Tuesday 24 May 2011

Royal Smilde Olympias Tour - UCI 2-2

The latest race i have competed in is the Royal Smilde Olympias Tour.
On paper this race could look quite an easy race! Pan flat everyday except for a hilly final day, but no we are in wind swept Holland. 
The race started of with a prologue around 4,7km course, quite technical which could suit me fairly well,  but with me going of early in the day and the soaking wet road drying up towards the end of day, my time of 6.20 didn't look to pretty! The winner Luke Durbridge, (who was 167th rider to start compared to me being 3rd rider off) did a 5.53 and put a whopping 27" into me!

 Over the next few days i set about trying to help Luke who had put in a good time in the prologue. Over the next few stages not much happened really, breaks went and came but all stages ended in bunch kicks with Luke contesting and picking up vital bonus seconds, the last day changed all of that with the route taking in some of the climbs used in the pro race Amstel Gold, with the terrain much more suited to me i tried to save as much energy as possible on the 50km before the first "berg", once we hit the first climb the it was a witteling down process, i managed until 162km before we had to ride on the front as we had missed the break, with Me, Luke and Andy the only riders from GB left me and Andy set about trying to bring the break back, this took its toll as now with riding on the front i was missing the recover time between climbs and after a few more bergs i cracked and slopped back into the convoy, although i did get back on after a few km's my race was done and the next climb saw me be shelled out the back! Luke finished 8th overall and once again i felt as though i helped as much as i could!

Thats all for now then but ill be back with a report from my next few races, although i don't actually know what races i will be racing, it is a busy period in our program so hopefully i can get a good result!
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Results from the past few months!

So, its been a while! 
Won't go on about all the races since my last post as it's been well into the race season now (partly why i haven't been updating as regularly!) 
Here are a few quick results though just so you know where i came, 

Roy Thames RR - 6th
Jock Wadley Memorial Race - 16th
Wally Gimber Trophy - 11th

Then we move onto the European races, starting of with two 1 day races which are part of the Under 23 Nation Cup Series.
The first nation cup race was the Tour of Flanders and with me not being selected i put in some solid hours on the bike with my flat mate in preparation for the second nation cup which was the Cote de Picardie. This was my first race in Europe as an under 23 and it  didn't go to well in the end! Although feeling good in the bunch and putting a few moves in at the front, i got caught up in a small crash just after the feed at around 110km, a touch of wheels a few places in front of me on a narrow road ended my race, and also the end of my bike.

Next was the ZLM Tour in Holland, finished in 101st place a few minutes down, i tried to go with some moves early on and then after nothing was going clear a tried to preserve as much energy as possible so could help the team in setting up Luke for the win. 
Although Luke got the win, i blew on the second lap of the finishing circuit so couldn't help out much, but with helping the team early on it was a successful day!

Then the team split up with a few went to race in Brittany and some in Italy to compete in the next nation cup event the 5 day stage race, Toscana - Terra-di-ciclismo.
This being the first stage race iv done this year i didn't have great legs, never felt as though i could go and win a stage, also crashing heavily on the first stage just outside the 3km to go banner didn't help and meant with losing so much time on the first stage i would be on team duties for the rest of the tour. With being a domestic for the tour i got a great workout and come the last stage i thought i would have a go myself, the last stage was by far the hardest with a few sections of strade bianche! 
The race was blown part on the white roads and coming into the finish there were only 40 or so riders left in the front group. I felt as though i had a good chance coming down if it came down to a sprint. Coming into the finish and some bad position i was 6th place with 150m to go but going a hell of a lot faster than the guys in front, but with everyone taking the big risk i came down again someone taking down the guy in front of me, with no were to go i face planted the barrier, injuring the same shoulder i had done from the crash on stage one, annoying as i could of had a good result but thats racing!

The Paris - Roubaix of Italy!

Thats it for now, ill post soon with some more results!
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Wednesday 9 March 2011

Quick update

Only gonna be short this one!

