Rituals: Im not a particularly superstitious person however I do have a few pre race rituals. I get my bike out of the car first to check its all ok and working before I sign on then if anythings being damaged in transit I can repair it before I sign on rather than rushing just before the race. Secondly I always get changed from the bottom up socks first, I don't know when I started doing this but for some reason I did and now its just a habit that's stuck!
Maintenance: I always like to race on a clean bike but unfortunately time scales mid week don't always allow cleaning time so sometimes it means starting on a less than pristine bike. However for bigger races and always at weekends I clean my bike thoroughly with a properly degreased drive train. Before every race I check all the components are working correctly as I hate not finishing a race because of a mechanical. As far as components go I change the chain every couple of months to keep on top of wear, break blocks and cables changed as needed. I just like to keep the bike working and reliable to its ready to ride or race every time its pulled out of the garage. I should also thank Skinnergate Cycles of Stockton for supplying our top notch Focus cayo team bikes.
Goals: Unfortunately my season hasn't really started as planned a recurrence of an old illness forced me to miss my first big goal and training was hampered for around 3 weeks, however I've still got some results to be happy with. As far as the rest of the season goes I've got a number of goals, first is the divisional road champs in a few weeks after that its the two tour series events we are riding in Durham and Edinburgh as well as the Elite criterium series after that. Then as always to get some good results in National B road races.
Things that you have changed this year? Firstly I've structured my training much more this year. I've had a rough weekly training plan set out and a end of month goal set all winter long its helped me keep focused throughout winter and I'm fitter than I've ever being which shows its paid off. Secondly I've taken nutrition much more seriously something I'm very very bad at (i like cake ALOT) but anyway I've tried to eat healthy and manage my sugar intake better which has helped I feel better all round and my energy levels are much more constant as well as loosing a few KG's. We've also got a great new nutrition sponsor in the form of GU energy this year, the gels and drink mix are the best I've ever used they taste great and are very stomochable its great to be using such great products to fuel our racing.