Saturday, 28 March 2009


Well peeps, it’s been a while since I blogged so I thought I’d have a bit of a catch-up. (Photos courtesy Ellie Hutson)

Last weekend we went to Calshot track for Legro’s training camp. The track is short with very tight bends and I’m given to understand can be extremely cold due to a lack of heating of any kind. We all went out for a couple of hours social ride through the New Forest on Saturday morning at a comfortable pace. The sun was out, as were the daffofils and it was a pity that we had to spend the rest of the day indoors, but at least it was warm on the track. All the other riders and coaches had said that the track is easy to ride, but as I soon found out, its easy to ride slow, but a real bugger at speed as the tight 60 degree banking will throw you up above the stayers line before you know it.
There were 3 or 4 of us who hadn’t ridden this track before and we all had trouble getting our heads round how to stay down at speed in the bends. Despite Lee Povey continually telling me it was just a matter of convincing myself I could do it, it was starting to be a bit of a blocker. Halfway through the afternoon a change of programme gave us the chance to follow experienced riders on a 1 to 1 basis with everyone else off the track. Dipping up and down at 25 mph behind Simon form Velo Club de Londres it suddenly made complete sense and I didn’t look back from there. Thanks Simon, nice job.
Sunday was Madison changes and despite being slower that the elites and first cats I managed to pair up with Steve O’Hara, an unattached rider with similar speed to me and over 2 sessions we started to really get the hang of it and by going home time was feeling as comfortable on this track as I do at other, wider, longer ones.
The only downside to the whole weekend came during the warm up on Sunday morning. As we got to about 8 or 10 laps to go, The hammer went down with me in the middle of the string and not enough leg speed so I dropped out and slipped up the track to let the group come round under me until coming off a turn I got too close to the fence and hit it. 3 times. Before coming down the banking on my back. A week later I’m still showing off the scabs across my knuckles and telling everyone that’s what we call disciplinary action at work although my shoulder is still stiff at times.

New Job.
Well, I’ve been in the same job for nearly 6 years now and both the job and I have changed a lot in that time. I’ve had a number of significant successes and overall have been happy working where I am but I was rung up out of the blue by someone with an odd request to come and talk to them about possible opportunities. Not being one to turn down such an invitation I found that not only do they (I can’t say who yet) want to employ me, but they are based a cycle commute away and prepared to pay a very good wage for the dubious privilege. Now all I have to do is sign the contract and resign from my current job. Let the games commence!

Live feeds.
I’ve suddenly become addicted to They put up links to live feeds of pro races which is brilliant for the raft of semi classics that intersperse the Flanders and Ardennes weeks. So far I’ve seen Dwars Doors Vlaanderen (Race Across Flanders), stages of Castille y Leon stage race in Spain and the finale of the E3 Prijs Vlanderen (Race of the E3 motorway – unbelievably). Tomorrow is Brabantse Pijl (Fleche Brabanconne) – or the Brabant Arrow in English. As we’re in Belgie, the name in Vlaamse is properly used and I remember many of the hills and cobbled stretches from riding the Ronde twice in recent years.
The only problems with live feeds are that the commentary is in the language of the broadcaster usually Vlaamse, Frog, Spanish etc. and I have not found a way to record these races.
None the less, I’m still looking forward to catching tomorrow’s double stages of Criterium International too.