My days exploring Yorkshire, and the Motherwell and Durham Tour Series – 23rd/27th May 2017

Motherwell Tour Series

I travelled up to family Pidcock’s house on the Monday evening. The train journey seemed to go on for ages, but thankfully Candy Crush made the trip go a lot quicker.

On the Tuesday morning I went for a quick ride out from Leeds – thanks to Tom’s Dad Giles for the route directions.  When I got back Sonja made Tom and I a Spanish omelette which went down a treat.  Soon we were off to Neils’  house to head up to Motherwell (Neil is the manager of PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ERT who I was guesting for). The journey up was pretty good, I had Will King, Tom and Nicky telling me how your not a proper cyclist until you’ve ridden in Yorkshire, and how polar bears live in Yorkshire in the winter 🙂 .

When we arrived we had plenty of time to ride round the course, get signed on and changed.  Thanks to Will for making me the pasta (was mint).  Before long we were lining up for the start of the race (1hr plus 5laps). To begin with it was really fast but it soon settled down.  I always tried to stay near the front, out of trouble. It was an  honour and quite cool to think that I was racing with professional riders that I’d seen on TV.   With 3 laps to go I hit the front with Tom on my wheel.  I think I was a bit too excited and the next time I came round on the front I realised I still had 2 laps left.  I was still near the front but was slipping backwards with one lap to.  I was a bit too far back in the bunch sprint, and ended up finishing 21st.  I was a bit disappointed but was really happy that I was up there and competitive.

 

Wednesday – Staying with Jim Brown’s Family @ Holmfirth

I woke up quite early considering I only got to sleep at 03:00 in the morning. When I came downstairs Tilly and Danielle (Jim’s sister and Mum) had already made me a coffee which was desperately needed.  I then discovered the best granola ever. Danielle makes her own granola and it was soooooooo good (I had it every day I was there).  Jim was off at school doing his maths exam.  Soon after Lee left to go to work then it was just me and Tilly left.  That morning i had to phone school to figure out how I was going to get my art course work in on time – but thanks to my amazing Mum and my amazing negotiating schools we managed to do it.  Which meant I could stay up in Yorkshire for the rest of the week.

After I had finished my art course work Tilly and me went into Holmfirth to get lunch (or dinner as i was told it was called in Yorkshire) and to do the shopping. We went to a place called Bloc, a toast orientated cafe  – we were both looking forward to avocado on toast.  Unfortunately they were out of avocado so instead I had goats cheese and fig which was quite nice.  After that we went shopping for tea. Once we had done the shopping we got the bus back to the house and started to prepare the food for later (and made the protein lemon cheese cakes).

Soon after Jim got home from school so we set off for a quick spin on the bike.  A soon as we set out I realised how much I loved Yorkshire – there were hills everywhere, and sun (I was assured that it always is sunny in Yorkshire). Jim took me on the windmills loop just a short loop around the peak district. When we got back it was time for tea and our protein cheese cakes which were awesome.

Thursday

After a big bowl of the Danielle’s granola and lots of coffee,  I was off out with Jack Ford and Mason Hollyman.  They took me around most of the climbs in the area, the weather making it even better. When we finished on top of Holme Moss I realised that this is the best place to ride in Britain. When I got back we all watched the end of the Giro stage before Jack and Mason headed home.  Soon after Jim and me left on the bikes for his 10-mile TT.  After arriving we rode round to warm up because the cafe didn’t have any food I could feel a bonk coming on 🙁  After Jim finished his TT Danielle, Tilly and I went to the shops to pick up some food for tea. Tonight was chicken katsu curry.  Was even better than the one a Wagamamas.

Friday

Today after Tilly had had her last day at school we went back to Bloc determined to have the avocado on toast. Thankfully they did ! After this we went back to the house where we met Jim having returned from his last day at school.  We went of a short ride to spin the legs with Ollie Rees. Half way through we stopped off at Yummy Yorkshire (an ice cream shop) for some, you guessed it, ice cream.  To be fair it was seriously good. After that we left Ollie to head home. That evening we had Danielle’s granola for pudding and I even got to put some peanut butter on it – thanks to Danielle and Tilly for picking it up for me.

