Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeBlogsTerra Footwear-Bicycle Line's Josh Cunningham's BlogPlease Welcome Our Newest Blogger: Josh Cunningham

Please Welcome Our Newest Blogger: Josh Cunningham

-

Hello. I suppose I had better start with an introduction! My name is Josh Cunningham, I am 20 year old, and for two years I have committed myself to the formidable task of “making it”, in the world of professional cycling, or at least get as far as I can possibly go in realising these utopian dreams.

I started racing with intent in the 2009 season, for the then called In-Gear Development Squad.

After a season racing locally in the South East of England, with some Premier Calendars and trips to Belgium mixed in, a plan was formulated with two team mates to take the plunge and move abroad to ride under the name of Flanders Racing.

Josh Cunningham
I enjoyed my time racing with Flanders.

We rode a season almost entirely consisting of the mythical kermesse/kermees/kermis racing scene, and certainly from my point of view, rode the peaks, troughs and all else that entails in living the life of an amateur cyclist… I just had to go back for more.

I shan’t go into the gory details, but my 2010 season was, in my eyes, not as fruitful as I had hoped.

The troughs for me came in the form of illness, until July when I was involved in a text book sprint finish pile up, subsequently breaking my wrist, where they took the form of metal plates and scar tissue.

Josh Cunningham
Nothing else to do but smile.

I ploughed on through though, and after riding as a guest for the Japanese Eurasia Team, I managed to finally pull some decent results out of the bag and do enough to gain a team, and a plan, for 2011.

This year, I will be riding for the Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club, riding in the “Beker Van Belgie”, or “Cup of Belgium” series, some “Top Competition” events, as well as some pro and UCI races.

A calendar like this cannot be faulted, and will hopefully provide the foundation for a good season of racing.

I’ll be living in a town called Zottegem in West Flanders, just east of the infamous Vlaamse Ardennen (where those short, steep, unforgiving, terribly bumpy bits of road are) and the cycling Mecca that is Oudenaarde.

Josh Cunningham
Where in the world Zottegem is.

My four house mates are made up of two Englishmen, Matt Green and Conor Dunne, and two Australians, Adam Blake and Chris Jory, all of whom will be riding for VL Tecniks, a newly promoted Top Competition team.

Enough of the background digest though; What’s happening now?

Well, all that typifies being a full time amateur cyclist in short; working and training.

I returned from Belgium in mid October, and duly set about getting a job to fund the following season.

The Bannatyne Hotel in Hastings has since been my main employer, and between waiting shifts there, I have also found time to do some garden landscaping, decorating, and bathroom tiling too.

Maybe if the cycling doesn’t work out I could become a property developer?

I have, however, been doing my best this winter to limit the possibilities of that happening, fitting a good deal of miles and gym sessions in around the ad-hoc work schedule.

The ‘catch-22’ situation that confronted me was whether to prioritise training or work; money needed to fund being full time for 6 months, training needed to make that time worthwhile.

Now five months down the line, I think I’ve done pretty well in getting that balance.

Of course I will only know whether I’m right or not come March, and the start of the racing season.

With the base out of the way, I’m starting to build turbo sessions and hill reps into my schedule, and it won’t be long before these are replaced by races, with my first calendared event being Brussels-Zepperen on 7th March.

So that’s the deal.

I’ll be writing throughout the season keeping all those interested up to date with the highs, lows, to’s and fro’s of my second season in Belgium, continuing on the merciless ladder of bike racing.

Josh

If you like this, you’ll love Josh’s site.

Related Articles

KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde – Day 3, Zottegem

Stage two is the longest at nearly 230 K, from Zottegem to Sint-Idesbald, a quick breenge around the bergs then a charge back to the coast and two finishing laps. Viktor wanted to see his hero, Guy Smet at a kermesse near Bruges, so my race watching was courtesy of the plasma screen in a cafe.

Peter Murphy – “Go To Belgium”

Scottish bike racing; let's face it, no matter how well you do in the Super Sixes, or how quick you can go around West Ferry, you're going nowhere if you stay in Auld Scotia.

