From a managers perspective; We added a number of riders to strengthen the team, Will and Ben came on board and later Ash, which gave us more strength. We deliberately had a more National A heavy program to try and accustom the riders to the demands of that level of competition week in week out. We had a better support system in place for the riders, with more provision of equipment and nutrition from sponsors and having a motorhome and soigner support from John and Dean at key events made the riders lives easier.
From a riders perspective; After a personally disappointing year in 2013 I made a number of key changes going to the winter, training with power for the first winter made a big difference allowing me to really maximize my time on the bike, I increased the overall volume of my training to ensure I had the endurance to compete at the 150k+ races and also reduce the amount of group rides, training more in a pair or small group so that I always had to ride in the wind rather than in the wheels.
2. What where your highlights
From a managers perspective; Competing in the Tour Series was a highlight, in July we rode a National B criteirum on the Saturday putting two riders in the winning break and controlling the race behind and on Sunday in the 140k Duncan Murray wines RR we rode superbly as a team putting riders in every move and finishing with four in the top 10 and a podium, this confirmed the team had really progressed over the year and were riding as a unit. Other highlights Ben’s 3rd at the Drummond the most prestigious race in Scotland that really kick started the year for us and Wills ride in the Sheffield GP Elite Crit was another highlight, finishing with the front group confirmed he can be competitive in the series in 2015.
From a riders perspective; I was pleased, I was consistent all year, rarely outside of the top ten, I made a clear improvement at a National level and this was confirmed by a top 30 position in the Elite Road Series event in Stockton.
3. How did you find the step up in level of competition this year from, National B to National A?
From a managers perspective; the step up was evident but some results showed that competing at that level is doable, we need to work our consistency and competing in National A level races every week in order to continue to adapt and develop.
4. Can you pinpoint anything specifically that has made a difference?
From a managers perspective; More consistency with the riders training, more specific targeting training designed around the demands of the events we are competing in, more support in place has certainly helped in addition to a higher level racing programme.
5. What are your main goals for 2015?
From a managers perspective; National events week in week out are a priority, having the team complete in the full Elite Crit Series in addition to other National A Crits (Newport, Barnsleys, Pontefract, Bishop Auckland, etc.) A top 20 in a Elite Road Series event, continued success and team riding.
From a riders perspective; Similar to this year, aiming to continue that progression with more results at a National A level, try to stay consistent all year, peaking for select events and retain my Elite license.
6. Are you going to make any changes to the way you prepare for the 2015 season?
From a managers perspective; Again we have recruited some new riders to help strengthen the team further particularly for the Elite road series and added some new sponsors to help support the riders. We are also having team-training camps, which are new for us, one in Northumberland in December and one in Mallorca in early March. This should help lay the foundations for a successful season in 2015 and allow the lads to gel ahead of the racing starting.
From a riders perspective; I’m following a similar plan to last winter with a similar amount of time on the bike, but including some more climbing and strength work in the earlier part. For the first time in a couple of years I’m also doing 2-3 sessions per week in the gym to work specifically on core strength and overall conditioning to hopefully make me a bit stronger and stable particularly in the later stages of the longer races.