Yesterday I raced the Senior National Madison Championships for the first time and finished in second place. My partner and I gained a lap mid race and picked up sprint points throughout. However as we had the same points as the 3rd place team, it came down to final finishing position. We finished strongly and secured the silver medal by a narrow margin. Very pleased with how I'm progressing and now really looking forward to the 2020 road season.
After a long season I'm currently in my off-season. I'm choosing to be completely off the bike for 2-3 weeks to rest and reset mentally. This is especially important because the winter ahead is going to be the hardest I've ever trained and will need me to be in a really good place mentally to get the most out of myself physically. During my time off I travelled up to Yorkshire to watch the world road race championships. The races were fun to watch and gave me lots of motivation for when I start to train again.
Now that Junior Tour of wales is over the season is almost at a close for me. Only one race left before going into training hibernation for the winter. The Tour of wales was very enjoyable and I did the best I could with the form I had. My best result was on the new Circuit of Wales in Pembrey which is a small closed road circuit with a few corners and a tiny hill every lap. We averaged ~46kph but a break snuck off the front so when I mopped up 3rd in the bunch sprint, I got 7th on the day. One final push now for the final race, Keizer der juniors.
Recently returned home from racing a 4 day stage race in Pamplona, Spain. Experienced some really hot weather but ended the stage race with the sprints jersey and a 3rd place on the final day. In my battle for the sprints jersey I began to almost only race against one rider, a Columbian called Oscar Tellez. He raced really aggressively and made me pull out every trick in the book to try and beat him. On the final sprint of the final day I beat him by enough to take the jersey home with me. Loved the competition and can't wait to get stuck into more racing soon.
Recently came back from two weeks on the road in Spain and France racing two very prestigious junior races, the Bizkaiko Itzulia and the Ain Bugey Valromey Tour. Had an absolute blast racing these races and really found a new level, especially in Spain. Now I'm home I'm building to national champs in two week, before that though I'm racing in Bedfordshire to see where the forms at.
Last Sunday was Cicle classic, this is my local round of the national series and I was really motivated to do well and get a good result. I felt good on the day and navigated my way through the gravel sectors without incidents. After a break went in the final kilometres I was sprinting for 3rd at best. I managed 3rd in the bunch sprint so 5th overall against some of the best riders in the country. I've got a big month of racing coming up so this result gives me some confidence for the races ahead.
The team had a fantastic 4 days in Poland. By stage 1b we had won one stage. By the end of stage 3 we had the leaders jersey and the points leader and young rider competition. By the end of the race Bob had won the overall. The 5 stages over 4 days were excellent. The team work was fantastic. This is a big deal as you are sacrificing your own chances of success for someone else. 400km done and a load of cups to bring home. Thanks to HMT Hospitals for a great week.
More Information: hmthospitalscyclingteam-uk.org
I was lucky enough to guest for the South East cycling team at the 4th Danilith Nokere Koerse road race around Kristhoutem in Belgium. 120kms with cobbles and ripping cross winds and ripping cross winds on the cobbles. It was a UCI 1.1 race - which is the highest standard of Road race. In the last 10kms I was away with 4 other riders. The finish was on a cobbled climb and I won the sprint. Have a look at the link for some footage and an interview for Belgium T.V. Thanks to Joeri DeConinck for some great photos.
More Information: avs.be
First race was 124 kms around Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne in Belgium. So-so weather a few bergs and a couple of cobbled sectors and it was going to be hard. I made the break and I was setting myself up for the sprint to win but was crashed into by another rider with about 300m to go. This is the cruel side of bike racing. You can do everything right - right up to the last few metres and it can be taken away - just like that. I am gutted not to be able to sprint and I truly believe that the race was mine to win. 2 weeks time I am back in a Belg for Nokere Koerse. Happy days.
I have been lucky enough to go to Calpe in Spain for half term. I am here staying with Colin Sturgess who is a former world champion. It has been a week of lovely weather - some lovely training and a week of learning. I managed my longest ride - 175km which was excellent as it felt pretty straight forward. I have a week until the first race of the season - KBK in Belgium.
Thank you Go Gold for the continued funding through 2019. It's so good to have the support and the belief. How did I celebrate? I did 3 hours on the bike and had a home cooked Spanish Omlette and a great big salad. The racing season is just around the corner. Before that I have a team camp in Yorkshire and a training week in Calpe, Spain. It's all good.
Saturday and Sunday between 9 and 2 none of my competitors are on Instagram. They are all doing the same thing; they are out on their bikes and they are out for around 4 hours or so. They are all doing this - all over the country there are groups of teenagers out at 9 and getting back hours later - sometimes cold, sometimes wet but always tired. We all know that if you post something on Insta on a weekend morning you should be doing something else - you should be on your bike - you should be out training because if you are not your going to get smashed when the racing starts. If you are not training when you should be - don't post anything, because if there is something worse than not training is broadcasting that you are not training!
I got into the London 6 and rode with a super strong London rider called Theo Modell. 120kms of Madison over 3 nights - I could not have been happier. The atmosphere was amazing with a few thousand spectators and banging music. The races were sooo fast with my top speed of 68kph. We got 4th on the 1st night, 4th on the second. On the last night we changed our tactics and got 2nd - just one sprint place off the win! What a fantastic experience - thank you London.
