James Fouché joined Hagens Berman Axeon as a three-time national champion having become the 2019 New Zealand Elite National Road Champion, the U23 National Road Champion, and U23 National Time Trial Champion last year. The Christchurch native joined Axeon from Team Wiggins Le Col.
“I have known about Hagens Berman Axeon for as long as I have been riding,” said Fouché. “There have been many Kiwis go through the program and onto the big stage. Which I am hoping to do myself and believe it can be done with the help of the great staff that surrounds the team. It’s an awesome and exciting time ahead.”
In addition to his national titles, Fouché posted impressive results in 2019. He placed 5th overall at A Travers les Hauts de France, 5th at Classica da Arrabida, and 6th at Gent Wevelgem Kattekoers. But it’s the 21-year-old’s climbing ability that might be most impressive. Fouché won the King of the Mountains classification at not just one 2.2 classified race, but three [Tour of Antalya, Volta ao Alentejo, and Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux (2.2U)].
Living in Auckland, Fouché is honing his strengths. He finds that hard Classics like Paris Roubaix, Gent Wevelgem, and Tour of Flanders suit him well. Over his racing career he has learned to “read” races well and can get into breakaways when given the opportunity.
In 2020, Fouché would like to improve upon his acceleration and ability to finish. “I think this would help me get a few results from a small group at the end of a hard day,” he said.