It really didn’t take long for me to get itchy feet again and get out on the bike after the end of the season. I did manage two weeks of total rest from the bike, I spent these weeks with my family, catching up with friends and spending a lot of much needed time with my girlfriend.
33 races done, 500 UCI points scored, 1 British Title Won. Sat here now it feels like it was a long season, which left me both physically and mentally drained but on the other hand it doesn't seem all that long ago I was sat at the top of a French mountain at the end of 2 week training camp itching to get on the plane to America to start racing another Cross season.
It feels good just writing the words, National Champion. I left you at the end of my last blog sat on the sofa watching the Superprestige race in Diegem unable to race due to a back injury. I am so glad I did that now, taking things easy then really helped make the difference come national champs day, not a hint of injury was in my mind on the start line and I raced pain free (sort of, my legs were still screaming come the last lap).
Whenever there is a long gap between me writing blogs it usually means I have been really busy training and racing hard. This time is no different! I ended the last blog on the disappointment of the Koppenberg Cross and as I mentioned next up would be the Superprestige at Hamme. I got a really good weeks training in between the two races and morale was high as my girlfriend was able to come and visit for just over a week. Being away from friends and family the majority of the year is hard so when you do get to see them it really makes a difference.
Long time no blog! Since my last blog a lot has happened in my world. First up was the Superprestige in Zonhoven. I rode really well on the uber-tough sandy course and picked up another top 20, eventually finishing 16th. I was really pleased as I don't get to race in sand much and it shows I have the needed skills to compete well in those conditions which until that race I hadn't really believed I could...
Hey, my lack of blogs and reports are due to me being a busy bike rider over the past few days! I'll start at the beginning. After the dissapointment of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde next up was the Kermiscross in Ardooie, a midweek UCI C2 event that gave me a chance to quickly turn things around. I had ridden the event a couple of seasons ago on one of my smaller but frequent trips to Belgium when I was just dipping my toe into the European cross scene to get a gauge if I could make it in the rough-and-tumble world of Belgian cross...
Some days are good, same days are bad, and some days are a bit of both. Yesterday was a bit of both which left me very frustrated and disappointed with my result. It was the opening round of the Superprestige series at Ruddervoorde, I am obviously going well at the moment and had no real reason apart from the fact I didn't think I liked the course that much to not get another top 20 result...
Hey folks, first round of the GVA series - it's one of the big three (World Cup, Superprestige and GVA) top 20's at these races were my aim for the year, I got 13th at Namen. It's strange, I almost feel like I don't need to write about it: 13th at a GVA speaks for itself. A good start, I rode with my head, had good legs and technically rode well on a super hard course. Many people were surprised with my result but deep down I kind of knew after the first two races that I had a big result within me I just didn't know when it would come out...
We're pleased to announce that 24 year old Pro Cyclo Cross rider Ian Field has joined VeloVeritas as our newest blogger. Ian was 4th in the British Championships, and moved to Belgium to try and make it in the big bad world of Belgian 'cross. In his new blog, you can follow his progress on the international stage, backed by English sponsor Hargroves Cycles. Following last year's steep learning curve, Ian is back for more in Belgium, taking another step towards the top of the sport. Follow Ian right here on VeloVeritas throughout the winter!
Here at VeloVeritas we pride ourselves on always getting ‘a word’ with the new British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion; the late, great Jason Macintyre, Michael Hutchinson, Joe Perret, Matt Bottril, Ryan Perry, Dan Bigham have all taken time to speak to us. In joint silver medal slot at the recent British 25 Mile Time Trial Championships was Chris Bartley (AS Test Team), former World Rowing Champion and Olympic silver medallist.
The 2018 European Time Trial Championships didn’t produce a surprise winner, or runner-up but there were a few surprises lower down the order, men who we’d expected to go a tad faster. But the parcours was pretty technical and not one for the pure ‘Boulevard Blasters.’ Here’s the VeloVeritas rap on the top 15.
Here at VeloVeritas we like to keep abreast of those competition records, down south and up here in Bonnie Scotland, for example the CTT British 50 mile time trial record, recently broken; how does 50 miles in 90 minutes sound? That’s the ride big Polish ‘chronoman’ Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ) produced: 1:30:31.
It hasn’t been a good week for the sport of cycling’s past champions; but not just men who won races, colourful men with personality. First we lost six day star Andreas Kappes to a bee sting, of all things. And we heard today that Armand de las Cuevas had taken his own life on the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, which was his home in recent years.
It’s with much sadness that we report the death of former Six Day and road star, Germany’s Andreas Kappes at just 52 years of age. He was stung by a bee whilst on cycling team management duties and died from ‘allergic shock’ on 31st July. Kappes was one of the all-time great Six Day men, rated 18th in the last edition of the Six Day results ‘bible’ – ‘Statistieken.’