Durham Tour Series

You’re always going to have good days and bad days on a bike, and today was definitely a bad day.  Before the race I had put some high expectation on myself.  But things started to go wrong right from the warm up.  Rather than sucking it up and getting on with it, I let it effect me.  By the time I did eventually suck it up and get on with it was too late to effect the race. But I still managed to enjoy the event in a weird way.   Most importantly I took some very important lessons away from that race – which I took into the Junior CiCLE Classic which had a very positive impact the result there.

I’d just like to give a massive thanks to teamPH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ERT for having me as a guest rider for the Tour Series.

Big thank you as well to the Pidcock and Brown families for the hospitality 🙂

0

Junior E3 Harelbeke, Belgium 23rd April 2017

Saturday – Travel and Recce

The plan was to meet up with John Barclay and the rest of the South East Cycle Team at Maidstone Services at 11:50, quick unloading and reloading of cars.  Then off to the Eurotunnel and then finally to the bottom of the Teinenberg, where we would do our recce of the last 20km of the race.

The Team
Photo Credit:Jens Morel

After arriving at the services I had my lunch – a quinoa curry my Dad had made that morning.  Shortly after John arrived with the rest of the team – Jacob, Ollie, Theo, Louie, and Charles and we set off for an uneventful journey to the Eurotunnel and Belgium.

When we arrived at the bottom of the Tiegenberg we got changed and started to ride the last 20km as per the plan.  I only lasted about 3km before my infamously small bladder meant I had to stop for a waz behind a Belgian bus stop. The recce was going fairly smoothly up to the point where we started to ride to the Hostel, when Charles and me ended up riding an ‘alternative’  way home to the others. When we eventually arrived it wasn’t long until food, and I was starving so was looking forward to it.  To my utter disappointment all that was left by the time we got to the dinning room was mashed potato and a very small amount of chicken (we were limited to one small piece only).  Unsurprisingly I was quite hungry after tea, but at least had my massive bowl of overnight oats that I had brought with me to look forward in the morning.

After watching a couple of episodes of The Grand Tour, it was time to go to sleep.

Sunday – Race Day !

The race wasn’t until 14:00 so we had plenty of time in the morning to chill out.  I delighted in my big bowl of overnight oats for breakfast. That is totally the best pre-race breakfast.  Bit more watching of The Grand Tour to take my mind off the race, and before I knew it it was time for our pre-race meal  of pasta which the hostel had provided.  I wasnt actually that hungry but forced it down me as I knew I would need it for the race.  In the mean time John was getting our numbers and signing us on at race HQ.  When he returned we all headed towards the race HQ to get changed and ride the last 3km of the course a couple of times.

Crunch time ! The beginning of the race was fast but fairly safe on the 20k of wide road that took us out to the much narrower roads the wind their way around and over the hills.  However about 5k into those narrower roads there was a big crash.  I avoided it thankfully,  but ended up unclipping which then led to an extremely hard chase for the next 20km. There were 5 of chasing at first, working well together, and that group gradually grew to 20.  Eventually I got back on.

For the next 40km of the race I tried to stay near the front and out of trouble as we went over the climbs and a couple of cobbled sections. The main cobbled section of the day came as a bit of a shock to me and I found myself too far back.  I ended up chasing again.  At first I absolutely hated the cobbles, but then I got the hang of them and was able to ride them much better (the metal bottle cages helped a lot here)  As the race progressed my legs felt better and I was nearer the front ( where I should have been from the start).

Thats when we hit the Paterberg. one of the reasons why i loved the race so much.

 

I steadily worked my way to the front, and by the time we were at the bottom of the decent I was there. The group stayed together for the next two climbs. I had a bit of a dig going over the second from last climb but nothing came of it.

With 20km to go a couple of attacks started, but came back quickly.  But with just under 3k to go 3 riders just seemed to ride clear of the peloton.

A moments hesitation meant they got a gap and stayed away.

I found myself finishing 22nd in the front bunch of about 35 riders.

E3 Harelbeke was by far the most fun race I have ever ridden – just the whole experience was so good. Learnt lots like making sure I had good bottle cages, definitely liked the tubeless tyres on the cobbles, staying near to the front of the race and being confident in my ability.  I will hopefully get to put the lessons that I learned into good use for the next big race.  Although it was such a good race it did mean that I missed out on Will Tidballs B-day down in Exmouth – sorry about that bro 🙁

Onwards to the Isle of Man Youth & Junior Tour this weekend.

0

National Series Road #2 – Tour of the Mendips 2017

Saturday

Team Wales
Photo Credit: Alex reed

After waking up early packing the car and shovelling a bowl of overnight oats down me, I was on my way to Newport velodrome, where I would meet up with the rest of the Welsh Junior Team for the weekend’s racing (James, Sam and Joe), along with the DS (Director Sportif) Anthony O’Boyle  ( “Boyler” as he’s known by many).  Once again I’m proud to be representing Wales.

It was about an hour’s drive to the race HQ so we needed a pretty swift transition of kit bags to the Welsh cycling car. However my bladder thought otherwise, requiring me to make an emergency pit stop a couple of minutes before we were supposed to leave.

On our way down to the race most of the conversation consisted of who we thought was going to win the senior Roubaix on the weekend, along with Anthony’s plans for his next tattoo. When we arrived we went straight to sign on and gear check and then started to get ready for the first race of the day –  the 7.3km TT.

Junior Tour Mendips – TT
Photo Credit: Alex Reed

Not having ridden the course before I was a bit unsure where I was actually meant to be going, but a very detailed description of the course from Joe quickly gave me an inch by inch lay out of the course.  I was scheduled to go off at 10:43, about half way through the rider field. After a quick warm up I was on my way down to the start line.  I knew the effort was going to be hard and that I would have to get my pace just right as you could easily go out too hard. As soon as I started I knew I was feeling good  – my legs felt as if they were floating – that was until I realised that I still had over 4km to go :). I just focused on staying on top of the gear and pushing on to the finish.

Photo Credit:Alex Reed

Once I had ridden back to the Race HQ I turned my focus onto recovering for the afternoons road stage (105km on a rolling parcour).

Meanwhile in the TT,  James got held up by a farmer in his tractor which effected his time massively.  Anthony came over to me and said I was leading, and I was like “Seriously?!”. That was quite a cool feeling.  However, there was still another race to focus on. Being in the Leaders Jersey I understood that I was going to have to protect it. Never having been in this position before I was a bit unsure as to how I was going to do that, but I just thought I’m only going to focus on my race and ride it the same way had I not been in the jersey.

After an interesting 10km neutralised section the race was underway.  Straight away there were lots of attacks but many of them came back. This was predominantly down to the work of my team mates Sam, Joe and especially James. All three  were riding above and beyond. With about 20km of racing left a group of three riders slipped away consisting of Harry Yates, Josh Price and two Spokes riders. The break was strong and looked as if it was going to stick to the end until George Wharton, one of the Spokes riders in the break, unfortunately crashed. The next time round the commissaires decided to neutralise the race, and unfortunately when restarted the break wasn’t’ given the gap it had originally. That was a shame as the break looked strong and would have made the race interesting.  Shortly after the restart we were told that the race was to be cancelled due to the condition of the rider still on the floor. Thankfully later that night we found out that George was ok, which was a relief to everyone I’m sure.  This meant Stage 1  would have no impact on the GC. However the sprint points were still counted meaning Sam Tillett was to go into the sprinter jersey with James just behind him.

Sunday

Calm before the storm – Stage 2
Photo Credit: Alex Reed

Today was a big one. The Queen stage of the Mendips, with 3 major climbs. The time gaps after the TT were small,  meaning the race was going to be very active.  For breakfast I had another “mahoosive” bowl of overnight oats to get me ready for what was ahead.  We met up with Anthony and the rest of the team in Newport and headed up to the race HQ as a team. On the way up to the race in the car we were all relaxed, with James offering us entertainment recounting his weird dreams about breakfast. Once we arrived we all went to sign on and got our bikes prep’ed and got a good team talk off Anthony – ” just ride boys ” – nice and simple, not too hard to remember. Despite the position we were in we all felt relaxed and comfortable with what we needed to do and were just keen to get the race underway.

Straight from the start when we hit the first climb a couple of riders started to attack, but James, who had done a ridiculous amount of work for me on Saturday, was already on them covering the moves and getting into the early breaks so I didn’t have to do any chasing.  Over the top of the climb Dylan Hughes (Spokes Race Team) and Theo Hartley got away and had a 20 second gap on the peloton ( they were in 4th and 2nd place on GC respectively). I knew this was a dangerous move and as a result Joe, Sam and James went to the front and started to chase along with a few of the Catford team riders.

