For me personally, but also I think one for the team too was the tour of Northumberland. Yes, I didnt win a stage, but helping Alex get the win overall was a really proud moment in my opinion. We formalized a solid plan at the start and stuck to it like glue which was great to be part of, as a bike race can be so dynamic where variables can change in an instant. Pulling big efforts on the front with Colin and Rich' was a great feeling, even when Col' was knocking out silly watts!
Goals for the season;
My first major goal comes on the 31st May, Shrewsbury GP. I raced this last year and about 10 minutes after the finish of the race, I had already set it as a goal for next season. Its a super technical course around a stunning place, and if the crowds were anything like last year, it's an event which I think other organisers should aim to replicate.
My second goal for me is to do a solid ride in the national criterium championships in Barnsley. Its a fairly local race for me being based in West Yorkshire, so delivering a successful performance in this event will be amazing. But that been said, its not just this crit I want to succeed in, all the National A circuit races I am entered for are races which I should be now aiming to podium at, and I feel like this is doable!
Changes I made into this season;
Powermeter. Data. Stats. Honestly, getting a power meter has been a big change in the way I train. Admittedly, Im a bit of a nerd with it as the numbers are easily relatable to my university degree I am currently finishing (sports science). People who are 'old school' and train on feel really dont know what they're missing out on...
Mental attitude. It's come with maturing as a person but going in to races with a 'harder' mentality is now developing more and more. Thankfully, as cycling is tough graft and not for everyone!
Developing this notion of being a team player. Cycling is often seen as an individual sport, especially at club/ regional level, but being a part of this team is quite unique in the UK. We're not getting paid to work for each other, but we do anyway, and it quite refreshing having a team mate know you will work for him and likewise them doing the same for me when my time comes this season.
1. Towel. Always have your towel, as you never really know what the British weather is going to do.
2. Gloves. I had a nasty 'get down' in the Sheffrec race early season and shredded my Giro gloves to pieces. My hands still got little tears to the skin but it could have been a lot worse.
3. Gels. Carbohydrates are REALLY important in races, so these are an absolute essential.
4. Licence. I used to often forget my licence as a youth, which lead to my dad often having to spin round in the car having set off 15 minutes prior. Dont forget your licence kids!