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  • G Wood

2021 Early season update

It was a busy few months at the end of 2020 with joining a new team and starting Uni. It's not all been plain sailing with a lot of work pre Christmas to complete all the University assignments for the term but despite all the work I hit 100% of my training sessions set by Huw my coach at Vitfor as I build for my first U23 season in 2021.

I'm really pleased to confirm I've been accepted to be supported again for the 2021 season by the team at Pedal Potential. Thanks to Mark and the team for their ongoing support which helps make a massive difference.

Cycling Sheffield have been for a couple of rides so far, when we were allowed, and it has been great to meet my new team mates and have a chat while rolling along with them. There is some great experience in the team to provide advice and guidance.

Winter training has been going well with a few big blocks of increased volume from Christmas up until now. Meanwhile we had to allow a period of time in late Jan/early Feb to sit University exams.

I'm really excited to see National Hill Climb championships coming to Winnats Pass in the Peak District for the first time in 44 years on 31st Oct - this is a road I ride fairly frequently on training rides. Its a beast of a hill for which the segment details can be found on our Cycling Sheffield sponsor Veloviewer's website. It's going to be an epic event to be part of if I qualify - like Monsal Hill Climb on steroids with people lining the iconic climb.

I've put my entry in but first there is the matter of qualifying. I can't wait to be part of it.

Winnats Pass - photo Rob Bendall

With 2020 thankfully behind us and 2021 looking more positive with races possibly returning in Spring and Summer I'm really to ready to get out there and race hard. It's been a struggle sometimes to keep motivated to train when racing has seemed so far off and the snow and ice has limited the ability to get out safely on the road, but I've stuck to my plan and sessions set by my coach diligently, not missing a single session and staying healthy - even if this has meant a mind numbing 5 hour turbo session recently! Still, on balance, better to do that and prioritise being in good shape for the start of racing rather than risk hitting the deck on a patch of ice and messing up the start of the racing season that I've waited so long for!

I'm currently undertaking a project to build up a new TT bike and work on my position and efficiency following doing a few TTs last year. While I did ok in the TT's there were a number of areas I needed to think about and sort out in order to get the most of out my power. Having studied my results and efforts I found myself giving away a significant amount of time. This is where doing a Physics degree comes in handy. Thanks to Andy and the team at Giant Sheffield for their ongoing support with the frame and build. I'm looking forward to getting out on it and seeing what I can do.

The initial early season I will be looking to do 10's and 25's while we still emerge from the pandemic and until its safe for bunch racing to start up again. This will work well seeing how my training over winter has translated to improved performance in race type efforts.

With a few early season prems cancelled lets hope that things pick up and we can get as normal a race calendar as things allow. I'm sure all race organisers are struggling with all the requirements to put on safe racing and their efforts and hard work are very much appreciated by the whole racing community.

Finally having supported one of my training partners last year in his Everest effort myself and my training mates will once again be supporting Sam Smith on his Trenching attempt on 1st May (rules permitting) . Trenching is descending 11034m (and then climbing back up) to replicate the depth of the Mariana trench in the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean - the lowest point on earth.

Sam is raising money for CALM. You can donate here to help him hit his £800 target. It's going to be a big day out on the bike covering 300km and 57 reps of the same hill so please support him if you can.

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