Blagdon Climb
Photo Credit: Alex Reed

Sam was still positioned high on the overall so understandably pulled off early to prepare himself for the Blagdon climb. Sam, with his “Road Captain” head on came back to reassure me that they would come back on the climb and I didn’t need to panic. Meanwhile James was on the front continuing with his monster turn, he dropped back and looked smashed but somehow about 5km before the bottom of Blagdon he hit the front once again and brought the gap down from 20 seconds to about 10, turning himself inside out for the team – showing what a selfless person he is (on and off the bike) – massive respect bro.

I was positioned near the front of the bunch when we hit the dead turn and went up the Blagdon climb straight into very steep gradients. Almost straight away Dan Coombe put in the first dig causing a split in the peloton. By this point Theo and Dylan were just ahead of us. After Dans attacked I hit the front keeping out of trouble, after the twisty steep section through the houses I put in an attack just as it plateaued. I didn’t look round, just got my head down until I hit the KOM line where i gave a quick glance back and could see I had a gap. Going over the top of the climb into what was now a moderately strong headwind, the Coms car told me I had 25 seconds on the group of 5 behind me.

Junior Tour of the Mendips – Stage 2 – Attacking at top of second climb
Photo Credit:Swarbrick.com

I pressed on the pedals but could see that the group was coming back to me. Eventually Dan Coombe bridged across by himself and for a moment I thought we would stay away, but the group that was just behind continued the chase,  eventually catching us.

Going down the roads leading to the finish our group of 5 began to grow as riders caught back on. At this point the Wheel Base team began to attack with Dan – going one after another.  I didn’t want to risk anything getting away so I made sure I was following the moves. With about 5km to go I found myself off the front of the bunch with a little gap. I decided to keep riding to see what happened,  but I got reeled in.  Soon we were at the bottom of the final climb. I think I got a bit over excited and hit the front straight away pressing on. As we hit the final straight Tobias and Mason Hollyman came round me and contested the sprint for the stage win.  As I came across the line at the back of our small group I could see that there was only 5 of us, and very importantly for me personally there was no sign on the other GC contenders.

When the rest of the team finished it was such a good feeling as we got the win.  And demonstrated how well we can work as a team. Very proud.

My first Junior win. In fact, my first ever National Road Series win at any age group.

Awesome race. Great organisation. Beautiful location. Awesome hills. Loved it. Thanks for all the support and for taking me Welsh Cycling.

I had great legs all weekend (thanks Pete Georgi @ Epic Coaching).

Thanks BCDS for organising it. Thanks to the Commissaires. And of course thanks to all the volunteers and marshals.

0

Cadence Junior Road Race (National Series Round #1) – 2nd April 2017

 

Me and Tom Pidcock riding away – Cadence 2017 (Photo Credit: Alex Reed)

Today was the first round of the Junior National Series, kicking off at the Three Cocks course near Brecon, Wales. After having my obligatory Overnight Oats we set off to the race with an extra passenger; Will T’s Dad better, known as Tids.  We took pity on him having had problems with his van the day, we rescued and fed him, and gave him B&B. The alternative was leaving him on the side of the road at the mercy of the welsh sheep somewhere near Brecon.

When we arrived the first thing I did was take a look at the course in the car just so I had some idea of what was in store for the next 115km.

Welsh Team Warming Up – Proud to be wearing the Welsh jersey !

After the course recce I met up with the rest of the welsh team James, Rhys, and Sam before heading swiftly to sign on to collect our numbers and get changed. We then had a quick warm up, leaving just about enough time for Sam to oil his arms (???), Rhys to slap on Majorca in a bottle (as he calls it) on his legs, and James to put more oil on his legs than popcorn chicken at KFC, before heading to the start line for riders briefing. The weather was looking good and we were all ready to go.

The flag dropped and the race had begun. To begin with the race was rolling along staying together until the race commissars pulled in front of the race forcing riders to stop suddenly in a lay-by at the bottom of the of the climb.  The Commissaires laid down the law, telling us that if we didn’t start ridding properly the racing would be cancelled.  Adam Kelly, having come all the way from the Isle of Man, didn’t seem too impressed with that proposal.

Eventually we got going again. Quite quickly a couple of moves started to go up the road. The most significant a group of two riders containing Dylan Hughes (spokes) and a Brother NRG Driverplan rider. They stayed away until the main group squeezed on over the top of the climb and started to roll through and off until we caught them on the lanes leading to the main climb. Charlie Calvert and Josh Price from Backstedt Cycling countered the move but were brought back. Going over the Top of the climb Jake Wright of Zappi Racing Team attacked it looked like it was coming back as a couple of riders bridged across in ones and two’s. The bunch then eased up and I knew I had to go.

