Looking back at year 1

14 Oct

So nearly a year since I started this blog, and I’ve decided its the end of my racing for this season, there are a couple more races left in the Surrey League that I contemplated doing, but truth be told I’d rather make the most of the semi decent weather before proper winter sets in and do some club rides and have a few lie ins!

Its been an interesting season in that I came from almost total novice (although had some miles under my belt, but nothing of note) to being competitive at 2nd cat level and putting in some respectable performances in a handful of TT’s. Although I’m no Nick Noble/Baker I certainly got further than I thought I would as my ever growing clothes bill will tell you as I chuck out endless pairs of 36 inch waist jeans to make way for 31’s!

I’ve learned a lot in the last few months racing, and I really think it will help next year to push on for the next level. I was always told that there was much to learn by more seasoned riders, and having the engine is one thing, but knowing what to do at certain points, who to go with in a break, when to work etc is stuff you just can’t know until you’ve done it a few times (and done it wrong in my case – best way to learn right?) and seen the outcome. So I’m thinking that with my spectrum of possible race scenarios now a lot more broad than it was, I hopefully will be able to make more right decisions than wrong next season – I hope.

The results (I’ve included all events just for ease of memory) I’ve had are as follows, not bad, certainly not as good as they could have been in hindsight, nothing much changed between me being at the sharp end of the 3rd only races to being in the same place for the 2/3’s apart from mindset, this could have been done a lot earlier!


1st  x 2
2nd  x 1
3rd x 1
4th x 1
5th x 2
6th x 2
8th x 1
9th x 2
10th x 1


1st x 2
2nd x 2
3rd x 1

As I may have mentioned in the earlier threads I have some plans for next season, they’re still fairly ‘rough’ in terms of times for TT’s due to not having done many – but there’s always someone to aim for…. But I know that I want to get to 1st cat, and that will be the priority, I’m well aware that I can race most races I could as a 1st, as a 2nd, but I am quite competitive, and I want to achieve for the sake of achieving, I would much rather have got to 1st cat and raced a prem calendar than do it as a 2nd (pipe dreaming, but for argument sake). So the goals look a bit like this :

Get to 1st cat
Win a 2/3 road race
Top 10 a Nat b
20.xx on club 10 – sub 20 on fast course
Sub 54 min 25 (that might be a bit easier a sub 19.xx 10, so maybe revise this after a few 25’s)
Get to 75kg from 79k
Up FTP 5-10% (optimistic maybe)

I’ve thought about them and certainly on paper they’re mostly possible, however I’m only too aware of how hard work some of that will be, especially given the nature of the sport is mostly geared around suffering and sacrifice, although the fact I think losing the weight will be the hardest thing to do, maybe means I feel a bit confident. Anyway, I’ll give it my best shot and who knows, I might meet them all, I might meet none of them, but hopefully now I’m in a position that I know why I do a good or bad ride, which is quite useful information. To help with the TT goals I’m purchasing a TT bike off a fellow club rider, hopefully given the bike will end up looking very similar to the pic here given I’ve agreed to take the wheels too he won’t mind me borrowing his picture :

I’ve also bought a Kurt turbo, so I’m thinking ( I know I said this about 8 months ago) there isn’t much left to buy now (apart from a few aero goodies for the above – pointy hat etc), which is a relief…I am planning to be a bit more structured this winter, and will obviously be making good use of the constant environment offered by the turbo and using power more effectively than I have been thus far. Might well do a few of the winter series again after xmas to sharpen up and then will start the season on the road in March time. In the quest for the above goals I will hopefully be doing a few more midweek crits/handicaps/TT’s to get that time down and hopefully pick up a few points.

Cheers for reading so far, hopefully some of the posts are useful to the no doubt huge amount of people planning to start racing next year (Cheers Wiggo!). In an ideal world I’d love to be able to post in Jan saying I’ve managed to take my FTP up 5% but don’t hold your breath on that post 😉

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