Tuesday, August 3, 2021
HomeBlogsTavira Pro Tomás Swift-Metcalf's BlogTomás Swift-Metcalfe's Blog: The Season Starts...

Tomás Swift-Metcalfe’s Blog: The Season Starts…

-

Tomás Swift-Metcalfe
Another season, but this one is going to be good!

The season has started, my sixth season as a professional. Writes Tomás.

The weather here has been brilliant (a little cold at 10-12ºC) but always sunny and it’s been fantastic training up for these races.

It’s such a pleasure getting out the in the hills working away, seeing all the beautiful views and interesting things, testing my form on the climbs. Of course for the Volta ao Algarve bad weather is forecast and I go badly in bad weather, but we’ll deal with that as it comes…

We had our season opening race yesterday, which was a bit poorly marshalled (I ended up doing an extra 1km!)

After going off course while bridging up to the lead group that won the race, I got a bit upset and just used the rest of the race to train, spending most of the race in no-man’s land, solo, eventually getting caught by the peloton with 10km to go.

I am going really well, something which comes as a relief to realise because I’m coaching myself this year. It isn’t easy, it takes another level of self discipline to head out and purposefully massacre myself up a climb.

Still I figured if I can do such a good job for others, why can’t I do the same for myself?

I think I’ve pulled it off – the big test is coming later this week, though I’m probably not going as well as last year when I did the Tour de San Luis in January.

The team – despite very, very tough times – has pulled together remarkably well. I think we’re going to have one of our best seasons ever, or at least most rewarding.

* * *

Season opening race

My goals for the season are simple ones, long breaks, intermediate classifications and whatever else fate grants me. A stage win would be nice too!

Plus do my domestiquing when necessary, although I’ve seen already that I’m going to have to step up to the mark in a different role, which leaves me feeling a bit nervous.

The ‘Volta ao Algarve’, is in a couple of days time, with about 10 pro tour teams. It’s got three beastly uppy downy 190km+ stages and a huge time trial; keep your eyes pealed for a suicide break by me on stage 2 or 3 and a (hopefully) better time trial than those I’ve done in the past, since I’ve had the odd chance to practice on the TT bike, although not in the last couple of weeks. I want to do the national TT champs this year if possible and do them well if possible.

I was looking at poster in a café of my team way back in 2008 and only about four of those guys still race and only two are still on this team. I miss them a lot.

Tomás Swift-Metcalfe
My team at the Volta presentation last year.

We had good times on those mad adventures around Europe, staying in crazy places and having the best and the worse of everything. That’s what cycling is about. It’s about cycling in these great places like the Algarve, Asturias, Bulgaria, the Basque country, France in great company. It’s about being able to ride by side with Janek Tombak (a hero of mine along with Jimmy Casper – although I’m nothing like them as a cyclist) and ask him ‘hey Tombak, what’s the craic?

I will go well this season, I’m hoping there will be sufficient races to build up my form and do a good national championship followed by a good Volta and then get a good proposal to ride for an international team.

My top ambition would be to go to United HealthCare since they have just about the coolest calendar in the world (including Volta ao Algarve and Volta a Portugal) and have a great group of riders (Kai Reus was with them last year; also suffered a coma and recovered) and a racing style that would suit me. I certainly would not be out of my depth on a pro conti team.

Pro Tour is different – they like them young! That would be a dream I feel too detached from. I’m probably a bit too old to start out racing there, it would be like starting from zero and halfway through my career I don’t want to do that.

I’ve got past the difficulties of the past year and I’m really enjoy the cycling. Even my business is coming together (maybe it’s because of this is enjoying the cycling? Or vice-versa?)

I couldn’t be happier with the results. My cousin made a video actually promoting the business and his own excellent skills as a movie maker.

I hate ringing my own bell, self-publicity and the rest of it, but false modesty is a form dishonesty: there is nowhere better to train close to northern Europe than the Algarve (more than 300 days of sunshine, great roads, great people) and I’ve had unprecedented success coaching the few people that I coach; each and everyone has ‘done something’ at elite level or moved from amateur to elite.