Off the Front. (Photo Credit: Alex Reed)

Eventually a group of seven riders formed: Jake Wright (Zappi Racing Team), Mark Donovan (Zappi Racing Team), Matthew Shaw (WHEELBASE CABTECH JUNIOR RT), Stephen Dent (Spokes Racing Team), Theo Modell (Team Corley Cycles), Thomas Pidcock (PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield ERT) and myself. We were all working well together riding through and off and built a maximum lead of 1 minute over the peloton. I felt good but knew if I were to win I’d have to be clever. With a lap and a half to go I could see the group was gaining on us, at this point Tom attacked through the chicane and pressed on up the climb, I followed.  When i looked round it was only Tom and me left, with the rest of the bunch about 15 seconds behind us. I knew from this point it was all in. Tom and I worked well together and pushed the gap back out to 44seconds with about 7km, maybe 8km to go.  Over the drag on the back half of the course, I pulled off  after a turn and Tom attacked. I pressed on the pedals to try and catch him but wasn’t making any inroads. I just kept ridding, holding the bunch, eventually finishing in second place behind Tom, with Jim brown finishing off the podium.

Unfortunately a few riders got caught up in an incident with one of the escort motorbikes, and there were a couple of other crashes. Fortunately no serious harm done, other than to bikes.  Let’s hope we don’t have any incidents in the rest of the series.

Podium – 1st Tom Pidcock (middle), 2nd Me (left), 3rd Jim Brown (right)

Overall it was a really good race, getting lots of positives and learning points to take with me onto the rest of the season. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the Mendips next weekend.

Thanks to the organisers and volunteers, as always your time and effort is greatly appreciated.

0

Abergavenny Handicap – Event #1 – 19th March 2017

Started the day with a big bowl of wonderful overnight oats. Followed by a short trip in the car to Abergavenny Leisure Centre. Pouring with rain and windy in Cardiff.

Luckily much better in Abergavenny – very windy, but no rain.

This was an E/1/2/3/4 handicap race with a staggered start.  I was in the third and last group along with with other Cat 1s and 2s.  Starting 7 minutes down on first group and 4 minutes down on the second group.

The race started with big tailwind section along the A40 dual carriageway. followed by a big head wind section back along the old A road.  Three laps, total 78k.

My group chainganged well until a few people started to sit on, ending with only 15/25 (ish) working to catch the groups ahead. Despite this we caught both groups with just just under half the race to go.

The race settled with a few riders trying to get off the front.  I tried to get away turning into the upwind leg back along the old A road, but failed. The bunch stayed together until the sprint finish pretty much.

I came 9th, second Junior behind Rhys Britton (2nd overall).

Looking forward to Icebreakers next weekend and the first Junior National series (Cadence), the weekend after.

I’m really enjoying my racing at the moment. Feeling good. Going well.

Here’s the finish (I’m 8th wheel, black Gabba, Giant Halo bib shorts).

 

 

 

0

Betty Pharaoh 12th March 2017

Today was the E/1/2 Betty Pharaoh race starting and finishing in Cowbridge,  a rolling 28km loop which we completed 4times ( including neutralised, 120km).

I knew the race was going to be fast as there were a number of One Pro riders racing including Kristian House. Learning my lessons from the Primavera race in Devon I was rolling with the moves from the start. However I probably should have been more aware and looking around at what was going on behind. The first lap was full  of attacks. I tried to get away a few times, getting into small groups of 4 which looked like they were going to stay away but the bunch was chasing hard.

At the end of lap 3 one of the One Pro riders got off the front, unfortunately I had just come back after going with a move so hesitated and missed the break. For the next lap it was very attack, stop, attack stop, repeat.. Eventually two Bath riders jumped away. I probably should have gone as I was in a good position to go but just didn’t have the guts and was unsure so I hesitated. If I had gone with them I  possibly would have made it across, but I’ll learn for next time.

The next two laps were full of attacks.  Again I got into some good moves and on the last time up the slip road I attacked with a One Pro rider and Ride Bike Canyon rider.  I really dug deep to push the move on but the field was strung out with 10m then a bunch of riders then another 10metres and another bunch of riders. This meant it was easier for the peloton to come back together. I tried again and jumped across to a group consisting of 2 One Pro riders and a Catford rider, but again it came back together about one km later.

