Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wally Gimber trophy E/1/2

after my first race of 2012 I was on a high, even though I didn't win and probably should have. there will be at least 10 more of these races. Adrian (my coach) stressed that as it was my first race I was not anywhere near 'race fit'. As im also making very very quick gains to my watts and general power im excited to see what me race fit will be like. Even more so after racing my biggest race to date called the Wally Gimber E/1/2.

I had a great week of preparation for the race, with a great mix of rides to open me up and gentle rides to feel fresh. on the night of the race i had a bad night sleep and was worrying about the clocks going forward and if my phone would change etc etc.. but also of course how i would cope mixing it up with some great riders. woke up with a very bad broken sleep at 5:45 and was afraid to go back to sleep! so i just made sure I was ready. stretching and a good breakfast and off down the M25 and M20 to Kent! fell asleep in the car and woke up and we we're about just under 2 hours to spare which was great. the reason being so because me and the taxi driver (mum lol) grabbed a outline map of the course and did a lap! past a tough looking climb and a long fast decent. one of the first few riders to grab my numbers we had a nice chilled getting ready for the race. half getting ready Team UK youth roll up with the van and very nice looking kit! afterwards IG-Sigma sport too! was amazing to think that quite a few of these riders are riding on the continent and big big races in England! onto the neutralized, made sure i was up to the front 30 at least in the big field of 80. Flag down and a very very obvious change of pace and the start of the race. attacking left right and centre mainly from felt, sigma and UK youth and at least one of their riders got into the bi break. the Breaks generally happened around the first major climb and to be honest I felt as though i could of gone with it, I was very comfortable! but i had a clear mission in my head... DON'T GET DROPPED! :) so i stayed in the bunch and watched a big break go. UK youth and sigma sitting on the front clearly slowing the pace of the bunch to allow the breakaway and their riders more time ahead. I was really enjoying the race for the first 90K's and really liked going around the bunch seeing the big teams around me like Andrew Griffiths who has won the U23 national TT plus many many big races. Wouter Sybrandy who is such a power house and raced the Tour of Briton and achieved high respectable medals at the Senior TT championships. Anyway hint of star struck. Then after the 90K mark we were told to stop!? with confusion as to why we (the bunch) though there must of been a really bad crash. So I and a few others dashed for a quick piss. probably waited for 15-25 mins and found out that the breakaway overtook the lead car. I dont need to tell you whats wrong here but the commissionaire wasnt happy! But after a long debate over what should happen they were allowed to resume as per nothing happened! the gap was given there minute and 48 seconds including to chasing riders with a minute and we were off and i thought it was great as I am probably one of the youngest riders in the bunch I thought I wouldnt be as stiff as the older riders. oh how was I wrong! for some reason the bunch after seeing the breakaway felt the need to umph the pace on and it really did. still comfortable and giving mum the sly thumbs up letting her know im fine. Last lap (20k) and how painful of a lap it was! after passing the bell i decided that i'd have a dig on the tough long climb half way though the lap and i knew others would follow. So I did and success! I was away and with 3 other riders! :) got over the top and continued for 4-6 k's and after giving such an effort to get away i saw no hope and waited for the sprint... at 1 k to go another rider attacked. He made it very obvious he was going to though so i jumped onto his wheel pronto. but with 300 metres to go he was caught and so was I. I thought with my ability to have another big kick i might be so lucky to grab and BCF point or 2! but as Adrian has told me think of your attacks as match sticks in t=your pocket, once you've used them up there is no more to use. This was seriously the case for me and I just had jelly legs and I had a swarm of riders passing me... shame but overall really happy with the race, probably placed around 30-40th place in the end. asleep in the car back did an easy 20 min spin at home on our flat mountain bike trail course and felt better.
In hindsight I should of probably had a go for the breakaway. But, lots learned and a race next Saturday (March the 31st) where hopefully I can get a proper good result in. Fingers crossed!! :)

 me ripping the bunch apart on the race before Wally Gimber in the surrey league 2nd cat race! :-) 

bring on next week! 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Surrey league race - first of the 2012 season :-)

