Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeBlogsNode 4 Pro James Moss' BlogJames Moss Blog: Starting Writing

James Moss Blog: Starting Writing


For those of you who don’t know me – and I imagine that is most of you – my name is James Moss and I am about to begin my third season as a full time professional. After two enjoyable seasons riding for Endura Racing, I am pleased to say that this year I will be pinning numbers onto the jersey of a new team, Node 4 – Giordana Pro Cycling. Here’s my new James Moss Blog.

James Moss Blog
New season, new team.

I have ridden bikes of all varieties for the majority of my life now and it all began in the world of knobbly tyres back in my teens racing XC. I had a fair slice of success but it was never taken too seriously when I look back.

After a short sabbatical from racing to do the Uni’ thing (i.e. Drink – lots and often), I returned to racing, but the lack of XC mountain biking was to road racings gain and I started by doing mid week TLI handicap events in the Newcastle area organised by the now legendary Willy Thompson.

This quickly progressed and before I knew it I had won some BCF races, ridden a couple of Premier Calendars and was lucky enough to get given a handful of kit and a lovely Litespeed courtesy of the guys at MTS Cylclesport in Durham (MTS). After a couple of years with the huge support of Jim and Alan, a few more decent results landed me a ride for Kinesis UK. Back then (well, 2009 actually), Kinesis and Chris Truett had an excellent reputation of developing young and promising riders into the British UCI teams. They had an impressive calendar and despite working full time as a surveyor I got the opportunity to ride stage races in Ireland, Canada and France, as well as all the big British events.

Some promising results in the lumpier Prem’s of the season got me talking with Brian Smith who was helping to set up a massively expanding Endura team that would be at UCI Continental level in 2010. Much to my delight, I was made an offer that meant I would be able to leave surveying and live the dream as a full time bike rider.

James Moss Blog
I’m really fired up for the season ahead.

Despite having spent the previous five years studying and working towards qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor, a week after passing my final exams I handed my notice in, much to the bemusement of my then boss.

“What exactly do you mean by, you’re leaving to be a professional cyclist? Is that a job?”

‘Well you know how some people get paid to play football? It’ll be like that. Except with less footballs. And more bikes.”

Honestly, some people will never understand!

2010 was an incredible season, but an equally steep learning curve. After leaving work at Christmas and then struggling to train due to ridiculous amounts of snow, I lined up at the Tour of the Med’ in early February. Danielson, Garzelli, Gesink, Hoogerland, Valverde, Vinokourov and Moss – to say I was under prepared is the biggest understatement of the year.

I took a massive hiding. I came down heavily on the first stage, losing loads of skin and then climbed off on the third day. I genuinely thought I had made a big mistake leaving work.

After some rest and solid training, I headed to my next small event to get my season going again – Vuelta a Murcia. Armstrong, Kloden, Menchov, Wiggins, Zabriskie. Great. To my surprise, this was much better and despite some appallingly timed pee stops (just as Lance sent his men to the front), I was able to get through it with not so much trouble and morale was restored.

James Moss Blog
Phil Griffiths is the man behind my new team.

The rest of the season, I would like to think, was pretty successful. I built myself a solid reputation in the team as being a dependable domestique. This resulted in me getting the opportunity to ride the Tour of Britain which was a pretty big deal for me. The first stage passed the outskirts of my home town, Burnley and the whole week was incredible experience; an excellent way to finish my first professional season.

2011, in short, was pretty disappointing. I got the opportunity to ride some excellent races again but suffered with various things throughout the year. A nasty chest infection picked up at Coppi Bartoli in Italy, an avulsion fracture of the muscles in my lower back at Tour de Bretagne and a broken hand at the Tour of Norway. Spread those out every couple of months and your season is effectively a write off. I did however manage to finally get my arms in the air at the North East Championships. Paris – Roubaix around those parts!

I’d like to think that in many ways, 2012 represents a new start for me. I have moved down to the relatively mild and sunny south east to live with my girlfriend.

As well as being more settled, it also means I can avoid seemingly constant trips up and down the A1, taking the bike in and out of the car and living out of a kit bag. I am also happy to say that I will be riding for the well known and long term supporter of cycling, Phil Griffiths of Yellow Ltd.

The team goes by the name of Node 4 – Giordana Pro Cycling and is the continuation of his 2011 UCI Conti’ Motorpoint team. I am really fired up about this. I am making a fresh start and taking a new approach to racing so that I ensure that I get the most out of myself.

James Moss Blog
The Node 4 – Giordana Pro Cycling 2012 squad.

At Endura I found it all too easy to pigeon-hole myself as a domestique. Help others out in the early to middle parts of races and then leave it up to them at the sharp end.

Despite enjoying that role thoroughly and very much wanting to continue riding for the best interests of the team, I am putting a bit of pressure on myself to get up there again in races.

I guess I have done exactly this by putting it in writing, right here!

Anyway, that’s enough about me for now. I will do my best to keep you updated on everything and anything that I think might be of interest throughout the season.

Thanks for reading.