I then knew it was going to come down to a sprint.  I stayed near the front about 10th wheel whilst some riders pushed hard on the front making it easier to sit in the bunch. I started my sprint about 6th wheel but went backwards, finishing about 19th.

Extremely happy with the way my legs felt, just disappointed I missed the break, lots of learning points for next time.

Thanks to Howard Goldberg at http://sportphoto.wales for the photographs – great job Uncle H.

0

Racing in Belgium with John Barclay

Harelbeke – Saturday 4th March

The race today was on a narrow course with lots of different road surfaces and tight turns, so it was key to stay near the front.  83km in length 13laps of a 6.3km circuit. Weather was cold, damp, breezy.

At the start I stayed near the front knowing that was the best place to be about 7th wheel. The race went off really hard but my legs felt good. As the race went on there were a few crashes that split the main group and eventually a break of 8 riders including myself got up the road. With about 6 laps left. We worked well as a group and stayed away from the main chasing bunch.

I was positioned 4th wheel in the sprint but Charles Page got the jump on us in the last straight so I ended up finishing 5th. Well done Charles, but bit annoying for me.  But I felt like I rode the race well, and legs were feeling good.

De Klijte – Sunday 5th March

75km long with a long 2km draggy climb and lots of twisty narrow roads.  The weather was grim at about 6 degrees C, and very windy – making the racing hard, especially with the cross and head winds. Jacob Vaughan attacked after the narrow chicane on the first lap, the group didn’t respond so he got away. I knew I needed to try and bridge across to him so i waited for the cross wind section which was up a little kick in the road and attacked over the top after a hard period of racing with Theo Modell.  A couple more riders came across and we became a group of 6.  We closed the gap down from 50 seconds to about 10 seconds, but as soon as we had Jacob in our sights the momentum within the group seemed to fade and the chase became more erratic. Jacob managed to stay away for the rest of the race. On the last lap I attacked over the last kicker into the final bend because there was a head wind finish.  With about 200m to go I realised I had started my sprint too early and our breakaway group came past me. Really happy with how my legs felt. Keyt learning points –  probably should have bridged across to Jacob and made another selection within the break  – that way we would have been fighting for the win not 2nd and 3rd. As well as this I  should have waited to start my sprint later as it was a head wind finish.

Really happy with how my legs felt over the weekend, and two breaks in two days is a definite improvement.

Thanks to John Barclay for organising the weekend and for inviting me.

The accomadation in the hostel was great – recommended if you are in the are Groeninghe Hostel, 1A Passionistenlaan, B-8500 Kortrijk.

Great weekend’s racing, great company, great experience. Can’t wait for my next Belgian experience.

0

Majorca and Primavera Road Race

Majorca

I left for Majorca with Dan Maclean-Howell early Thursday Morning. The flight was uneventful and we got to the hotel quickly despite a hire car problem. The plan was to get a big block of training in before the races start to come thick and fast. We had brilliant weather all week, which made the riding even better, as well as this I got to ride Sa Calobra a couple of times, and beat a couple of PBs.

Primavera Road Race

This was my first E/1/2 road race on the road at a distance of 91km. Considering the big block of training I had just done in Majorca a couple of days ago my legs were really good on the day as well as this I felt like I got my nutrition prefect on the day and the days leading up to the race. I was well hydrated and full of energy. over night oats definitely work :).

At the start of the race a group of 6 ridders got up the road but only had 20-30 seconds. After two laps it wasn’t coming back so I tried to get across to them over the top of the climb with two other riders, unfortunately the bunch brought us back and the racing slowed down; giving the break a chance to consolidate its lead. The break got up to 1min 50sec at its max. I stayed near the front protecting my legs making sure I was alert, drinking and eating. With 1 lap left of the loop a team got to the front and started chasing I was about 6 or 7th wheel and was protected from the cross wind. Over the top of the climb before we turned right to go back to the finish I followed an attacked with another rider. (legs felt really strong) 5 more riders came across to us and we started to chain gang. From our group of 6 it came down to a sprint. I rushed the back of the group and came round with lots of speed and got a gap quickly only 2 riders came round me at the end I finished 9th. Probably could have finished higher if I had started my sprint later. I also think if I had rolled with the moves earlier on I could have got into the break. Overall really good race and a great experience.

0

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.

0

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 🙂

0