Monday, 11 July 2016

June a Big Month of Racing

So the first weekend in June saw the Regional Championship Road Race. My region is the North East, I've felt the pressure of this race for some time this season as I won it in 2015. One of my season goals was to defend the title.
Crossing the line for my second regional road race victory.
On the day of the Regional road race, I was feeling in good shape. As the race started it seemed that no one was interested in racing, the neutral had finished and there were no attacks. I decided to try upping the pace to start the race off as I wanted it to be hard from start to finish to wear people down. I looked back after about 300m of upping the pace and had a gap, which I wasn't expecting at all. I decided to keep riding at tempo and I just kept taking the gap out. At one point in the race I had 2 minutes on the bunch, been away meant I took the first kom points. After 50km the bunch finally caught me, I was hoping that a small group would but I still felt good and was able to follow most moves. After the second descent of the Ryals a break went up the road and I missed it, I was able to bridge across on my own. Unfortunately this break was caught shortly after. about 5km later a 3 man move went and they were all strong riders and I knew that was the winning break. I attacked and got across with 2 other riders. We all worked well together until the end, on the penultimate ascent of the Ryals I comfortable took the Kom point and was feeling confident about the win as we had one lap to go and the race finished at the top of the Ryals. Coming into the foot of the Ryals the final time, I attack at the start of the first part of them and soloed to my second Regional road race win, and my team mate Richard Jones got a great 2nd place.

I continued training hard after the regional road race as my main goal of the season is to get a top 5 in the U23 national time trial championships, I was 10th in 2015.
The weekend after the win I did a 25 mile time trial in preparation for nationals. The field was strong with names like Harry Tanfield, Josh Teasdale and Kieth Murray. I was unsure how I would do as it was my first 25 since 2013 and I had never beaten Josh or Harry in a time trial before. The day was a perfect day for a fast time. I knew what numbers I should have been able to do so I just aimed to ride to that and hope that was enough for the win. I did the 25 miles in 47 minutes 12 seconds, this is over 6 minutes of my personal best 3 years ago and it also was fast enough to take the win by around 30 seconds. Later that day I found out this time puts me at the 13th fastest person even in the UK over 25 miles. Also this time and the data gave me a lot of confidence for nationals in 2 weeks.

I took an easy weeks training after the 25 as I had the Beaumont then nationals so wanted to be fresh for these events.
In the break at Beaumont Trophy.
The Beaumont Trophy UCI 1.2, my form had been good so far this month. I got in the early move and was hoping the race would come to us but there wasn't enough big teams in it so after 100km in a 5 man move we were caught. In the process I was only able to manage 2nd in the sprints and kom competitions. I was able to stay with the bunch and for the rest of the race. The result wasn't the one I was hoping but I was happy with my my legs were going into nationals week. It would have been nice to win the kom or sprints competition but that's racing.

With only 4 day till the national time trial champs I aim to recover as well as possible and go into the time trial with fresh legs.
National U23 Time Trial Championship
Taking a corner in the national time trial.
The field for the under 23 time trial was very strong and going of last years results it was going to be a hard goal to achieve a top 5 but I kept positive and just focused on giving it my all and leaving everything on the road. The course have a technical section through Stockton town centre then and out and back dual carriage way section. I planned to try carry as much speed through the corners as possible to try preventing big spikes in my power to help me maintain a higher power for the 22 miles. I was 10th seed and when I finished I was in 2nd place 7 seconds behind 1st, all the favorites were still to come in and it was a nervous wait to find out how far I would get knocked down the results. All was going well and only got knocked down to 4th and just missing out on a podium by 7 seconds while only been 37 seconds off the winner was great. Last year I was around 2 minutes of the winner. I'm really happy with the improvements gained over the last year and hitting my goal for 2 years in a row. Last years goal was to get a top 10 which I achieved 10th and this year was to get a top 5 and I got 4th.

Riding at the front in the national road race gutted to miss the split.
The national road race championships 3 days after the time trial. After the ride in the time trial I was feeling good ready for the road race. The plan was to stay near the front and try making the split. I was well positioned for the first hour, till I had a banana and the pace went on and I slipped out of the top 20 and by the time I got near the front a group had gone off the front. I knew that would be the winning move so tried to get across but got within 5 seconds and couldn't close anymore which was gutting. Once the break was set no one was really riding so a small group of us just started riding on the front until we got pulled out at 170km. This was annoying as there was only 6 u23 riders up the road. The race was a great experience and I learnt a lot in the 4 hours.

Now I'm going to Gran Canaria for 10 days for a mid season training camp/ holiday to get focused and ready for the final few months of the season.

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