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

Stichting Junioren Driedaagse Axel UCI 2.1

On Friday morning last week myself, Marcus.B and his family made our way to Axel not far North of Belgium, to date this is the biggest 3 day I have done so far this year and consisted of a 64 mile road race on the Friday evening at 5 pm, a 6.8 mile TT for me at 10:59am followed by another 64 mile road race at 5 pm on the Saturday and finally on the Sunday a road race of 58.5 miles in Belgium south of Ghent and had some Bergs maximum of 1 min 30 climbing.

Stage one- Everyone tried the same thing…to be at the front, starting off at the front myself it was only 1km after the neutralised where it was just over 30mph and there was a crash to my left with people going over there bars towards myself on the right of the road, the guy ahead of me landed in the water logged ditch as I just avoided it and got back on the road where the chase was fairly short and easy, there were a total of 15 very bad crashes over the course of the stage all around the middle and sometimes towards the front, this meant most of us riders had to chase throughout the stage and I had to make 3 efforts to get back on, although feeling very good didnt have to put it in the top gear just to get back, I kept relaxed and analyzed situations on how hard people were chasing etc. Towards the finish around 5km to go there was another very bad crash down the lane leaving one of my team mates for the weekend (Pete.K) Very badly hurt mainly on his elbow, which leads onto another problem tomorrow with the TT pad being where the injury – even though today he did make a very good effort to finish considering. After that crash I was left too far back and ended up 15 riders from the back in 92nd but still bunch time therefore position didn’t matter.

Stage 2 the TT- A pan flat time trial with 8 90 Degree corners and only one fast one the 6.8 Mile course was very tough going mostly down lanes slightly graveled and some pretty strong wind saw us with a very strong headwind! Sadly the day before was very packed and we already got up early enough to have breakfast therefore I didn’t get a chance to see the TT course, and with a change from last year the videos I’d watched on it were pointless, so I had to go off guidance from team mates and others who had ridden already. I was safe to say pretty stressed out with the measurements of the bike, although I’d now become OCD and checked it about 10 times, To make matters worse I made sure I went straight for the pre check as soon as i got there and I became the first rider to be turned down as they now closed it even though I had got straight to it before any riders were due to start by 10 minutes..many other riders learnt the hard way also. Any how, I got in a good progressive warm up and having a motorbike in front of me for the whole thing was also a bonus, the bike was fully UCI legal and I relaxed with 5 mins to go until my TT. I was called up to the starting ramp and before I new it I was away. I paced it to power and rode harder into the headwind. The corners were slow as the roads were so thin also. 7 minutes into my TT now and I had just passed my minute man. 9 minutes in and the power I was riding at started to get very hard and the pain was getting fairly deep! at 12 minutes in now and I was approaching the 2nd to last corner, shockingly I saw it to be 120 degrees so I locked up my back brake and narrowly avoided the grass, going 10 mph slower than I could have been I found annoying but passed that in my mind and accelerated back over 30 mph pretty shortly, the pain now was immense and couldn’t hold it much longer, the final turn came up and only 40 seconds now to the line, I gave it everything I had left and could barely go above my 20 min power even though I was sprinting. Once I crossed the line they called my name and I had matched the winners time out of 100 current starters, Knowing I’d paced it to perfection and done all I could considering the circumstances I was pleased. After some more quick people came through I ended up 14th, which in a TT that doesn’t suit a 57kg rider I know my form is currently good and ended up averaging 29.4mph on a tough course for 13 min 35.

Stage 3- An extremely hot stage and pretty basic really, only one or two crashes today meant the rest of the day the bunch were glued together. There isnt much to say about this stage, although I knew the next day was even tougher with a few bergs. Stage 3 had some 2km cobbled sections and then some 400m sections similar to stage one, which made it very fun and feel fast! In the sprint I of course wasnt to bothered about contesting, although thinking to my next tour i’d like to see where I come as it looks better with some higher up results in the sprints. this stage I came 72nd.

