End of Year
After having my booster jab and feeling a little lousy I thought I’d write a summary of my year.
The year, as we all know started of strangely, with lots of uncertainty still lingering in the air. If you’ve read my other blogs, you can get a good idea of what I got up to whilst I was in Spain.
Looking back at my experience in Spain I have mixed emotions and learnt a lot of valuable life lessons. Firstly, I lived abroad with a group of like-minded guys which was a good laugh. I got to meet new friends both Spanish and English. Being able speak another language and adapt to a new culture was mega too. A shock at first but still mega. Also gaining the life lessons of living on your own/with other people whilst being more responsible was important for me. And finally, the training and racing was unparalleled. Living near Alicante, being in Sierra Nevada and going to the Basque was class. Not quite the Peak District but close.
However, the living situation together with my personal experience of not so good management led to me coming back home early, something I have not regretted at all. When I got back home, I was very stressed and not sure what direction to go to. So, when Dave from Cycling Sheffield gave me the opportunity to join the team, I was extremely grateful. It gave me a new direction and focus for the rest of the year.
It took me a while to get into the routine of things after illness, some time off and other stresses. But eventually I got going, culminating in a ride I can be proud of at the National Time Trial Championships. A long and stressful season but ultimately it has prepared me well for the future.
I had a long off season and did normal people things. Like; go to the pub, see my mates and go on a family holiday. It was beneficial to spend a lot more time in the gym too including a surprising 41-minute 10k with my local running club.
I’m into the full swing of winter training now working with Sam at NeoPro and Charlie at Qualified nutrition. Really enjoying learning more about my nutrition and different types of training ready for a strong calendar next year with the Cycling Sheffield boys.
I’d like to end the blog by thanking a few people for this season.
Pedal Potential and The Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund for the financial support, who without, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything I have this year.
Dave at Cycling Sheffield for taking me on board and giving me the opportunity for next season.
Joe at the Aurahub for providing ongoing support into the new year.
Clint at Pro-fit personal training for the physio and massage support.
And to end it all the biggest thanks to my parents for the best support in the world x
September was a busy racing month for me all about slowly recovering from my tonsilitis and antibiotics which fried me a lot.
The first race was a classic Darley moor Nat B. I tried my best to get away a few times but nothing I got in stuck, it was good to see my team mates George and James get up the road to get top 10’s though. Then the day after was my first hill climb of the year at Holly lane. I was disappointed with this result and felt like I had no top end VO2 max, but it was good to get a first HC in the bank.
The weekend after was another double header. My first open 25 TT on Saturday was a good one. My first race on my TT bike too. I did a 52-20 which placed me joint 4th. Not bad for no disc or fancy aero stuff.
The Sunday was PB’s 2/3/4 RR. Another good aggressive race by me but nothing stuck except the last half lap which I missed! Annoyed but I stayed up there for the finish only to be nearly taken out twice which ruined all chances of a good result. But that’s racing.
Following on from that weekend, the weekend after I did a open 10 at Sherwood. A huge 1 min 20 PB with a time of 19-34. This placed me in 6th overall behind some serious TT hitters.
The 19th and day after the 10 was the Lewis Balyckyi Trust fund sportive. This was the last ever one and it was great. I did the 100 mile route and it took me around some beautiful new roads. However the highlight of the day was meeting Kevin and Jacqui and being able to thank them for all their support this year, I know you’re going to read this so thanks again. I really really appreciate it.
The following weekend was Beaumont Trophy. The last round of the national series. I was really looking forward to this race and it did not disappoint. I was really happy with my positioning in this race and I learned how to move up efficiently a lot. However I still didn’t have the legs I wanted. Getting dropped over the top of the 3rd climb, I got back in but then couldn’t hold it when we started the final lap. Eventually getting pulled before I could start the final lap. I did do 4 hours though which is the furthest I’ve got in a national series, defo a positive!
Now my focus is all in for the national time trial championships on October the 14th. Time to get aero!
Thanks to everyone who has read my blogs and supported me this year, it means a lot.
August has been a strange month with some ups and downs, on the up for September now tho.
The first day of August was my first race of the month in Upton. This was a Nat B with some hitters in attendance, the flat and fast course didn’t suit me characteristics as a rider, and it was my first ride back after having 2 weeks off the bike so I was fresh. The race was okay, I missed the move and just rolled in with the bunch. A good hard way to get back into the swing of things.
The week after was a heavy race week. I did the first round of the YBC on the 4th crits getting some good leg speed in and finishing 9th. The day after I was at Mallory Park which was a wet affair and I was not going well, but experience was gained. Then I travelled up to Northumberland with my family to pick up a TT bike. We stayed with family up there, and the Sloan Trophy RR was on the 8th, I originally did not get into the race but then I was told there may be spaces on the day. I turned up and got a ride in the race. I felt very strong on the day spending a lap off the front with soon to be team mate James Mckay. After 2 laps in the bunch I bridged over to 2 up the road who had 30 seconds on the bunch, 2 laps up the road resulted in 6th place on the day behind the 5 up the road. A good opportunity to race the closing miles of the Beaumont Trophy in September.
After being back for nearly a month, I mad the decision to stay in the UK for the rest of the year. Dave Coulson of Cycling Sheffield gave me the opportunity to join the team for the rest of the year. I am extremely grateful to Dave for this chance. I signed for the team on the 11th and did my first race on the same day. The second round of the YBC crits, finishing another 9th, still struggling with that race sharpness and top end speed.
The next race was Lancaster GP on the 15th. This was the first round of the National series and my first prem (premiere calendar) of the season. Here I felt bad, as soon as the flag dropped I was struggling doing a crazy high heart rate for power I know wasn’t good enough for me. Feeling not right I pulled out. I had a rest day the day after, then messed about on the MTB on the Tuesday. I felt ill again Tuesday night and went to the GP Wednesday. They told me I had tonsilitis and had to go on Antibiotics for 10 days.
I felt fit enough to start Ryedale GP on the 22nd (the second round of the national series). After another week of the bike pretty much I started Ryedale with low expectations. This race did not go to plan. Mechanical issues with my front mech, a dropped chain, broken glasses, a rear puncture and lack of legs was the summary. Everything except a crash pretty much aha. Just really not my day.
Then it was onto the final race of the month at the 3 day VE day stage race. Starting on the 28th. Stage 1 was TTT I gave it my all for the lads and they finished it off with a good 7th place on the day. Then stage 2 I felt a bit back to normal. Strong attacking riding and covering moves but nothing stuck for me or the lads. A move went with 40 mins to go and stayed away until the line. Stage 3 the following day started with a ITT, personally I took this one easier to save legs for the TTT and the RR to help the lads. Stage 4 was then another TTT, this time I felt stronger and emptied the tank to finish another 7th on the stage. This was also the day I finished my antibiotics. Going into the final day George and Will were well placed on GC. I spent the first hour full on. Covering all the moved getting in breaks and giving it my all to stop anything dangerous getting away from the boys. After an hour and 15 I got popped but I knew I gave it my all to help the lads. I finished a lap down on the winner, my team mate George Wood! This made the whole race a lot better. He’s flying.
For me now I am focusing on getting more racing in and building some form for the Beaumont Trophy and the National TT championships.
As always none of this would be possible without the help of Pedal potential and the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund.