Sheffield B38/underpin road race E/1/2/3
I didn't know what to expect in this race. I had had 10 days off the bike with illness, loosing 3kg in process (put back on before the race) and the parcour was challenging, to say the least. It was comforting to have teammates in the form of Ollie Hucks and Tim Jones also taking on the days 65 miles and 7500ft of climbing. I was very active in the first 45 minutes, following moves and staying at the pointy end. This was was quite naive of me and displayed my inexperience as I had never raced for 3 hours before. Regardless, a break of 7 was established and I wasn't in it. The bunch continued chasing and the gap to the break wasn't growing until the 2 hour mark when the remaining impetus in the bunch fizzled out. Our paced slowed and riders started attacking in ones and twos. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it into any of these moves. I was still in the, now significantly depleted, bunch and we came to the final hill in the race on top of which lay the finish line. I, again showing my inexperience, went early from the bunch. The 15 previous times up the climb suddenly manifested themselves, seizing my legs and I came to a grinding halt. 4 guys then breezed passed me, leaving me just outside the points in 22nd. A result I am proud of off somewhat limited training.
Harvey Hadden crit 3/4
I was 1 point away from 2nd cat and this race was to be my last race of the season to pick up that final point allowing me to enter some higher standard races next year. The crit is our local University circuit so I knew it well and there was plenty of support which is always welcome. I attacked with another rider from the start and we quickly opened a 10 second gap in the first lap. The other rider then dropped off on lap 2 leaving me on my own with a small lead on the bunch. Not being one to give up, I quickly set about increasing my lead and trying not to think about the hour of racing I had left. For 25 minutes my gap to the bunch remained at 30 seconds. Undeterred, I put head down and focused on time trialing my way to the finish. Fortunately the bunch stopped chasing, allowing me to take some more time and I had a near 2 minute lead 40 minutes in. I then knew, barring any incident, I could take the win. I pushed on and managed to catch the back of the bunch at 45 minutes, as a consequence, last lap is called, so I rolled off the front to get that all important finishing photo (which is sadly yet to be released)
2018 Season: my thoughts
This year has been the hardest year yet. Not Physically, but mentally. I am a triathlete and I haven't done a triathlon for over a year now. Recurrent injuries have prohibited me from proper run training/racing for 8 months, thus leaving swim/bike training feeling shallow and pointless since I had no goals to aim for. There is no other way to say it; It has been a struggle. I did some light hearted cycle road racing in may and June, without a racing license, and loved it. It gave me renewed motivation and I realized I wasn't that bad. Through June and July I took a mid season break to gain some perspective. I went to Australia to visit my sister and we road tripped down the East coast. On my return I thought I'd give a bit road racing a proper go for the last few months of the season, so I bought my racing license, entered a few races and I haven't looked back. I've had the most enjoyable racing I've ever had in my sporting endeavors but the niggling thought remained in my mind that I was, technically, still a triathlete. JUST LOOK AT THE NAME OF MY BLOG!! But I have to follow what feels 'right' and I will now be a 'cyclist' for the foreseeable future. Saying this feels like a weight off my shoulders and I am seriously excited about 2019 season and beyond.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me in my Triathlon exploits to date. Specifically my coach since day 1, Perry Agass, who has guided me and taught me so many valuable lessons on our near 4 year journey. Perry, thank you.
ETE, who have supported me greatly over the last 2 years- if you ever want to give a sports camp a go, hit them up!
Finally, Pedal Potential, who have provided me with unwavering support since 2015. I am extremely thankful for your belief in me!
I'm very much looking forward to the future. Here's to 2019 🍻.