Stage 4- A very wet day meaning the odd slip here and there, from the yellow jersey who was 5 riders ahead of me on the decent when there was a crash! There were 3 bergs per lap, some kicked up to 12% or so and one of them was more of a 5% average fast big ring climb. 3 laps meant 9 times up the nasty little kicks followed by a 2.4km cobbled up to the final corner 100m from the finish line. I knew today I had to stay at the front at the slippery concrete on the descents and the short kicks would split the field. I moved straight to the front and held that all the way on the first lap, until the cobbled section where I got stuck in the gutter, me and 10 others ended up chasing back on and then the group only had 40 riders left in it, there were a few other groups behind that were all very split up and small. Lap 2 we all stayed together again but then 65% into the final lap a group of 4 had 50 seconds on us, the group then split a lot and at this point the ‘bunches’ totaled 35 riders, not being the most powerful rider, on the cobbles I struggled to beat the other riders and ended up getting 27th on the stage, only 48 riders finished and considering 206 started on the first day shows the racing was top level tough stuff!

Stage results

1, 92nd (bunch)

2, 14th

3, 72nd, (bunch)

4, 27th (small group)

Overall 22nd

Points 24th

Next time I race UCI’s I for sure will have confidence on my own ability, if I can get a proper hilly one no doubt it’ll be one for me! But now I hope for a Podium at a UCI and keep stepping up and up, Confidence can get you results, and considering I had not ridden a UCI until late March this year, I feel like I’m still improving, Figures/strength wise too!

Thanks ever so much to Kenny Wilson my coach from Epic cycle coaching, I’m constantly seeing improvements and something very good has to come soon.

Thanks to The Burnetts for taking me over and putting up with me for 4 days and making the travel easy, also helping prepare for the races!

Also other thanks to Andrew Paine, Gavin Roberts, and Phil Kibble for helping out with loads of stuff over the weekend that I could write for ages about, without all of the above the weekend wouldn’t have been as great and easy as it was, much appreciated!

Thanks also to-

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

 

Junior Tour of the Mendips

 

First junior national of 2016-3rd GC, please enjoy my blog and hear what I have to say about the race.

On the 10th and 11th of April I participated in my first junior national of 2016. My first thoughts were that the flat stage would be easier in comparison with all of the Belgium UCI’s I had been doing as we have to stay on the left side of the road, so using the gutter isn’t always possible, the hilly stage I knew could contain some bigger efforts!

Stage 1- A steady (mostly neutralized) climb with some crosswinds, cold conditions and flat/rolling terrain.

Stage 2- 3 climbs, one of 10 minutes, the second steep and 6 minutes, the third steep until 6-7% in the last 30 seconds to the line. Also contained a rolling stretch to the first climb and part of the top triangle circuit twice before descending off a different road.

Stage 1-started off with a 10 minute or so climb that ended up being neutralized for the first 5 minutes therefore the climb made little difference to the race, the rest was a rolling circuit that headed towards the top of cheddar before heading back round in a triangle. Being windy and having 2 sharp turns that meant you had to kick out of the corner meant I stayed at or on the front around them, especially on the sharp turn near cheddar being in a tailwind I kicked out of there around 3 times or so, meaning people at the very back had lots of work to do. The racing was fairly simple, the break went early and stayed out for over and hour 20, around 10 of us did through and off, some doing more than others and that caught the break after 25 mins of work. with 1.5 laps to go on the drag in the tailwind people were tiring and I could clearly see that, so as Charlie Quaterman drifted off the front to form a second group I joined him, there was already 7 or 8 up the road so we all worked  well together and got across within 1/2 a lap. With the cold weather and mix of rain and sleet (that made it worse) many riders with already tired legs started to drop whilst I was in the chasing group. 1 lap to go and we had reached the first group and I went straight to the front to make sure the pace didn’t drop, everyone carried on doing strong turns as the bunch of now 40 were only 20 seconds back, eventually we grew the gap to 59 seconds on the final lap and finished with that time gap, with another group coming in 29 seconds behind us also! I was 7th this stage and knowing my sprint isn’t the best I waited for the big effort to come the next day as we had 3 big climbs.

