Friday, 30 September 2011


Please accept my apologies for such intermittent blog updates. Here is a picture of what I have been doing this week. In the photo me (left) Darren Moore right and middle. We spent the day at the cycle show at the NEC yesterday which was great. An opportunity to speak to everyone under one roof. It did feel a bit like a pressure cooker with people I wanted to speak to every 10 paces but was very pleased to have got everything done that we set out to do.

The main story I suppose was my signing for the UK Youth team with Magnus Backstedt. I am so excited, we have talked about racing together for years and I'm so pleased that next year will be the one. The team line up look s great and I am so excited to be back up to international UCI level. After co presenting on ITV4 for the TOB it was great to see the home based guys getting stuck in and mixing it with the big boys over from the continent.

Another interesting thing to talk about maybe, is this time of year. Its end of the season and were all looking to next year with more articles of who's signed for who coming out every day now and is set to continue as the last riders find their places. But its not over yet. Part of the season is the end of the season. A time to look back and asses the performances of the year for both myself and other riders, especially up and coming ones. I'd like to give a quick mention of some to watch next season.

I think best improved rider of the year is Tom Last (Sigma sport Specialized) The Richmond GP (last premiere) was where I really noticed the lads strength. At the top of the last climb we were down to about 12-15 riders left in the group and Tom was there giving it big licks in the finale. A real talent and one to watch next year.

Ride of the Year for me was JTL John Tiernan-Locke on stage 5 of the TOB attacking and dropping some of the best riders in the world up the climb to Hay Tor in Devon on home roads, with home crowd and on the most glorious day. Made me proud he did as I watched from the lead car. Thoroughly deserves a proper world tour team contract.

Most Charismatic rider. For me Mark Cavendish is head and shoulders above the rest. He is a megastar. Even before the worlds win he was getting such a warm and positive reception every stage start and finish on the TOB. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of times on the race and thought he was such a good personality for the sport in this country but for the world of cycling too. Cav if you read this keep up the good work you are a hero to many.

Nicest guy in the peloton. Alex Dowsett, But also the smoothest pedal action too which helped take stage 8a at the TOB along with many more wins to come. They say you shouldn't meet your heroes but in the case of Dowsett its not true. If you do get to say hello you will go home glad you made the effort.

I could go on and on here, so will save a bit for later which will also give me a reason to keep up dating this blog.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to follow on twitter @yblecol @officiallecol and find us on facebook too.

Take care ride safe,


Monday, 2 May 2011

Chris Opie - Rutland Cicle classic

An Image from the Cicle classic at Rutland. This was a couple of weeks ago now but not a good race for the team. We had almost everyone suffer from a crash a puncture or both. This is one of those races where fortune does have a great deal of influence on the final outcome. I have been fortunate enough to have had two almost perfect races in the last three years and finished on the podium on both occasions so it was no surprise this year was not a success as it doesn't take a mathematician to work out the odds of having a third lucky race in three years was always going to be an unlikely chance. Another picture here is of Chris Opie thinking he could corner quicker then he could. We call this Out breaking ones self ha ha.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The C59 is beautiful. Its my team bike for the season. I am meeting my sponsors at the bike show in Earls Court its a hub of activity with every bike brand and piece of kit available on show. With this in mind I walk up to the Colnago stand to the best bike on that stand and look at the beautiful machine I'll be riding for the season. The feeling of excitement floods through me as the realization sinks in. I get the best and most exciting bike available today. I once had a conversation with a guy at a race who complemented my bike, I complemented his back (which was also a Colnago) to which he replied, "But I paid for mine". I was taken a back and said "nothing is free in this life. I have a look at the Brochure and check out colors. I went for the Bastile day special edition. Its white with touches of red and blue, an up to date and on trend color scheme that will also match our kit for the season. I am all for matching things up as best I can.

The team is riding Campag so that's what I'll get with it. An all Italian bike when full K-Force carbon components are added bars/stem/seat post. When it arrives I'm not disappointed. Like a child who dreams for months about something it delivers on every level. The bike is light stiff with internal carbon layers running down the center of the down tube to stiffen the ride. Carbon cross weaved to maximize rigidity and efficiency without rattling you to pieces in the process. One of the things that strikes you as you look closer, they have gone back to using a kind of Colnago club shaped tubes. In my opinion they are beautiful and the perfect size. I've ridden other bikes with over sized down tubes and huge bottom bracket area to make it more efficient but it feels like an MTB and cumbersome. Then you get old steel frames with the Reynolds tubing where the tubes now feel much too thin and skinny. This C59 is the balance I'm looking for. Substantial enough to deliver efficiency but not over engineered. This leaves you with a beautiful feeling bike with class and finesse oozing out of every angle.

