National Champs

 

So on Saturday my dad and I drove the 140 miles out to Chepstow, although I’ve raced the circuit before I wanted to check the circuit again to refresh my mind and check for any significant changes such as potholes. We arrived at the circuit at 3pm and set off to ride it with Reece Wood, Matt Walls and Jake Beach as they said I could ride it with them.

In the evening we found what restaurant we could as our hotel weren’t serving. After eating out we headed back to the lovely hotel to rest up and go to bed at 9:45. My thoughts on the course had been it can be hard, especially with a tailwind up the drag as less slipstream means the race can be made very hard! Overall the race was 4.5 laps, 5 times up the drag but 4 full times over the line near the top of the drag, the decent was around 6 mins as well followed by a lumpy section back to the drag again.

On race day I fueled up at 7:30, 3 hours before the race was due to start before heading off from our hotel in Bristol at 8:20 to go over the bridge and start setting up at 8:45. So then at 9:20 I had already gear checked and signed on as soon as it opened I got ready and started my 20 min warm up that had a progressive effort in with 3 short kicks to make sure I was ready for what could of been a hard start up the 15 minute drag in the race. We had a short briefing followed by a longer neutralized section as explained on the start line.

For the first 1 hour of the race I made sure to sit in and held the front 20, I made sure to eat as well as I knew I was going to attack. Next I bridged to a break, the legs felt good, however I was really starting to struggle with my breathing as I had a chest infection, (the worsened illness of my sore throat from the Scottish national) I knew I had to try to make the best of it so for the next 5 mins I cleared myself of as much….excess…as possible! I hoped now I could physically breathe better as it was like being strangled. Next 20 minutes of the race I put in around 3 attacks which were all chased down. Elliot.Redfern of HMT, Pete Kibble of Velocity global bike and another were up the road, at the bottom of the descent fully rested I made what could have been my final move and really gave it some as the bunch had eased up after a rapid descent, I made a 6 minute effort and got across the 30 second gap. I could see the bunch still not far off me up a 2 minute climb on the bottom section as I had 20 seconds on them, I fully pressed on here and got away from them even more, I then caught the break sat on for a minute and upped the pace, so much around the bends as well that it caused a split, Pete and the other rider seemed a little tired after going a lap earlier, and knowing Elliot and I were strong I wanted to keep the glory more for my self and keep the pace higher as I knew us two could do that especially with 45 minutes to go only 15 minutes into the attack.

We worked for the top of the drag and rested downhill still keeping a few hard revs here and there. We were then caught by Ryan Coulton of Pro vision with fresher legs, and not long after Jacob Vaughan and Ben Hardy. The 5 of us played some cat and mouse with only 2 miles to go, Elliot and I must of felt pretty similar, him even more as I’d been up the road for just over an hour and he had been up there for over an hour 10 minutes by this point! An attack came from Ryan and Elliot chased it down, and he then launched his sprint getting a little gap on us, Jacob went around him and stormed off ahead whilst the non sprinter tired legs were no match for Jacob and just about not enough for Ryan as he rolled in about a meter ahead of me. Despite being ill I feel I made the best of the race coming away with third, its sad me and Elliot got caught so late by the fresher guys but in the end its a learning curve to see what can happen with bridging later as well, a tactic I’m willing to give a go soon at some point, one that looks like it could suit me much better!

 

Well done to Jacob.V on the win, he rode it like a boss and it was well deserved!

 

Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training.

Thanks everyone!

 

Spokes Junior 2 day National

On Friday the 3rd of June Peter Georgi, Etienne, Mark Cox, Matt and Myself travelled the long trip up to Scotland for a hard weekend up North.

Stage 1 was a rolling course with a flat sprint finish, 40 miles, Stage 2 a little rolling too with a 10 minute climb at the end, 36 miles, stage 3 rolling again with 3 4-5 minute climbs in and some tough twisty lanes on the final shorter circuit to make up for the climbs, 60 miles.

Stage one I made 2 efforts to get away but both were chased down, it was a fairly basic stage with the break going but the final rider getting caught with 4km to go to end with a bunch sprint, myself and other team mate Matt rolled through in the bunch, sadly Etienne was shoved onto into the grass verge and flipped over his bars onto some grass inside the final 1.5km, the 3km rule was on his side and he also had a bunch time.

