Wednesday, 3 August 2016

'A good month' July blog.

So after nationals I went to Gran Canaria for 10 day of training and chilling out away from the UK.
Going abroad was a good change and give some more motivation and morale. The training was more to enjoy riding a bike rather than be structured. I was riding each day and just doing what I wanted which was nice. I did roughly 4 hours a day with 1 rest day. As the island is very hilly it meant I just rode up the climbs at tempo to threshold as I enjoy that type of effort strangely.
With a good block of riding in I came back to the UK 2 days before Ryedale GP. This race is one of the toughest on the UK calendar. A break got away early and no NFTO riders were represented so they controlled the race till the break was pulled back. Unfortunately a lap before the catch was made I dropped my chain at the bottom of the climb through the campus grounds. I chased hard and got back on just as the break was about to be caught, this wasn't an ideal situation as I was near the back for the climb and big splits were happening on the climb. I managed to ride my way on to the second group on the road riding for 18th which was a big ask to gain that much ground to get on to. On the final lap I was able to get away in the campus and take 18th.
Happy with how my legs were I was looking forward to Wales GP the following week. The race started fast and I was well placed in the top 30. Then there was a bad crash involving a car and the bunch lucky no one was badly hurt, the race got stopped for some time then neutralized for some time. Not knowing what was happening I was just talking to mates and then the race kicked off again, it was lined out and I was badly placed. Going into the narrow section near the back wasn't the best as it was very hard to move up. On the climb that was around 8 minutes long the race split to bits I moved past a lot of riders on the climb and was still out the back of the race. I managed to ride myself back onto the peleton over about 15 km. This took a lot of energy but I was the last person top get back on. The race went on to a 7km crit like course, been near the back on a course like this is less than ideal with big kicks out of corners. I managed to keep in contact for 6 of the 10 laps before the elastic snapped and my legs couldn't respond anymore. This was game over for me and not the result I wanted.
I knew my legs were good and on the club 10 on the Thursday after Wales I managed to do an 18.48 on my local course taking 25 seconds out of Chris Newton's Course record and 43 seconds out of my course PB.
The day after I traveled down to Milton Keynes for Corley 3 day.
Stage 1 was around MK Bowl. The race was fast from the start with no breaks sticking. After 40 minutes I got away solo meaning I had 20 minutes plus 5 laps to do. Spirit Bikes had all 10 riders on the front chasing flat out to bring me back and they eventually did with 3 laps to go. I finished 10th after my efforts.
Stage 2 was a 80km road race on a 4km course. the break when after 5 laps I was able to get in this. Pedal Heaven had 3 riders in it but weren't committed and the break came back with 2 laps to go. on the final lap I attacked at the same time as George Atkins with around 1.5km to go we got clear and managed to hold off the bunch to the finish. I was able to out sprint George for the win. The win put me in the lead going into the 9km team time trial.
The team time trial went well with the team giving it their all. The team were 4 seconds behind spirit bikes who took the lead back with that time split.
Going into the final stage I was in second place 2 seconds down. Spirit took the race on attacking from the off. I managed to get in the break with 3 other of my team mates and 4 spirit riders but the spirit riders wouldn't work with us and the break was brought back with 10 miles to go. On the final lap I attacked within the final km I. The race finished about 200m after the top of a short climb. I unfortunately got swept up with 150m to go. Thinking I got 3rd on the GC but there were gaps in the top 5 on the stage and I slipped down to 7th on GC which wasn't great news.
On the 30th I went to Levens 10 mile tt hoping for a fast time but the weather was against me. There was a strong head wind out and the wind dropped slightly on the way back. I ended up with 19.11 and 2nd place to Ryan Perry so not too bad.
The day after I was at The Billy Warnock Memorial Road Race hoping to retain the win from 2015. I attacked from the start and a group came across to me after 10 miles. We worked well together but then a chase group got across and the group was too big to work well together. So me and Charlie Tanfield kept attacking the group until Charlie got a good gap from counter attacking once I was brought back. He was in a 3 man move. The team just shut moves down and the gap to the 3 leaders went to over a minute and the peleton brought us back, with 1 lap to go and the gap to the leader at around 1 minute 30 seconds. Fraser Martin attacked and I followed him after 2 miles we went into the head wind section and I rode away from Fraser and managed to bridge to the 3 leaders with 6 miles to go to the finish. Charlie attacked with about 5 miles to go and I just sat on the other 2 until about 2 mile to go and the gap to Charlie around 40 seconds. I got away on my own and was closing on Charlie but the win was his if I caught him or not. I ended up finishing 9 seconds behind him and took 2nd. A great day out for the team getting a 1,2 in the race and the same result as 2015. The race was a success.
Onto August now and a 9 day stage race at the end of the month. So 2 weeks of good training is planned ready for that.

Sorry no pictures this month, having technical issues!

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