Mark McNally – Everything geared to the Tour of Britain

The summer is coming to an end so it must be time for Madison-Genesis rider Mark McNally to come to form... McNally is a product of the British ‘cycling academy’ system and was a member of the winning team in the European junior team pursuit championship in 2007 and European U23 team pursuit championship in 2008.

Tom Murray – Unfinished Business

Continuing our series about racing in Belgium, we had a chat with Tom Murray last week, who is back racing on the continent after the Plowman Craven Madison team ceased operations.

Living at Mrs Deene’s Cyclists’ B&B – Part One; ‘St David’s Guest House’

If you had visited or raced in Gent in the 60's and 70's the chances were that you would have stayed at ‘Fat’ Albert Beurick’s "Café Den Engel", his later joint-venture with Tom Simpson five miles out of town, the "Velotel Tom Simpson" motel, or "St David’s Guest House" run by Mrs Deene, right in the very heart of the historic old centre of Gent. Reader John Day reminisces about his time there.

Michael Nicholson – “I’m pretty low maintenance”

Scotland’s Michael Nicholson was in fine form for the four stage Tour of the North, held over the Easter weekend in Ireland. He took eighth in the stage one prologue, seventh on stage two, won stage three and was 11th on stage four to give him a final second on GC behind Velo Veritas regular, James Moss (Node4-Giordana).

At Random

Entrepreneurs on the Saddle – an extract from “The Cycling Professor”

"Entrepreneurs on the Saddle" is the first of several excerpts from my book "The Cycling Professor", to give you a flavour of the topics I discuss in it. Thanks to the guys at VeloVeritas for the opportunity to do this.

Colby Pearce – Chats about his Hour Record Experiences; “Everything Hurts!”

It's all very well for us at VeloVeritas to pontificate about The Jensie and Hour Records but what about the thoughts of a man who knows the pain of The Hour at first hand? Former United States hour record holder Colby Pearce - who last year attempted to take the record back and also set the standard for the US "Athlete's Hour" - is a good man to talk to.

Mark Stewart – In the medals at the World Track Championships

VeloVeritas has spoken to Katie Archibald and Jack Carlin - but our review of Scottish medallists at The Track Worlds in Apeldoorn wouldn’t be complete without speaking to Mr. Mark Stewart, bronze medal winner in the points race behind that remarkable Aussie, Cameron Meyer who took his fifth points title with big Dutchman, Van Schip taking silver.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2012

From the point that his Sky Procycling teammates took up station on the front of the peloton with 60km to go in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Mark Cavendish never looked like losing today, and so it proved as he swept to an easy bunch sprint win over FDJ-Big Mat's Yauheni Hutarovich with Vacansoleil-DCM's Kenny Van Hummel in third.

Harry Tanfield – A Strong Start to the Season

It was 2013 when Harry Tanfield (Pedal Heaven) first came into our sights, winning the Dave Campbell Memorial Road Race in the Kingdom of Fife. We ran a full interview with him 2014 when our man with his finger on the Flemish pulse, Viktor noted that young Mr. Tanfield had been ‘doing the biz’ in the kermises. And it’s time for another chat with the 21 year-old from Middlesbrough after he repeated his 2013 Dave Campbell victory on the tough roads of Central Fife at the weekend. We caught up with him the day after his win.

Grenoble Six Day 2010, Night Four – Good Morale at the Track

"Dirk, you're working on the bikes early today," says me at the Grenoble Six Day 2010. "Yes, I must finish early so I can watch the darts on BBC TV in my camper van!" I didn't expect that answer," says me. "Yes, I must finish early so I can watch the darts on BBC TV in my camper van!" I didn't expect that answer. He was telling me that the new Look 496 track frame costs in excess of €6,000 and there's a waiting list; they only build to order. They are beautiful though and as Dirk says; 'it's the best bike for the sprint and it's a genuine European product.' It's cool and grey in Grenoble today - and very quiet...