An important part of comfort on a bike is that it fits. I recommend getting a bike fit if your going to spend this much on a frame. I'm lucky I went to see an old tour de France pro from the Halfords days called Adrian Timmis. A great guy and amazing bike fitter. My position is now sorted and with the K-force bars I'm happy sitting for hours on the bike to train and race. One of the first things you feel with this bike is the rigidity at the front end. The over sized headset and forks make such a stiff and responsive front end along with the straight down forks. The rake is less then other frames but once you settle in the handling and descending on this bike is planted and safe. We tested this racing each other on the team training camp down Sa Calobra in Majorca. Its the place where they filmed the Renault add a few years ago so the surface is good and smooth and you can really see what the bike handles like on the way down to the sea with 10k of hair pins.

The second aspect of this bike that really hits you is the way you can click down the gears and get them turning. I find you can go a sprocket bigger then other bikes, the frame is so efficient you just seem to get it moving and its as if the frame is encouraging you to go again click down faster faster. It wants you to go faster. There was a similar feeling with last years EPS frame and its continued with this one. I love it. All in all this C59 hits the spot. Brand image has come on a lot in recent years, in the past slightly looked upon as something for the older gentleman, now this bike has all the contemporary edge anyone could want.

Check out the bike in action at the Halfords tour series and Premiere Calendar series over the season starting with the cicle classic on the 17th of April.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

This was entering the changing rooms after the 2011 Perfs pedal and first race of the season. I was deceptively cold and miserable but never one to complain put on a happy face for John Cannings who took it. Honestly I was really pleased to get to this time in the season when we get a number and all the hurting counts for something even if it was properly cold and wet all day.

I would really like to mention how Magnus did a great job today. He commands such a lot of respect in his team that is clear, he also rides as an example, happy to smash it on the front for his teammates. He influenced the race and made it feel very continental in style where I think we did 7 full laps and the last one was the fastest where the break was formed and the winner emerged. That is good racing and I hope to see more of it this season. It will benefit everyone in the long run as we all start to race faster.

I was pleased with my form and had a good day, crossed a few gaps, made a few efforts and ultimately could do what I wanted. I am very pleased with my form, it is only Feb and there will be lots more to come as the season really gets going. For the rest of this month there will be a Springtime pursuit in Devon and then its off to Majorca for 2 weeks training with the team.

Till the next time take care.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

After a great 2 and a half weeks in Spain where I have been able to ride like a full time pro. I am happy with progress and sensations. My mind has now turned to the season and what I hope to achieve as it will need to be added into the big plan now. It's all about form cycles and they need considering now for the whole season. I'm looking at the Tour Series and Nationals now because it will influence what I do next week and the week after.

Pendragon-Colnago-Le Col will be doing a training camp end of Feb then were back to the UK for some races before heading back to Majorca for the Cintron Tour of Majorca with all the continental pro teams. This will be my first objective the week before the Rutland-Melton on April 17th. Then we hit a busy time with classic and exciting races such as the Lincoln GP before we begin the Tour Series races.

The next few weeks will see me lower the volume of training in favour of some intensity along with the first early season races in the UK. To top it off I have my new race bike to collect next week. Really pleased to be riding the new Colnago C59 in bastile day colours of red White and blue.

For now lots of visualisation is important for a good season so I'm going to go and do that now.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Form cycles

This week has been a good one training. We have done some quality miles on great roads which is all contributing to what I hope will be my most successful season so far. I am someone who needs to achieve the goals I set for my self. I don't ride round for the sake of it and this season is no different. I have been working on base miles but with some good quality intensity and strength work added in. One thing to consider is that all the intensity we do out training will bring us up in our own personal biological 'Form Cycle' part of being a successful athlete is understanding these cycles and how the racing and training intensity is influencing them. Then you can make your best form a choice not an accident. It takes a sixth sense to listen to on many occasions. You have to pay attention to the subtle indications your body is giving you every day and interpret them correctly. Then you know where you are and what to do about it. This makes it a real pleasure racing, you can then manage your expectations on what you will be capable of at any time. This I am sure will contribute vastly to the amount of success and failure you will experience in your season. Success is relative to our expectations. If we have managed them well they will match our capability, and if we have done the work out on the bike we should be able to fulfill our capability. That's the goal for the season any way, without being too soft so as to set your expectations too low and never truly fulfill out potential, but also not be unrealistic about what we want to achieve. How much you want to get out of your self, how close you want to push to the limit will depend on how much stress and pressure we are willing to manage on a daily basis. This will give you your ceiling. Have a think about how much pressure you are willing to manage to achieve your goals.

Enjoy the process.