A successful 2016

This is just a short post on my blog just to show many of you my results from 2016.

Again as always, massive thanks to everyone who’s helped me achieve my goals this season. The biggest thanks however goes out to my Parents and Epic Coaching, without the two I wouldn’t be where I am in my cycling!

Here are most of my top 5’s this season allowing for UCI non top 5.  Nat=National. (wouldn’t allow ‘National’ due to layout)

     

Porlock Hill climb, Final race of the season.

On Sunday my dad and I traveled over to Porlock via Lynton on Exmoor. My first impression was ‘It was very hilly’ as there were many climbs getting as steep as 30% where the car struggled. The area had very hilly countryside up on the moors then 2 miles away it would drop sharply to the coast.

The climb we had however was up a toll road, made for heavier vehicles or vehicles towing caravans and was a smooth 6% for the first 2 miles and the final 2 miles at 5% making it 5.5% average.

porlock-blog

 

After signing on, pinning on my number and getting changed I warmed up for 20 minutes on the turbo with a progressive effort to my power meter then two 6 second high cadence bursts. Once this was completed now 8 minutes prior to the start I then removed the bike from the turbo and rode the 2 minutes to the start and toilets. I now had 4 minutes to relax before a 15 minute or so effort. I’d heard the top section, the last 8 minutes or so was a really strong headwind, and decided to just ride at the same wattage all of the way up even though the last section wasn’t as steep, but if you overcook the first 8 mins you could end up losing a lot of time into a 20mph headwind going onto fairly exposed moorland coming slightly more off the coast.

I knew what I could hold for 15 minutes so I went for that exact power. The first 6 to 7 minutes felt fine and I’d passed my 2 minute man 5 minutes in feeling ok, the buzz of the first part was high so I held back from pushing too hard in the pouring rain. Come the damp hairpins in the tree covered first half I took the first one at full speed, not knowing the course on the second I nearly crashed having over 120 psi in my tires, as, well…you shouldn’t need any grip up a gradual hill with little corners, turns out I did but taking that one at full speed and only scrubbing off a little speed I nearly slid my way around the final bend you could say. Come 10 minutes In and now out into the more exposed section after crossing the cattle grid the effort was hurting a lot but I knew I only had ‘5’ minutes to go and had just passed my minute man on a very nice hill climb bike under 5kgs (my 7kg TCR was ‘heavy’ to a lot of these people riding the event’). 14 minutes now and I wasn’t sure on how far the finish was, I was unsure if I was going to crack or not, the legs felt so dead and the wind was slowly getting more brutal, but I was still holding the watts. The next corner on the inside it said 1/4 of a mile to go, which equated to about a minute in the heavy headwind, the legs now had nothing but I kept pushing the power and was onto a PB. 15 minutes and 38 seconds in I crossed the line…the extra 38 seconds at the 15 minute power had killed me as for that old PB I of course had ridden just as hard, but I managed the extra little bit as I must of gotten slightly stronger. To me that was super pleasing to have ridden like I did to the power I had. It truly meant I’d ridden a consistent season, for results and for physical performance just slowly getting better month after month.

My 15:38 wasn’t good enough however, Dan Evans, a winner of the National Hill climb champs had posted 15:11, then on from that Ed Laverack of JLT condor had put a 15:01! Both amazing rides from both of them to take 1st and 2nd whilst I took 3rd overall. Who knows hey…if I could have a bike 2kgs lighter what time I could of had…But to have been as fast as I was with no changes to my normal road bike I feel getting my time was pleasing for an 18 year old. My power was nicer however!

Now I’m looking onto 2017, I will be taking 3 weeks easy, 1 week fully off and the odd shortish ride here and there in the other 2 weeks before I start my winter training for some much longer races than I have raced in 2016. Thanks to everyone that has made the year a great one, and to those that have made it possible. There are so many names to mention I feel I may forget somebody if I attempt to say a thank you (but those people know who they are). Please be sure to check out my sponsors page as well.

Over the winter I will still post my blog where I’ll keep you all updated monthly with my training and information on what I’ll be doing in 2017. Thanks for the support, the views are well into the thousands and I’m pleased many enjoy my blog.

Final Junior Race-“Keizer Der Juniores”

 

My final Junior only race of the season and I’d like to thank everyone that’s been involved helping me get to races physically and financially, without them I wouldn’t have had such a good quality of races to ride. Please check out my sponsors page if you haven’t already.

On Thursday the 15th of September my Mum, Brother and I traveled to Swanley where we were due to meet John Barclay, Dave Storey, Rhys.B and Jake.S the next morning. After a slight change of plan due to transportation of bikes we met at Maidstone services where we also met Jacob.V, Tom.E and Louis.R-D. We then only had 80 miles excluding the tunnel. Once we’d eaten some baguettes from a bakery for our lunch we headed to where we were staying in Koksijde, A very basic but quite hostel. After getting changed outside as we couldn’t yet get in we checked over the bikes and headed out to the TT course, which is stage 2a on the Sunday. We had a lot of rain in the pre race ride but managed to test out the course at what could be the worst weather.