Stage 2- Thinking that all I had to do was mark 2 or 3 of the riders I knew were a threat and stopping them getting up the road was the days job…I was very wrong. With only 3 riders left in the break at the end of the day after getting away at around 30 mins into the race I thought the catch was still not possible, with new teams this season and a few riders marked out I wasn’t the only rider to make the mistake of letting the break get so far up the road…my initial thoughts were, the gap shouldn’t rise over a minute, and even if it got to a minute we, or I, could smash it up the climb and have them within a few feet, after  hearing they were over 3 minutes up the road and having only 16 fast miles to go the chase to them would be crazy. Half of our group had found the climb very hard and wanted to save themselves for the final climb, the rest of us did do turns but it just wasn’t working, people were putting in soft turns and the chase wasn’t on, now I was unsure, we had caught half of the breaks dropped riders, I knew my team mate Matt and Adam Hartley were in it, coming back to the new teams I just didn’t know who else there was in the break, and was unsure if he was in our front group the day before. Now I left it to the only people who can beat me on GC are charlie Q and another, if they beat me up the final climb that is. Being pretty confident about the final climb whilst I was sat in Charlie Q attacked very very hard and managed to pull out a gap of around 100 meters, after another 5 minutes the gap was 150 meters and I thought we were going to leave him that far so come the end it would be hard for him to contest, however being a strong rider, especially on the flat he started to gap us more as another 5 minutes on and he was out of site, we were chasing but frustratingly not hard enough, I tried to get people to work but again not much happened, we now had no time at all until the finish, we had gone through 1 mile to the climb and there was now nothing I could do except wait. The pace wasn’t insane for the first 4 mins but then an attack happened, I put my bike in the big ring but then it slipped back into the little and I had to shift back up, then I did a max 40 second effort to try to catch the front 3, I caught one that could take my place in GC and got close to Pete kibble in the final meters. Over the weekend I learnt a lot, after speaking to Peter Georgi who has raced at a high level since being a teenager I now understand a lot more on what I could of done in the race and I’m pleased with where I’m currently at, gutted I couldn’t get my first win in 2016 I still came away with 3rd on GC and hope to get a win very soon, being aggressive I can easily do, except on a 2 day race I should’ve ridden it like a one day…! Being a teenage racer or a pro, there’s always new things you can learn, on wards to my next race being E3 Harlbeke where I hope to prove myself further!

Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Thanks.

 

 

Totnes Vire 2 day

Stage 1-66 mile road race of 6 laps around the Halwill Junction loop-Draggy

Stage 2-3 mile TT starting near the Holsworthy-Halwill A3072 turn lay by back to Halwill-Draggy, more uphill and nasty headwind

Stage 3-74 mile Road Race, 4 laps of a really lumpy 18 mile circuit, very lumpy with some steep nasty climbs, hitting them at around 40-50mph on the southern stretch.

Over the weekend of the 2nd/3rd of April I raced the Totnes Vire, the most prestigious race the South West region holds.

Above: Me off the front on stage 1

Stage one wasn’t the most amazing stage for me, after an attack mid race and having riders from each team it wasn’t any of the bigger teams (Pedal heaven, Raleigh or Madison genesis) responsibility to chase, and a few of us team less individuals new it was pointless to try it ourselves, we want to do the best we can do and not work to bring back a break like that, well I don’t anyway…Before any of this I did bridge across to a move alone and the amount of time it took me to catch them (about 3 minutes for a 20 second gap) kind of proves that they were riding too slowly together to think about staying away and catching the break. So stage one meant getting into the top 10 really would have to be done in a sprint, as anything going off on the last lap would have been brought back quite easily. After a few crashes in the race (so I was told) around 20 riders had lost there chances here, others struggling with the pace in places left our group at only 20 riders come the end with 8 up the road. Eventually I took 18th.

 

Stage 2 was hard for everyone, with legs of course feeling a bit tired after the road stage it was going to be a real deep effort with lactic in the muscles already. Riding to a power meter helped a lot in this situation. Knowing the course well and being on Junior gearing meant I could rest for the 50 second descent as I wouldn’t gain much time from sitting there spinning my legs off in the gearing. So I rode the first 3 mins to the downhill damn hard, with only a few kicks on the downhill I could recover and continue the effort as the road picked up again, in the final uphill ‘sprint for the line’ I knew I had done well as in the last 10 seconds I did start to fade very slightly but carried on kicking hard to the line, I was pleased coming away thinking I couldn’t of pushed it any harder or ridden it smarter.

 

 

(Stage 3) Above: Looking even worse than usual! Mud and spit on my face, surprisingly I was full gas here!

 

Full pelt to the line stage 3.

