End of Season
I wanted to start this blog by saying a huge thank you to my coach Huw Spacey. Huw has been my coach since I got accepted on to the Vitfor Future champions programme three and a half years ago and has helped me to develop to where I am now. When Huw told me he was stepping back from coaching I was upset as we've developed a great relationship. I'm still with the Vitfor programme but I've now moved over to being coached by Craig Stevenson who heads up the project and does all my testing.
A change of coach can be disruptive but Huw and Craig have handled the changeover really well, and, as I'm staying within the Vitfor project, it's minimised the impact of the move.
I want to wish Huw all the best for the future and thank him for his help and support.
Monsal Hill Climb
As always the 92nd running of iconic Monsal Hill Climb was a great day out on the hill with Marc Etches and the Sheffrec team doing a great job every year to put on this fantastic event. Luckily, the weather held out and the hill dried out over the course of the day so by the time I was off, it was nearly dry.
This is the only hill climb I do each year as it's on my doorstep so it's easy to get to. I don't have any special super light equipment and just ride my standard road team bike and kit for the event.
I had a good ride and put in the best effort I could. I came away with second overall on the day; a result I was really pleased with. I did a time of 1:22.2 although I thought I'd gone faster than that.
It was great to have a chat with Larry after the race. The interview with Larry from VeloUK can be found here (I'm holding on to the wall to prevent myself falling over).
I was really looking forward to Beaumont. It was the last National A of the year and with the climb of the Ryalls each lap, it's a course that should on paper suit me and I was in good form for it. There is a great write up of the race on the British Continental website here
Suffice to say, I raced like a complete novice, Craig called me something worse :) I did way too much chasing to try and help our group close the gap to the leaders and eventually the legs popped after 3 hours. We got to within 30 seconds of the leaders but then all work would stop. I went from second group on the road to out the back. That was my day done.
While I "finished" (crossed the line), I was outside the time cut so didn't get placed. A disappointing end to the race and to the season as I know better than to race like that.
It was then in to 10 days off the bike and some rest.
I'm currently in my first 4 week block after my time off the bike and I've booked in for my winter test in late November. This is typically a test to set the baselines for the winter training.
Craig and I have started planning for next year. 2023 is going to be a very important (and busy) year for me.
My goal for next year, which the team is supporting me on, is to race the first half of the season in UK with Cycling Sheffield while I finish off my degree. Following on from final exams I then want to try and get a place on a French team and move to France for the summer. Then if I do well over the summer for the team and perform in races to get offered a permanent place on a team with a high quality race calendar.
I've been applying for teams in France and I am excited to see what will come of it.
Finally, I want to thank all the people that have supported me this year in what has been the first full season since 2019. So a huge thanks to Cycling Sheffield, Pedal Potential, Paul at Fellas and Vitfor for helping to make the year what it has been. I'm looking forward to continuing my development in 2023 and hopefully getting some good results.