My first ever UCI stage race (Ster Van Zuid Limburg) could probably not of gone much worse, with stage one having mechanical issues and illness caused a 6 minute penalty to my TT time, the stomach cramps carried through to stage 2 also leaving me in the second group and not up there with the winners. After taking some anti diarrhea pills for stage 3 I felt well enough to race. After positioning myself well for this stage near the front all race for the first 50 minutes until the 3 climbs approached. Up the first climb I was in around 30th and went past many that were clearly struggling, climb 2 being a lot easier not many got dropped. Come the final climb I felt good and knew I was going to stay in the front group no matter what, my team mate Robin Blummel who won stage 2, was also in 3rd overall on GC and in the sprinters jersey, so I gave him a push and a big shove to keep us both in the race, as we turned the top right corner the leaders had around 4-5 seconds on us, so nothing hard to catch on a technical downhill. However I felt something quite odd, I looked down and my rear tire was semi flat so I thought hopefully its a slow puncture and can continue, then I felt the damn rim. I had to stop and saw the lead group of 20 ride away from me, seeing other stragglers pass while i waited for exactly a minute before a random bloke approached with a wheel and insisted he changed it, After 25 seconds of not being able to get the wheel into the frame I quickly got frustrated and undid the damn quick release and put the wheel in and rode off. All which seemed like forever I was on the side for 1 minute and 42 seconds after looking at the data. With the racing being nearly full gas everywhere I knew there was no way I could catch back 1 and a half minutes even to the second group. After riding the bad tire for only a few seconds I took the bottom corner easy and still it slid out a little but I luckily stayed on unlike my poor team mate Matt Cox whose front wheel was ridden into which was a shame as he had a great weekend until this point, riding strongly in the TT as the fastest road bike finisher by a long way! (Also going to these events and riding flat races arent completely my thing, however im still looking for a podium at one of these big races, especially if im lucky and get a hilly one) However learning so much over the weekend all about positioning in the UCI’s and how to race properly has benefited me so much, also knowing I’m a very strong rider in the top level is a great morale boost and hope to do well this weekend at the Totnes Vire stage race only 10 miles from my house!
Thanks ever so much to TWC Pijnenburg for hosting the weekend and making it a great one!
And to Mark Cox for booking hotels, ferry and driving not just loads of miles but lots of hours due to a 6 hour delay for the ferry covering 12 miles in that time. I really appreciate all of the help!
Be sure to check out my sponsors page, because without any of those I wouldn’t have been there that weekend, Thankyou!
Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching
Stealth secret training
My third race into the season and since having a fever just over a month ago I feel happy where I’m at now with the form being where it needs to be for march, so for now I feel as if I’m going well! Yesterday being the Modbury RR I was expecting a better result as week after week I’m building strength, even after having a full on week I new some result should come through here. After sitting in for the first 20 miles of the race and not much getting up the road I soon realized the racing was pretty negative with a certain couple having the eyes on them people were all trying to go up the road at once. I put in 4 digs before I actually got away. On the final lap of the rolling course Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was up the road off the final climb before the finish and having 2 team mates up the road the bunch were frantically trying to chase him, being positioned at the front I bridged across to Jon and sat on the front into the headwind giving the bunch something to chase, we then got caught and a minute later I put a final big attack in and bridged most of the way to the other two up the road both being his team mates, it was a hard decision for him whether he should do much work or not early on as we could drag the chasing bunch across, but I looked back and put the gas on, we then worked together for around a minute and before we knew it us four had around a minute halfway down the descent before one of the riders dropped. That time stood and it came the final climb where I realized I shouldn’t of gone so hard in places (but its early season and great to learn it now rather than after April or so) and Jon then attacked on the final climb and not having the legs it was hard to try to stay with him, going over the climb I knew he had it in the bag, getting a gap on me on the 1 minute climb it would of been something else to be able to catch. His team mate Jake Alderman then attacked me after sitting on for only a short time I have learnt a new situation on what to do with 2 team mates being in one break with me, so he kept away from me being a great all rounder. In the end I took 3rd place, im happy with how the race played out and now on the hunt for that win!
Thanks for the support-
My parents for constant support on and off the bike!
2 races into the season now and I’m getting a feel for the 2016 Tcr advanced pro 1, being very responsive, great handling and clearly a great bike for the climbs I’m super impressed with it, it’s also ridden great on the cobbles and held its speed very well in breakaways. Coming with what people think are standard carbon wheels being giants own brand, they feel as if they hold there speed just as well as Zipp 404’s and can accelerate better than my FFWD F2rs, proving to be very fast and also strong on averagely rough cobbles. Coming into this season so far i’m feeling as if the form is very good, and im happy with the figures I’m putting out as well. Hopefully now the seasons off to a start ill keep building some more and get that win so I’ll have something amazing to write about!
Belgium-Last weekend I traveled over to Leuven in Belgium to take part in a race that was very close to UCI level, this was perfect as it would give me an idea of what the racing would be like. Holding position was harder than the racing for sure and it was a hard job. Being a pan flat race with lots of corners the racing of course didn’t suit my style of riding and was in fact the very opposite. With 195 starters and some big names in the race I expected it the be pretty rapid, to my surprise it was not. In the end i finished in a shattered bunch and having a fairly low end sprint I made the best of it and just tried to keep out of trouble as it wasn’t like i was going to win the sprint, but i still gave it full gas to the line! 140 riders were dropped that day and knowing I can get round in these races is great as in the future where ill be doing stage races i need to make sure I don’t lose any unnecessary time, so keeping up there and safe in the bunch on the flat, gaining time on the hills and TT I’m looking forward to the big stage races and hope to prove my strength there!
Thanks so far this season to Pedal Potential.
Epic cycle coaching-Kenny Wilson (coach).
Paul Quaterman (Zappis Junior Team).
And my parents for constant support!
Stealth secret training