Last race of the season was a 2 day track meet. Its more like a track carnival or jamboree as its a load of fun. I was able to race with my good friend Matt Shaw - we were due to race nationals together but he was injured. 2 days doing Madison - great! If you have read any of my blogs you will get the idea that I love track racing and the best track races are Madison races. Matt and I stayed in London with friends and raced to 4th overall. The team was sponsored by Volcano Coffee Works and they were a great bunch. I am on a break now but there is talk of racing the London 6 Day - I just need to find a partner
More Information: volcanocoffeeworks.com
Tour of Wales for the East Midlands. 4 stages - lots of hills and one sprint stage. I am here with a great group of friends in the team. One noteable result was getting 3rd on day 2 - I was so close to winning the bunch sprint. This is a really important confirmation for me as a sprinter. Everyone was here - as well as the Kiwi team pursuit world champions - no excuses everyone was up for it and I was right there in the mix - check out the picture! - I am on the right.
I am back in Spain with HMT Hospitals. We are racing a 4 day stage race in Pamplona. There is no better feeling in cycling than shaping the race as a team or as a individual. I did this twice in the 4 days. The first was on day 1, I saw an opportunity to smash the race to bits on a crosswind section and this tactic got a teammate into the winning break. On day 3 I attacked with a teammate and rode all in for the last 30kms to the foot of the final 1km climb- this got the team the stage win and also the leaders jersey. It's nice to be the hammer for a change. (Thank you Martin Early for the photo).
More Information: youtu.be
I was back from Austria on Monday and down to Newport for Nationals on Tuesday. I am here for the Madison, points race and Kilo and then am going to Belgium on Friday. My intended Madison partner was injured but Owain Roberts stepped in and stepped up. After a really fast 30km we came in 9th team. I then broke my Club senior kilometre record. The points race was fast but great fun. This was a really interesting week for me as I had come in with zero track training and straight from a tour. It was interesting to find out how I would manage. I did pretty well and the experience will help me and my coach plan for next years track champs and with a little bit of specific training I could do pretty well. It also reminded me that I love track!
HMT Hospitals have given me a taste of being a fully supported bike racer. HMT provided me with the best kit, race nutrition, great wheels, mechanics and in Spain a masseur. With the investment comes responsibility and that was new to me and I needed to get my head round it. The Directer Sportif takes such an interest in the riders doing the work and not to muck about with your sport - commit to it - do it properly. 4 days in Spain and I learnt so much and I am so thankful for the opportunity from HMT. I am pleased to be home but I hope to race for HMT again.
My DS at HMT Mark has said that I can sprint, that I am a sprinter. Yesterday I showed that I am no climber! So I hope he is right. Today, day 2 Team HMT backed me for the sprint. One rider in the break the rest of the team led me out for the sprint. Having 4 lads drilling the front to drop me off with 200 metres to go was so exciting - I loved it. LOVED IT! I almost dropped the ball by running up the curb but I delivered my sprint pretty well. 10th on the stage - more importantly for HMT was that the team worked and gelled and Mark was pleased with what we did. Great day on a bike.
Day 1 of 4. This year I have won in the Mendips, hanging on in Monmouthshire and smashing around Melton at the Cicle Classic. I thought I could climb and climb fast - but these hills and the speed was just amazing. First day and first long climb and I was hanging. Trying to survive - trying not to lose too much time. I lost 6 minutes and I was worried that I didn't have it - that I was out of my depth. Not a great day for me. 3 more days looked pretty scary.
After finishing in the Netherlands we had a two day drive to the Basque Country. Wow that is a long way! HMT invests fully in the riders. We may have been able to drive in one day but to keep us fresh and help recover after 3 super hard days - we took 2 to travel. Each day we stopped at a hotel and did a short recovery ride on the turbo to turn the legs. Through Belgium - through Paris - next stop Poitiers overnight and then around the Pyrenees and finish at Durango in the Basque Country for a Spanish omelette. I have attached a recipe! Ready for 4 days Junior Tour of the Basque Country.
More Information: google.co.uk
3 days - 4 stages and not much time was spent below 45 kph. This was my first 3 day race and it was as tough as I thought it would be. The race was based in and around Eindhoven - a beautiful area of the Netherlands although I didn't see much more than the front wheel in front of me. My best day was a 7th place on day 2. The team manager was pleased and we were starting to properly gel together. A TT and a long stage later and I was hanging on to finish. 150 riders started and less than 80 finished so I was proud to be one of them. Thank you HMT. Phew!
I have just returned from 2 weeks racing in Europe for Team HMT Hospitals. I am absolutely thrilled and so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to ride for HMT. The team is super organised and prides itself on developing young riders. HMT is a Hospital charity that particularly invests in dementia diagnosis and care. This is close to my heart as my grandfather suffers from a dementia illness and so wearing the kit is very special to me. Our first race was in the Netherlands at Acht Van Bladel. It was tough.
124kms around the hills of Monmouthshire at the latest round of the National Junior Series. This course is arguably the hardest with the huge quantity of climbing - add a hot and sunny day and it was going to be hard. The peloton whittled down to 20 riders for the last lap. I was starting to really suffer and got dropped off the group. Very fatigued I took a corner way too fast trying to get back on and crashed into one of the convoy cars. A bit scraped up I rode into the finish. The process was good - shame about the finish.
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