A little mid-season update from one of our mountain bike riders, Sam Humphrey ....
Well…..the Nationals are done for another year, season is over right?
No where near! Whilst I certainly feel like I need a rest from the constant pursuit of better “numbers” weight watching….and in my case injury management, for many, the racing calendar is still in full swing……or just getting going!
Lets cast an eye back over the first part of the season for the MTB contingent of the team….
The winter months gave a couple of indications that last season was no fluke for the team, wins and podiums in winter endurance races, XCand for some of us, early stage races in the sun! gave a good gauge of form going into the first southern xc race of the year……Matterly in Winchester gave us all our first outing and it was a mixed bag. Julia winning, Dani crashing, Tony struggling with motivation after the sunny Lanzarote stage race and me on the podium after a heavy training week…and even our first win in the sports race!…….it was looking ok with only a week to go to NPS 1 at Sherwood.
NPS 1 showed we were ready! Julia taking the win went some way to re paying the effort she has put in to training this year, Dani rode to a solid 4th and I managed to get a 3rd and on the podium….unfortunately for Tony, illness held him back so it was one to forget for him! So the tone was set for the next few races. The rest of the series has been a mixed bag for all of us, but considering we are a local southern team, we have managed to podium at pretty much every round, Julia has won the national series, Dani finished third in the series after winning it last year, Tony found his way into the top 10 at elite level this year whilst working and juggling family life and I managed to finish third in the series again this year too, I am reckoning we are the most successful team on the national circuit!
The championships last week was for most of us, a sort of final test with Julia grabbing 2nd, Tony finishing 7th elite and I got another 3rd making it 5 years in a row that I have got on the podium at the national championships which I am pretty pleased with, unfortunately Dani couldn’t make it this time….but there is more lined up for us as the season goes on!
We have travelled the length and breadth of the country, experienced everything the British weather can throw at us…and the UK road network! Pushed our bikes ( Tony) and bodies (in my case) to breaking point, but here we are……ready for the next phase, which for most of us is the Brighton Big Dog! Now Tony and I have a bit of a score to settle here……we so nearly won the pairs race last time out only scuppered by a broken chain in the first 300 meters of the race! This meant I was caught out in the pits not dressed…..and led to a 9 minute deficit on lap 1……which after 6 hours of total commitment led to us finishing 2nd only 50 seconds behind! This year, Tony is in great shape….me not so! But with a good strategy and mix of Tonys blistering speed and my experience and safe hands! We hope to clinch the crown!
Julia and Kate are also taking on the pairs race this time out…….I am hoping that they get a good clean run and also make the podium, Dani is going for the 6 hour solo as she builds towards the Catalunya stage race in Spain in a few weeks……she is after a combination of a good race and a solid training session to hone nutrition, pacing and equipment……good luck!
I am hoping to catch up with the rest of the team at the event too…..I think “the captain” is making an appearance again, Ross rode the solo race last year……so I am hoping he is up for it again and the team rode strong last time as well so here’s to a good turn out and to much fun! It better be dry! And a special mention to shaun who kept the drinks, food and lap times flowing!
So, despite the opening line stating that the season is over……how wrong can we be! After the Big Dog we have the Catalunya stage race for Dani, Tony and me in September…4 days of international racing where the worlds best will be UCI points collecting in an attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, The road team are continuing to rack up top finishes all over the south as they chase end of season points to move up! Our super triathlete Naomi has just done one of her ‘A’ races this weekend and has been quietly accumulating massive training loads to get ready….and just as importantly we have loads of us out there riding on local roads and trails in team kit spreading the word that Bournemouth cycleworks is the place to go for all your cycling needs….and wants!
So keep spreading the word……hold that focus and motivation as there is loads to come, personally I am looking forward to the next few weeks, there are some exciting bikes coming from Trek, some new goals starting to appear and the sun is shining, its great being part of the team, I hope to see you all soon.