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.