Stage two, a very interesting stage. I sat in for the first half of the race to conserve energy and suss out the race kind of thing. Peter Kibble followed an attack from a rider, knowing Rob Scott and Will Roberts were up the road I thought I’d best bridge too, with Petes team mate Matt Walls on the front blocking I instantly put out a max kick and then the break was formed. With the other rider unable to work after the 10 mins and not being able to come through very often myself and Pete were left to do the work ourselves. With 20 minutes to go Etienne my team mate managed to bridge across and as the bunch had now gotten to 30 seconds he helped keep the pace high in the headwind section as we worked hard to bring out the time a little more as it was only 4km from the climb! Once on the climb Etienne was setting the pace on the front whilst I marked Pete as he was now inbetween the two of us, we caught Will.R and now with only 6 mins to go of the climb and stage we had to catch Rob, my legs werent 100% as were Petes im guessing as over the course of the stage we had a lot of work to do in 40 minutes up the road to catch Rob and Will, so with 250m to go we caught Rob who had been out for over an hour and a half and must of been destroyed, having sat onto us until the final corner I then saw the line, I didnt think the line was that early and to my mistake I came from 3rd wheel, Etienne got a gap over me in the last 150 and I sprinted so so hard to try to pass him but it was only good enough for half a wheel length! A great 1-2 for us two though and now being 1-2 on GC we had a lot of defending for the final stage on day 2!

Stage three was a tough stage mentally and physically, so many attacks were being thrown out so early so frequently and we just couldnt jump on them all else we’d of probably lost out worse being too tired for the final climbs, so we let the break form, over the first climb we heard 3 mins 30, so myself and Etienne (in the leaders jersey) had to do some chasing. Over climb 2 of 3 of the day I sat at a 2 minute pace over 400w on the climb, I rarely ride to power in a race as unless your alone its fairly pointless, but I did and it worked, sitting at my pace in a cross tailwind on the climb i dropped the group down to a nice size of 10 or so riders with Etienne taking over the less steep part of the climb, a group of 20 managed to catch us as we were working at a pace we knew we could hold for the rest of the race and they were desperately working to catch us, which they did within 10 minutes. Skipping to the final lap we now had about 10 of us working and we got some really good through and off going, the maximum gap got up to 3 minutes 56 or so and we now had the split up break in sight, with a group of 7 just up ahead the team cars pulled out of the way and we stormed past them picking up my team mate Matt Cox who was unable to make the first group on the road as his rear mech cable had snapped! He added to the fire power rather a lot as he got into the break to sit on, which knowing what we know now and his gear gable snapping worked perfectly for the relatively flat run in to the finish, with only 4 riders left up the road Matt really had the hammer down helping to protect myself and Etienne who more so were on the lookout for any final jumps as there were 2 possible riders who could try to attack us. Matt helped diminish our group further, sending riders out of the back as the pace through the seriously technical section set by myself then further driven on by Matt helped tire the race. We caught the 4 with 4 Km to go and Matt then sat on the front for 2Km before 800m to go where his hard efforts left us pretty much with just the sprint, myself feeling tired as heck from helping drive really deep in the final 20km constant felt it in the sprint coming in at 22nd place.

Once I got home I received an apology saying I should of been in the leaders jersey on the final stage, causing me to ride the final stage differently I was gutted to think I could have won the race overall! A learning curve also, I thought that a big race would have gotten it right but in future I need to check things over for myself.

Overall I was still pleased to have kept my 2nd on GC overall.

Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Pete Georgi and Mark Cox, Thanks all!

 

First 10 mile TT of the year

On the 31st of May I decided to make good use of my TT bike after getting a good time at the Axel UCI on it and took it down to my most local club 10 ran by Okehampton CC. The course I reckon is one of, or, the hilliest Club 10 in the country containing two 2 min plus climbs at over 5% gradient. Once there I asked for the latest start time as it would give me more time to warm up as the gap between signing on and starting was a little short, especially as I like to pin on my number perfectly. Managing to fit in 20 minutes of warming up I set of spinning out of my junior gears within 30 seconds. Over the whole course I had to free wheel of course on anything over 36-37mph as the cadence reaches 125rpm or so. What makes the course hard is the riding at lower then higher powers all over, especially digging deep on the climbs and the run into the finish drags on a lot too making the last 6 minutes a deep effort after a v02 effort uphill, but I like that as the pain in the legs is pretty cool! Not being able to sprint or anything at the end was great knowing id pushed so hard over the previous 6 minutes just after the final descent, I crossed the finishing line getting a time of 22:15, taking 1 minute 15 out of the course record that had stood for the past few years. My body however celebrated by throwing up over my bars which was a rather nice…not! But overall I felt this was a good gauge in a different kind of way to an FTP test that I already have data for. Overall I am pleased to have ridden a good time and hope to keep competing highly in the TT’s abroad in stage races and at home.

Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Thanks