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.
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!
Our first question to Grant Ferguson, perhaps better known for his mountain bike and cyclo-cross (he’s reigning British Elite Cyclo-Cross champion, don’t forget) adventures, following his win in this year's Scottish Hill Climb championships was "did you have a back brake this time, Grant?"
The other day we were congratulating ourselves on the fact that we’d spoken to every CTT competition record holder from 10 miles to 12 hours, including Stuart Travis’s recent blitzing of the ‘30’ record. However, we were reminded that all of those were men’s records and we should pay attention to the ladies. Enter Ms. Alice Lethbridge, competition record holder at 15 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours – not to mention a member of the record breaking teams at 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles.
It was back in May 2015 when Jim Cusick told us about the professional jockey who was riding time trials. Since then Wilson Renwick has swapped equine saddles for the narrower models you find on time trial bikes, winning the Scottish 'Olympic' Time Trial Championship back in the spring of this year and has just added the classic Tour of the Trossachs to his palmares. We caught up with him the day after his epic ride on what was the toughest day most can remember for the event.
On a day of relentless rain which couldn’t decide whether it was apocalyptic or biblical, former jockey and reigning Scottish Olympic Time Trial Champion, Wilson Renwick (RT 23) was the man who coped best with the drastic conditions. Last man off and former Trossachs top dog, Chris Smart (GTR – Return To Life) finished second with 1:09:57 to Renwick’s 1:07:47. Last place on the podium went to Scottish Hill Climb Champion, David Griffiths (Bioracer-Project GO) with 1:10:23.
The 30 Mile TT Record was held by Michael (Doctor Hutch) Hutchison with 55:39 but was smashed recently in the Leo Road Club event by Stuart Travis, with 53:44. The record actually fell before the Team Bottrill man finished with Gary Chambers (NOPINZ) clocking 55:09 before Travis depth charged that with his 53 minute ride. Travis also led his team to a new team record by a remarkable 10 minutes. Here’s what Mr. Travis had to say to VeloVeritas a day or two after he put his name on the same page in the CTT record book as some of the greatest short distance time trial riders the sport has ever known.