If you want me to help you ride better, come and ride with me at my office 😉

Volta ao Algarve

Related Articles

Introducing our New Blogger: Tomás Swift-Metcalfe

Hi, my name is Tomás Swift-Metcalfe. Tomás is Portuguese, the Swift element is Irish, and Metcalfe is English. I'm a "Euro-mongrel", but I'm very much at home in Portugal.

Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho

I raced the Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho this weekend past weekend. The Prologue was very tricky, very technical. I did my best and I was very pleased. I didn’t have any great expectation for it, which was a good thing as I missed quite a lot of my warm up, due to everyone going berserk when my team mate and Time Triallist Alejandro Marque broke a gear cable just minutes before he was due to race. I also haven’t touched the TT bike since February.

Musical Chairs – Tomás Swift-Metcalfe Blog

I haven’t raced since September 1st. I’ve been working hard though, on Swift Momentum Sports (SMS), and restoring an old building and of course, some training. SMS is doing pretty well. I’m glad to have shown people some fantastic cycling and running, as well as to have trained some very good athletes. My professional cycling career, however is pretty much over. I wasn’t renewed for the 2014 season.

Season Opening; Trofeu Cidade de Luís and Volta ao Algarve

Although my season started over a month ago in Argentina, the Portuguese season opened on Sunday the 12th February with the "2nd Trofeu Cidade de Luís", followed by the Volta ao Algarve.

Race Update: Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho & Circuito de Getxo

The Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho is the last tune up for the Portuguese peloton before the biggest race of the season, the Volta a Portugal. A lot of the teams turn out very strong for Agostinho, as it's known. The amateur teams also turn out strong since the race is a 2.2 and the pinnacle of their calendar, aside the 'Volta a Portugal do Futuro'.

Tomás Swift-Metcalfe Blog: More 1.1.2 Races

The last few weeks have been reasonably uneventful so what to write on the Tomás Swift-Metcalfe Blog? We had a heat wave which was wonderful, but which only lasted a week. The team did a few races in Spain (I was resting) and won a stage in Vuelta as Asturias, which was excellent. I once did that race and it was probably the hardest I ever did. The weather seems to change from valley to valley and the place is very mountainous.

At Random

Final Defense: Eneco 2010 Stage 6

Final Defense. The final road stage of the Eneco race was again lumpy, this time including roads from the Amstel Gold spring classic. In particular the Mur de Huy, a nasty climb that starts on an increasingly steep grade until a left turn kicks the road up to around 20%.

Andreas Müller – Sights are Set Higher These Days

I remember interviewing Andreas Müller a year or two ago and him telling me that he'd be happy to emulate the career of German former Six Day rider Gert Dörich, who was the 'Taxi Driver' par excellence during his long career which took in 163 Six Day races.

Stuart Balfour – Racing 2021 with Swiss Racing Academy

David Rayner Fund 2018 ‘rider of the year,’ Heriot man, Stuart Balfour was busy post the 2020 ‘lock down’ and season 2021 sees him step up a level to UCI Continental team, Swiss Racing Academy which boasts former multiple World Time Trial and reigning Olympic Time Trial Champion, Fabian Cancellara as it’s patron.

Riccardo Riccò debuts the new Scott Plasma2 at the Giro

The big manufacturers always wheel out their new weaponry at the Grand Tours to catch all those eager lenses - and here's the latest TT machine from Scott, the "Plasma2"... Riccardo Riccò, the young team leader for Saunier Duval - Scott and winner of Stage 1 on Sunday, used the new bike in the opening Team Time Trial last Saturday.

Glasgow Sprint Grand Prix 2017

VeloVeritas took a wee run over to Glasgow on Saturday to the Glasgow Sprint Grand Prix; here are some snaps we took which we hope you like. In the language of the Gael, Glasgow is the ‘Dear Green Place’ and right across the road from the splendid Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome it’s even more sublime that that – ‘Paradise.’ At least that’s what the Celtic fans call their Parkhead ground.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012 – Day Three

Danny Clark; in a world where the word ‘legend’ is used too often, it’s wholly appropriate in the case of the Australian. He holds the record for the number of six day starts at 236 and he’s second in the all time winner ranks with 74 — unsurprisingly he’s ‘double Recordman’ here at the Copenhagen Six Day with eight wins off 21 starts.