Stage 3 (day 2) I knew could be made very hard, I of course knew Raleigh were going to try to keep the yellow jersey so they would be trying to set the pace and not letting anyone high up enough on GC to get away. I remember seeing guys going off up the road at 1/2 mile in which I thought was pretty silly but also very brave, holding off a team for 74 miles with only 3-5 of them on a tough circuit with pretty horrendous weather would for sure be a challenge. I made the decision to sit in for the first half of the race and see what happened on lap one and two on ‘the climb’ and it seemed Raleigh were working but not drilling it hard. 5 Miles away from the finish line (where we would have crossed for a lap to go) everyone came to a stop as we found out a chicken lorry had crashed and blocked the whole road, in the 20 minute wait I went and sat in a car after standing outside shivering for 10 minutes. Not long after the break were set of with 1 minute 50 seconds gap and then we also rolled on, cafe legs were there for a few seconds for sure. so on the 3rd time up the climb at 55 miles in I decided id go solo and ride to a power i knew i could hold for around 45 minutes, after all we had raced the day before and your not exactly fully fresh after 55 miles…I put the attack in over the Appledore climb and got a small gap, taking the corner through Okehamton really fast i kept the power down all the way up to the top of the hill over the line then sat at that power. Heading through Sticklepath was my only rest so i built my speed up with a kick on the way down and caught the car ahead of me. Anyway 10 minutes later as I approached Whiddon down I had managed to get across the 1 minute 50 gap, as i caught them i knew they were so tired from being in the break for so long and the gap must of only been around 1 minute when I caught them. After an attack from 2 Madison Genesis riders from what I heard they went hard on the downhill-uphill corner section and came flying across to us, not long after a split of 25 got to us as well. Up the next climb after a quick downhill was an attack so I followed it and the group split into two and then there were 13 of us. After that group had also had a small split the yellow was chasing way to hard and when it came to the next climb where 6 of us smashed it across to the other 6 the yellow just didn’t have the legs to keep trying to defend and fell back. So it came to the final climb where there was one attack but it got reeled back in, I knew attacking them wouldn’t work so I’d have to place as high as possible in the sprint which sadly I only got 8th out of 11, however after a 25 minute solo effort and being a junior rider with not so much power as a fully grown man, especially with good kicks on them, I feel I did well, the winner of the final stage was a world champ at the Madison world champs.

Overall I had-

Stage 1- 18th

Stage 2- 15th

Stage 3- 8th

Overall GC- 10th

 

Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Thanks.

 

A run of bad luck, short description and insight to stage 3 of the Ster Van Zuid Limburg

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

Halo Films

My Parents

Pedal Potential

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Thanks.

Modbury Road Race 13/03

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-

Pedal Potential

Giant UK

Epic Cyclecoaching

Peter Georgi

Balgores

My parents for constant support on and off the bike!

2016 Race bike summary and overview.(Plus weekend sum up)

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).

Peter Georgi.

And my parents for constant support!

Halo Films

Balgores

Giant Uk

FD works

Stealth secret training

Thanks.

12 days of Tenerife

On Friday the 11th of December James Davey and I flew out to Tenerife from Exeter airport after getting up at an early 3:30 AM. After a 3 hour flight we had arrived and got a transfer which was around 40 minutes over to a 2 bedroom apartment we were staying in, by this time it was around 1 o clock and we had to find the owner, pay him and go shopping before we rode so we had fresh water and food, we had yet to learn our way around as well. We then set off on an easy spin once all of this had been done. If I had to learn one thing it was actually how little variety of food I could cook and from that evening onward we would both share cooking, washing up and washing our kit. Saturday was a significant day as it was to be the first ride we actually summit not the highest point of Mt. Teidi, but the highest we had on our side of the mountain which was around 6850ft up. It was just an easy ride, but it was an eye opener to how long the climb was, and on that day in zone 2 it took us 2 hours 25 minutes just to get right to the top from our sea level aparment.