Since Beijing I have been hard at work on the road, putting the miles in, the team headed out to Majorca for a training camp at the beginning of February which lasted a week. The whole purpose of the camp was to switch our energy systems so instead of being able to turn ourselves inside out in 4km we would now be able to go on for much longer.  The weather was cracking; sun and blue sky’s every day and the training basically consisted of 5 hour rides every day with a few climbs to split the ride up, I felt good and to my surprise I went up the climbs quite well considering I haven’t gone up anything long than 1km since I got on the academy and moved to Fallowfield!

Once the camp was over we flew back and then had a just over a week at home, you realise how shit the road are around here when you head home and the hours flew by, as did the days and we were soon jetting off back to Majorca for another  10 days. This time the rides were much shorter and more intense with a block of efforts during each ride. The weather had also turned and the last few days where horrendous!  

Once the 10 days were up it was straight into my first race of the season, the classic season opener Eddie Soens. I felt strong from all the mile we’d put in but felt as though I was lacking any explosiveness, I presume this is from all the long miles, rolled in 19th - Simon Yates 100% Me (E) 01:39:52. We had 2 in the break and Mark ended up 5th.

My upcoming races are,

12-Mar: Roy Thames RR
13-Mar: Jock Wadly
20-Mar: Wally Gimber RR 

Next post will be reporting on these so, ciao for now!

Thursday 27 January 2011

How to top the most successful season to date?

A new year, a new season begins.

From the 1st of November I have been living in my new home, a flat in Fallowfield around an hour from the homeland. I’m still getting to grips with the new training regime, cooking, doing my own washing, and basically fending for myself for the 1st time in 18 years and it's been a challenge!

The first race I have done since then was the Gent Six Day. You can really understand why the people from Belgium love cycling! The atmosphere is amazing and the crowd really gets behind everyone.
I was partnered with Jon Mould, who is also my flat mate in Fallowfield. We went well and took the leaders jersey on the first day winning 3 out of the 5 sprints. the next few days didn't go as well and we had dropped down to 3rd overall, all the teams on the podium were on the same lap with everyone else in the race behind by a couple of laps, fast forward to the 4th day and we were feeling good so decided to try and take a lap, coming up to the 3rd sprint we decided this was the time, the race had been on for a bit and some of the teams were suffering, with around 2 laps to go the Australian team who were now leading the race went down, we took advantage of that and took the lap on the field, the only team to do so.
The next two days all we had to do was defend but the Swiss team and the Australian team teamed up to take the lap back, and eventually we cracked and moved down to 3rd overall. The Swiss team has taken the lead for the first time in the race. Last day and we only had one tactic and attacked for most of the race but were marked heavily and finished the race in 3rd place overall.

Once Gent was over we now started concentrating on the team pursuit as we had been told we were doing the Beijing world cup in January, in the team was Me, Mark, Andy and Erick. In training with the times which we had been doing we were looking at doing a 4.10 which is nothing special, but getting closer and closer to the event our times slowly picked up and soon we were aiming for an 4.08 which is around 15.2 second laps. Things were looking up and as we made the 10 hour flight to Beijing I started to feel slightly nervous about making my world cup debut.

Once we got there and unpacked in our hotel, we made our way to the track which has very long bends which is beneficial in TP. We did a few efforts leading up the race and the times were good and if were able to hold the splits then we might just push into the .07 mark.
The day of the race came round quickly but the nerves had gone and i was focused on the job in hand, I warmed up with W&W blearing out of my headphones and was motivated than ever to do a good job, we end up qualifying 3rd with a 4:08.66.
In any other circumstance that’s would have been job done but the Spanish did a 4:08.58, with Russia in a class of their own with a comfortable 4:01.90. Later in the day we did it all again with even more motivation to show that we should have been in the gold/silver ride and to prove a point. We rode in at 4:05.01. A new academy record.

My most successful season so far isn’t looking so unbeatable at the moment; hopefully this will be a good year and a year to remember.