie Porte and although grateful for the experience, found racing in a European peloton difficult. “It was a very tough period to race in Italy”, he said.
“I enjoyed every part of my time there, the culture in the streets to the great followings that would come to watch all the races. The size of cycling as a sport there is more like a religion”, he added. Shaw was consistent whilst racing in Europe with multiple top-ten placings; however the number one spot on the podium eluded him. “The one thing that’s harder than turning pro is trying to turn pro with no victories to your name”, said Shaw. “You must be a winner”.
Shaw is often outspoken during racing and isn’t afraid to have his say on a matter. “Growing up in a big family like i did mean’t you needed a decent voice to be heard. That has stuck with me”, he said. “I definitely speak my mind and i’m happy to back it up too”, he grinned. At home it’s a different kettle of fish, with wife Bec and young son Carter, its family first and racing bikes second.
“One thing’s for sure, i have learnt to recover on a lot less sleep”, he smiled. “I have a sensational wife at home who does the bulk amount of duties for our son which allows me to still be in great condition for racing”. Shaw has had many coaches throughout his career so far and lists Dave Sanders, Rick Leonard, Pat Jonker and Christie-Johnston as having a major impact on his racing.
His father, Dennis, a former rider and track scratchman, has been a guiding light in his son’s life and keeps a close eye on his racing today. Shaw now hands down advice and knowledge from his European experiences to the younger and developing riders with Genesys Wealth Advisers.
Both on and off the road during racing Shaw can be found helping out and encouraging teammates in the ‘Orange Army’. “My role in the team is to do my best to make sure ACJ (Andrew Christie-Johnston) plans are fulfilled on the road, make split decisions in the heat of the race, delegate the duties to the riders on the road and also do my best to lead the guys”, he says.
As far as coaching is concerned, Shaw is happy to remain on the bike instead of the team car for now. “I would like to go into coaching and or managing a team at some stage, but only if the time feels right”, he said. “At the moment I enjoy the racing still and helping the younger guys on the bike”.