Thursday, January 27, 2022
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David Hewett Blog – A Fresh Start

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Readers of my previous blog post may have been left with a slight sense of dispiritedness or melancholy, and rightly so; things really weren’t going all that well for me and mentally I had got myself into a bit of a mess. That’s the “tl;dr” summary of last month out of the way!

The interest in that blog post and the messages of support received on the back of it were overwhelming and greatly appreciated. I hope that at least a few readers have been finding my ramblings vaguely interesting and enjoyable to read.

David Hewett
Fresh new kit from TBW Bottecchia RT. Thanks to Prosport Distribution, The Bike Warehouse, SH+and SIS for the support.

I’m pleased to say that the month of June has been, in contrast to May, a massive success in that I’ve really managed to restart, turn the page, and make good progress across the board.

I attribute this to my move away from Belgium and into a new positive team environment with new challenges and goals to work towards, which in turn helped me re-find my love and enjoyment of cycling.

I can honestly say that I’m proud of myself for the way in which I’ve managed to get through a pretty tough period filled with negativity and self doubt, emerge on the other side and bounce back into one of my best ever months on a bike.

I look back on it now wiser, stronger, and in disbelief that I was genuinely considering giving up and throwing in the towel.

There’s not a huge amount to report in terms of racing for the month of June, because I started it with a 16 day personal training camp in Italy.

I stayed near Udine at the team house of Cycling Team Friuli, the team of a close friend from university and one which I will be guesting for in a few races in the middle of August.

David Hewett
Taining Camp views. Photo©David Hewett

It turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made, as I came out of it with not only incredible legs and aerobic condition but also I was loving every minute spent on the bike and motivation was higher than ever – a great situation to be in going into July and August, where many riders traditionally start to struggle.

David Hewett
Selfies on the Zoncolan. Photo©David Hewett

Highlights includes riding to the Slovenian border, driving north for an epic day in the mountainswhich included climbing the infamous Monte Zoncolan, tapping out a couple of power PBs and baking (and devouring) the most incredible banana bread.

David Hewett
Stunning roads. Photo©David Hewett

Very warm weather and 185km taking in windy, narrow lanes and including four ascents of the challenging Ryals climb would make for a big day out, but I was confident that this would put me at an advantage over much of the field given the big miles I had under my belt.

Positioning into the small road leading to the foot of the climb was crucial, but unfortunately a rear derailleur hanger damaged in transit caused my chain to drop and jam, right at the bottom of the first ascent of the Ryals (arguably the worst possible moment of the race for something like this to happen).

After 20km spent chasing back onto the peloton, I joined what had become a large grupetto riding steadily, with the race proper up the road.

The mechanical issue had put me out of contention, and my race was effectively over, made even more frustrating by the fact that I was clearly in great condition and going well on the Ryals climb. These things happen though, and I was already focussed on the next races.

I then had a handful of days on holiday with my family in Salcombe, Devon, where I managed to get in a particularly enjoyable endurance ride around the grippy roads of Dartmoor National Park. It was then onto the weekend’s National B race – the TMG Horizon Trophy.

David Hewett
Feeling strong in Dartmoor. Photo©Simon Gill

Conditions were dry and mild, but very windy. I felt incredibly strong throughout and felt as though I was able to control the race quite confidently.

I got myself into all the various breakaways and ultimately the winning front group