Stage 1-The only stage that had some sort of climb with 3 large laps and 4 small laps. The race was ready to go at 2 o clock and we rolled out neutralized to a war cemetery where we payed our respects mainly to young boys of ages 16-18, it was read out by the mayor/race officials that we were here just like them, ready to go into a battle, to win, except we could afford to lose and live another day, unlike many of the young boys did not. Whilst the ceremony took place wreaths were placed whilst we all stood in groups with our flags showing our country.

Neutralized again after putting back on our helmets we stopped after stopped again then the racing started fast. Throughout the stage I made 4 big attacks, the final one succeeding on the climb where 15 of us slipped away, that’s pretty much all that happened on the stage, where the racing was super negative as that group stayed away for about 5 minutes…I looked back and the bunch was just a massive long line, nothing went that day and if it did not for so long. I tried to split it in the crosswinds but it wasn’t a long enough section and only lined the bunch out completely in 2 minutes…I rolled in that day staying out the way of an extremely dangerous bunch sprint where all I remember seeing was someone with a completely bent front wheel just about riding on it. The final day (day 2) was all to play for with the first 150 on the same time.

After getting up pretty early we headed out on the TT bikes for stage 2a, a 15 minute ride from our hostel. Once at the TT I set up the turbo with the bike on a turbo wheel. We were to wear a (for me, very baggy) skin top typed jersey, I asked John if he could ask the commissare if  we could just wear our own skin suits, just for the TT instead of South East kit. After asking we were allowed, Jacob V pinned my number for me (to high quality thanks Jacob!) and I put on Velotoze (overshoes) and got my gels ready for 15 mins before the TT. After a thorough warm up I switched the wheel over on the bike put on the helmet and tested the gears etc for one final check, all was good and I proceeded to the gear check followed by UCI regs check on the bike to make sure the bike was not illegal (5cm or further back from the bottom bracket line and no further than 80cm from the bottom bracket line to the end of the bars. All was good and I now had 5 minutes to wait until I started. A final few sips of the drink and I got onto the start ramp. Before I knew it I was gone. I paced it well if I’m honest, not starting too hard as it was a crosswind for the first 700m followed by a cross tailwind until halfway then onto a cross headwind and then headwind for the final 800m. The TT was too short for me after I completed it in 7 minutes and 27 seconds, 13 seconds off the European TT champ, so I was pleased with that ride considering it suits a punchier rider, I prefer anything over 15 minutes up to 40 minutes…but still, that was the course! Considering it was super windy and open with some technical turns and lanes I still averaged just over 30mph, which wasn’t bad.

Below, Finishing the TT, In the small village of Wulpen.

 

Stage 2b-The final stage was a Kermesse kind of stage, with many corners, 160 90* turns I worked out over the 62 mile race. There was one 35-40 second nasty kick at 6%, It was short but it really hurt each time around. So, after eating some spaghetti for lunch we got ready for the race in what was fairly hot conditions which started at 18 degrees and sunny, which slowly dropped down to 12.5 degrees and heavy rain. People were commenting saying I must be boiling at the start, which I was, wearing a vest, skin-suit then a jersey, but once the rain had started of course I was ok and not so hot anymore. The sketchy conditions meant there was a group of 7 up the road, a further 4 went to try to get across and shortly after myself and one other went away too, I sat in the gutter and rode hard to get a gap when myself and the other lad kept driving hard, another guy came across to us, sat on then attacked us stupidly as we were going at a good pace not so hard that we’d blow, but we could see we were progressing with the bunch nowhere in sight. 5 Miles later we picked up the guy that went solo then we all pulled together more and after 20 minutes of bridging we got across to the 4 man group, which then joined the other 7. There were now 14 of us and we continued working. After being in the group for 30 minutes knew the pace was good although too slow in the corners, but still I carried on working for the GC and we had good time on the bunch. I was unsure where I was in the group on the GC as well if I’m honest. Robin Blummel attacked with 1.5 laps to go, of which he stayed out there to win over our group by 18 seconds. I came in with 11 others, as the other 2 had gone out the back slightly. I knew I couldn’t win the sprint from those guys either, so I kept working for the GC, and knowing it could be my first big UCI result I sadly didn’t risk going off the front from the group either as I didn’t want to be counter attacked, but still feel the choice I made was the right one.

Overall in the race I managed 6th on GC, which in a UCI 2.1 in Belgium on the flat, I was very pleased!

Results

1-100th

2a-18th

2b-12th

Mountains-13th

GC-6th

A very nice end to my road season and end to being a Junior on the road. Next year I’ll become a senior so I’m currently looking/deciding on what team to join for 2017.

Thanks to all of my sponsors as usual, please check out my sponsors page if you haven’t already.

Contact-Cmeredith@live.co.uk