I’m out on my E1, Friday afternoon recovery ride and I realise it’s time for the first blog of the year and start thinking about what I want to say and, more importantly, what people might want to know.
The problem is, I am not sure what people might want to know. So please, please, please feel free to send me any questions you have concerning racing & living in Europe, training, my nutrition, my coach-dad relationship, equipment, anything you like.
The weather has been relatively good here in Darmstadt this winter and so I’ve not had to change my training plan very often. I did a lot of long rides from the end of November until the middle of January. Most of the rides were on the road but I have spent more time this winter on the mountain bike during the base phases than previous winters.
Right now I am in the middle of my final base phase and gradually introducing more race orientated elements into the training.
Some highlights of this winter have been technical training rides in the Pfalz with members of the German National team and in Baden-Württemberg with one of my new team mates from Radsport Rhein-Neckar.
Having recognised technical descending as a limiter, these rides have been a focus for this year’s off season.
My A-level exams are three weeks away. Another way of looking at it is to say that it won’t be long now before I can start getting on with life.
I know a lot of juniors stop for a year in order to focus on their exams but I honestly don’t know how they do this. For me, riding the bike makes it possible to get through all the revision and tests. Without the prospect of training and racing, I would lose all motivation to do anything.
So, my advice is, as long as you have a well thought out training plan with clear goals, there is no need to stop for a year because of A-levels. Unless of course you screwed up the previous year at school and feel you have to cram two years into one to have any chance of passing.
New team & 2016 goals.
This year I have made the switch from Rutland CC to Radsport Rhein-Neckar. This decision was based purely on training needs. At the end of last season, one of the best elite category riders in Germany, Tobias Kurz, also realised what I had known for a while already; namely, my technical descending was a limiter. We spoke and I agreed to join him at Radsport Rhein-Neckar for the 2016 season. His advice and patience have made a huge difference already.
My racing goals for this year are very narrowly focused on the National Championships, UCI Junior Series and the Bundesliga. With school out of the way, my dad and I are going to be able to spend more time on courses leading up to the races.
New gear and sponsors
I will be riding my Field Cycles 29er again this year having again decided not to go for the carbon option. However, I have changed over to 1 x 11 for the coming season. I’m using Wolf Tooth rings and XTR cranks and cassettes. Wrapped around these beauties will be the KMC gold chain thanks to Christ Bakker at KMC Europe.
Up front, I’m using the Axon Werx Carbon for which I am extremely grateful to Hoshi Yoshida at SRSuntour Europe.
Helping me with training and recovery this year is OTE Sports. In particular I’m using the soya based chocolate recovery product and it works! Thanks Annie for your help.
Finally I had the chance to take driving lessons this winter with money I got for 18th birthday. I used the money to buy hand built wheels from Light-Wolf. Priorities!
Words: Lomas Wefing