* * *

Special thanks go to:
@PaulBFitness for his incredible work with me in the gym.
Rotor UK and Neil Batt for providing me with their excellent Q-Rings.
@TribecaSport in Tunbridge Wells for the Retul bike fit. Really appreciate your help guys!

James Moss Blog
Here’s a shot of the nearby harbour in Lanzarote.
Martin Williamson
Martin is our Editor, Web site Designer and Manager, and concentrates on photography. He's been involved in cycling for over 42 years and has raced for many of them, having a varied career which includes time trials, road and track racing, and triathlons. Martin has been the Scottish 25 Mile TT and 100 Mile TT Champion, the British Points Race League Champion on the track, and was a prolific winner of time trials in his day, particularly hilly ones like the Tour de Trossachs and the Meldons MTT.

Related Articles

Evan Oliphant’s Tour of the Med, Part One

The Tour of the Med, a nice way to ease into the season; a big bunch floating along under early sunshine with a bunch sprint at the end? Not quite! How about 95 K in 1:45 with the peloton ripped apart from the gun and conditions so cold that the contents of your bottle are frozen solid in five minutes?

Evan Oliphant’s Tour of the Med, Part Two

Tour of the Med Stages one and two were a whirlwind of snow, wind, attacks from the gun, echelons and pain - but the inner chain rings enjoyed the rest! Were days three, four and five any easier? VeloVeritas' man in the peloton, Endura Racing's Evan Oliphant was there 'til the bitter end.

Alexandre Blain – “By the summer, I’ll be used to Scots!”

When Cofidis slid from Pro Tour to Pro Continental, they shed a few riders; it looked like it was the end of his pro career for Alex Blain. Enter Brian Smith and Endura - followed by some strong performances from the man from the South. He spoke exclusively to VeloVeritas after his excellent ride in the Tour of Murcia.

Evan Oliphant’s Haut Var

Down in the South of France it was AG2R and F des J reminding us that the French teams work hard in the winter, too at Haut Var. Long term 2009 Tour yellow jersey wearer, Rinaldo Nocentini took stage one and the man with the lucky four leaf clovers on his tricot, Christophe Le Mevel took stage two and the GC.

Jack Bauer – New Zealand’s new Elite Road Champion

It was Vik (who else?) first spotted the man; 'there's a New Zealand rider winning a lot of races for Kingsnorth Wheelers in Flanders just now, you should get hold of him!' he told me, last summer. We duly tracked down Jack Bauer and have been keeping an eye on him and talking to him, ever since.

Evan Oliphant – “We took more out of Murcia than Team Sky”

Our man in the peloton - Endura's Evan Oliphant - took us through the rigours of The Med and Haut Var. Murcia may have been no cake walk but it had a happy ending for Endura - taking the sprints jersey and numerous top ten finishes. Here's what Wick's finest had to say...

At Random

14th International Critérium de Levallois 2010

It was a typical cold grey Scottish autumn day for the 14th International Critérium de Levallois - even though we were in Paris.

Reg Barnett – 1970’s World Class Pro; “a sprinter’s speed in a road rider’s body”

The 70’s are the ‘decade that taste forgot’ according to the Media; which is strange because I remember the era as having the best cars, music, films – and bike riders. On the continent the exploits of Sercu, Ocana, Merckx, Hoban, Gimondi, Verbeeck, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck and all the rest of a ‘Golden Generation’ of hard men made the disappointment of ‘The Comic’ being late once again all the harder to bear.

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 – Day 5

I've arrived; Matt Gilmore said "hello" to me today here at the Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 - wow! It's the Chocolate Jacques team presentation during the six tonight and Matt is here as part of that gig. "Rambo" is here too - Niko Eeckhout, last June in Antwerp at the Belgian elite champs he was in the break with Boonen; the Tomeke fans had their man as a cert to win.

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 9: Stage 19, Cognac – Angoulême

I forgot to say last night, for the first time in this Tour, I got a prediction right. I chose Casar out of the four man break, you could see it in his eyes, he wanted it more than any of the others. There's a great picture of him on the front cover of L'Equipe today - it's all there in his face, determination and pride; "maybe the other French guys can't win a stage, but I sure as hell can!" Cafè au lait (have you noticed that Mertin has shown me how to get accents above the letters now?) and a Cognac, nine euros!?! "Eef you cannot steeff les touristes, then oo' can you steeff, hien?" Still, it was a good coffee, a grande measure of cognac and the toilets were free of Lasa Fever.

Le Tour de France, Stage 11: Sisteron – Bourg-les-Valence; Reinstate Renshaw?

We headed to Bourg-les-Valence today, but first, Big Macs... they may pig you out towards an early grave, but damn, the wi-fi is good in there! Thursday was hectic, finished off with a train journey via Carstairs - I was a bit worried they might grab me - to Penrith, where I was meeting Dave to head to Stansted and La Belle France.

John Archibald solos to the Scottish Road Championship 2019

A man who can wheel about with Ineos World Tour beasts Ian Stannard and Ben Swift then win the Stockton Grand Prix with a 100 kilometre solo break was never going to have too much trouble with the Scottish Road Championship 2019 – and so it proved; John Archibald solo - ed to a four minute victory across the Backwater Dam on a bright but breezy day in the Angus hills.