So the climbs on Tenerife were fairly mixed, the ones we tried to stick to were around 5-7% but of course it had many that held 12-25% followed by a few climbs we saw that looked 30%, so a bit steep for base miles in December…! After only 2 days of riding we were setting off for our 3rd ride, James was due to do an extra hour than me, so we were going to meet 40 minutes into his ride and 1o minutes into mine then he go and ride a little extra after i take the shorter route back…he called me 5 minutes after he had set off and the rear mech had got caught in the spokes and snapped off the rear mech hangar as well. So wondering what to do on a Sunday and struggling to find any bike shops available and finding a rear mech hangar specifically for the Scott was proving difficult. After an hour or so James had managed to get in touch with a bike rental place, so we planned on getting the bus there, and James having the bike fit measurements fit the bike as closely as possible. So we got the bus there which took a very long time for 12 miles direct as it actually went around 18 miles as it had to detour a lot to go en-route, so about 45 minutes later we got there and set off not long after. On that day was the first time id seen/felt the effects of altitude, we aimed to do our final 20 minute sweet spot effort at fairly high altitude and finished the effort at 6300ft, the heart rate was significantly lower and fatigue set in slightly faster than usual. Personally though i feel you need to be doing threshold before you properly feel it, none the less it was very interesting. The highest i got in the whole time I was there was the second highest point on the highest road (the TF-21) and if i’d have ridden an extra 2 miles the lumpy road so I was told actually goes up an extra 400ft, so I got to just over 7000ft which was amazing. I turned around next to the hotel that Lotto Jumbo stayed in and it was a really nice area up there, very deserted and only a building every 5 miles or so on the top road.

Tenerife was fairly similar most days, you couldn’t ride 20 miles without at least 10 miles worth of climbing, unless you were to ride the dual carriage way back to the airport, but who the hell does that.

The cafes over there are also amazing, the quality and the pricing, we ended up going to the sea front cafe about 5 times in the last 4 days or so, it was perfect there. It was a similar story with the ice cream which I thought was quality and was the only bad food I ate for the entire 11 nights we were there for.

As you can see in the photos below, Tenerife has a very dry and tough climate, especially as you go nearer the top, it was 17 or so degrees at the top and when i descended back down it was around 28 at times, so perfect weather for riding a bike. Looking back at the photos i definitely miss it and looking forward to going back the pre season to get in a good block of training!

Junior Tour of Wales

Above, Elliot Redfern, Me and Etienne Georgi coming 2nd overall in the team standings

2015 was a fairly good year for me and has proven that being a first year doesn’t mean you cannot get results as its actually very equal. After my first top Ten coming at the Isle of Man where I placed 5th on the final stage (3rd of May) which was the day after anyone that finished stage 2 nearly died of hypothermia, it was just a matter of keep riding until my body shuts down, which happened on the last lap but managed to somehow keep moving my legs and get across the line not losing any major time. I had only actually finished one national before this, crashing out of Cadence after the race was stopped and then missing Rutland I had only finished Mendips 2 day where i got my first top 15 and shown myself kit doesn’t matter after i just rode training wheels. Back to Isle of man, and stage 3 I knew I had to make back something and get a good result, so i sat in for the first half of the race before trying to make one move which got chased within a minute or so, then with 2 laps to go I followed an attack that Ethan Hayter put in with Marcus Burnett not far off my wheel and within 2 minutes we had a couple of others join us and being in my first proper break in a junior national and getting over the fact I’m a strong rider just lacking confidence I was very over the top as in I rode too hard over the small climb in the race and i had to back off a bit, but in the end we had my team mate Etienne not far behind us with Nathan Draper, Etienne made sure he didn’t catch us as he didn’t want to ruin any chances  i had in the break, which being my first breakaway finish I ended up attacking slightly before the final Hairpin turn and felt my front wheel slide out slightly and with only a 20 second lead I was lucky I didn’t crash, but i had around 7-8 meters on everyone and thought a chance was there, which of course it wasn’t as I cant sprint very well, so I had the front 3 fly past me, Especially Joe Holt! I ended up with 5th on the stage. In the other nationals along the way I had some pretty bad luck, crashing in the final break after I was certain of my first podium and then bonking with 200 meters to go in the break at Loughborough, I now know how to prevent some of these mistakes despite crashing. The best part of the 2015 season though was finishing 7th overall at the Junior Tour of Wales, anyone inside the Top 10 were a way ahead of anyone outside of it, to think if i had a good TT id of been way further up, followed by dehydration on stage 2, just simple but silly mistakes I’ll make sure I wont repeat next season.