Icebreaker #1

Felt a bit bunged up in the morning but once I got into the racing I felt fine.

Scratch: Legs felt good. I was just watching the race in the until 3 laps to go where I hit it. The race hadn’t really been hard enough for a break to get away so I got closed down, I swung up, and got back into the group about 7th wheel (too far back). This meant I was in a bad position for the sprint.

Elimination: felt like I rode the elimination well. Legs felt good and didn’t do any excess work at all, just moved my way around the bunch until there was three of us left.  I took it up to the boards and tried to leave it late so they had less time to come over the top of me, unfortunately they came over the top by the pursuit line but I was happy with how I rode.

Points race: again the race was quite slow so getting away was quite hard.  For the sprints I was positioning myself well and picked up points in every sprint bar one. I was 4th at this point and could see other riders beginning to lag so was planning to attack after a hard period of racing  Unfortunate there was a crash and I came down and they cancelled the race, but I felt like I was ridding it well.

Overall happy with how my legs felt given that I wasn’t fresh, and happy with how I rode. Learnt something in the scratch as well. Just a shame it had to end on a crash.

Thanks to Garrie Tillett for organising, Commissaires and volunteers.

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Welsh Track Champs-Jan 14/15th 2017

Saturday:

Today was the IP (individual pursuit), always a really hard event. This year as I’m Junior the length has increased from 2km to 3km which is only an extra 4 laps of the track but feels a lot longer. I went out hard and tried to hold it, ended up doing a 3:36:11. Was pleased with my time as its only the second 3km pursuit I’ve ever done. Got bronze. Key learning points: felt like i got the pacing right, possibly went out a little bit too hard at the start and payed for it in the last 2 laps.

Sunday:

Today was the Scratch and Points races. Scratch was first and being 40 laps long was going to be fast. with about 23 laps to go i was off the front with Ieuan, he swung up and went back to the group early on leaving me by myself  In hindsight I should have swung up too, but kept riding and got caught with 9 laps to go. I then protected my legs by not doing much if any work, and then attacked again with 3 to go. Unfortunately i got caught with 3/4 of a lap to go. Ended up finishing 7th. Key learning points: be more confident in my sprinting ability and be more observant when off the front. Points race ( got shortened from 50 laps to 32). right from sprint one i started to waste a bit too much energy, making a big effort only to gain 1point. This isn’t all bad as I came from a long way back and showed that I had a lot of speed in my legs. Later on I bridged over to a break which may have stuck if we worked better together, the rest of the race was quite similar as i just wasted a bit too much energy here and there meaning i was putting my efforts in at the wrong times.

Legs felt good all weekend Lots of positives as well as lessons learnt.

Well done to Matt Burke for winning all three events 🙂

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Next Generation UCI Track Event, Apeldoorn, 7th/8th January 2017

What a memorable weekend, not just for the excellent racing.

Friday

Set off Friday morning with the Welsh Cycling team- James, Sam, Dan, Josh, Matt, Izzy, Sophie, Lizzy, Gwenno, along with the staff Stu, James and Becky.  We had an ETA of 19:00, but after going to the wrong place, getting stuck in traffic, we finally arrived at 23:00, missing dinner. Key learning point – check the GPS destination,  pick up food at any opportunity, and most importantly learning how to pee into a bottle whilst stuck in traffic on a motorway.

Saturday

After a good nights sleep, time to race.

Two races for me – Devil and the Scratch.

Scratch first. Fast, fast, fast. Spent first half watching others. I attacked, a French guy came across, we stayed away for about 3 laps, then got caught with about 8 laps to go. Race came down to a sprint. Positioned too far back to be competitive. Legs felt good, but tired at the end.

Devil. Real quality race and great fun, really enjoyed it. Best part of the race was Will Tidball and me putting the Danish rider out the back, and me pushing the bigger riders around. James rode strongly on the front and finished a respectable 6th.   I ended up on the podium behind Will Tidball 2nd, and Jake Stewart 1st – a UK podium.

Evening – nice to eat a proper meal, not a dry sandwich from a Belgian motorway station (but was grateful for anything at that point).

Sunday

Busy day – Tempo, Points and Madisson.

After a big breakfast, first race of the day was the Tempo, where points are awarded for the first rider across the line every lap (20 laps). Fastest race of the weekend. Full gas from the start. Managed to collect one point, second lap in 🙂   James also pick up a point.  I finished the highest place rider on 1 point, placed 5th, with my friend Rhys Britton (Team GB) finishing 1st.

Points race next (40 laps).  Tried to get away a few times, but did not succeed. Race was fast and furious.  Very good quality race. Felt OK, but did not get any points 🙁  Joe Nally (Team GB) won.

Madisson with my partner Dan Coombe (40 laps).  We knew we had to ride the race from the front to avoid getting caught behind the changes. We managed to collect one point. Continuously fast, relentless.  But definitely favourite race of the weekend – legs felt really good. Placed 6th – very pleased with that.

Summary

Learnt a lot off the bike as well as on.

Thanks to James Heaton for keeping the trip home interesting – but in all fairness the Truck Game should have been neutralised while I was on my phone !!!  And surely Bohemian Rhapsody is worth double points.

Thanks to Welsh Cycling  @welshcycling for the opportunity and running the trip. I am so looking forward to more trips, more great experiences, and racing against some more very classy riders.

 

 

 

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