Morning of the race day, I was pretty nervous for a change as it was the first race this season. With everything prepared we were off, we being me and my mum a.k.a taxi driver! got there about 45 mins before with more than half the field already signed on! keen! no rush at getting ready with a small warm up I was ready for the neutralized section to start. off we went and people fighting for position in the neutralized made for some interesting manoeuvring of the bunch on to get through really narrow country roads, good thing there were no cars coming up the other way! flag waved but no real change in speed as the race started. sat in on the right hand side waiting to see if anyone good will go up the road but strangely nobody did?... but after about 15-ish minutes people tried half hearted attacks. I had a little go just to see if there would be any reaction and I didn't attack lets say but just a little jump to get somebody with me as I felt strong. I looked round and nobody wanted to follow so I decided to push on but not ever so hard and see what happens. then I get about a 25 second gap and im thinking... 'wow! what would happen if I had a go!!' did about 2 laps solo (about 18 miles). I look back to see I can see anybody coming up and yep here they all came! so I sat up and took the decent easy and was back in the bunch by the time of the bottom. decided to sit in the bunch for a bit to recover but I didn't notice a breakaway going away and I didn't think they'd be any threat as not really anybody i reconsigned but a 2 laps later I stared thinking that something inst right! so I tried to get away several times I did but only for about 5 mins each time. It was very VERY frustrating as other riders were just sitting on me and it was if everyone had a team mate up the road (only 3 riders were up) so at the bottom of a climb I had a really hard dig and success! I was gone! :) road for about half a lap and was joined by 5 other riders, 2 at first but other joining in the latter stages. the rain was getting very annoying. not because I was wet or cold, but just the sheer mud and tyre splatter going in my face! It was fine but I then had to take my Ockleys off because they were steaming up :( I was forced to either hover off the back or ride at the side or on the front. I was scared that I might crash because it was really difficult to see. half a lap to go and I stop working mainly because I was just wanting to not crash and also save myself for the sprint in hindsight maybe I should of helped a bit more to catch the riders upfront but I didn't know that they were as close as they were... 1k to go and becomes very tense im sitting about 4th wheel and had the idea to go on around 300 metres to go (uphill finish from 700 metres) I was worried people would sit on me when I attacked but when I did I was gone and came up 4th quite tired wet and a little frustrated I didn't win... I knew I could have I was in that break... oh well :)
17 BCF points in the bag. I feel so much stronger than last year. today was so much fun. last year it was more of a case of staying in the bunch and getting lucky hopefully now I can dictate races more now!

next stop Wally gimber trophy, there are a lot of teams there two UCI Continental teams IG-sigma sport and UK Youth Team. here is the start sheet: http://www.riderhq.com/events/wallygimbertrophy?p=3#e12

also here is the results of todays race http://www.surreyleague.co.uk/results/results2012/mar2012/mar17.htm

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Back from the Sun and Wet of Majorca

Im back from Majorca!! 
I had a great time and I think I learned a lot during my time there :) 
I went to this specific training camp http://www.stephenroche.com/ because one of my Mum's best friends was there and his name is Neil Martin. Neil martin was a former Pro just like his son who is now a current top professional bike rider named Dan Martin. I learned a lot talking about his son and learning bit and bobs of the world tour scene. If only I had a note pad and pencil on my rides with Neil! just joking! I came very nervous about how I would get on and how strong I would be to other riders. but because on the first week basically nobody was there it was just me, Neil and another rider from Majorca who races himself called Agustin. As time progressed so did my confidence and the fun I was having followed in quick pursuit! :) I loved the aggressive riding with other riders I loved winning, I loved that feel of power! Second week came, and so did other riders. great Sunday chilled ride with fantastic weather even though I was too bouncy and just couldn't help myself... looking back on my SRM data it looks as if not only every hill but everywhere I was attacking! not every time it was me that started it though! ;-). after that S**T weather day after day, I didn't mind the rain or hail so much just the COLD! ;( my inexperience let me down big time and I didn't bring gloves! I was too used to the warmth of the past week. Don't worry though I got better as the week went on (learning). Also I didn't get sick! :) a week of cold and others going down it was time for me to go back home and it was the right time to go I was feeling fatigued even though I tried to not show it. But I need to start preparing for the Race season.  

day off on the Thursday (March 8th) because of travelling and a easy hour the day after was the right thing I needed :) today I aimed for 2 hours and take it by the half hour and see how I feel. I did just over 2 hours and felt good a small tempo effort on box hill was all. came back and Paris-Nice and did a small mountain bike ride with our family dog so he has some exercise. I have planned to have a group ride tomorrow and another easy day on the Monday. 

my schedule:

1st race 17th March  (hopefully wont get a kicking)

2nd race 25th March

3rd race 31st March

This little fella was trying to cross the road on my easy ride :-) I gave him a little help