New year, new team.
Having raced under the Bolsover and District Cycling Club (B&DCC) banner in 2015 , for 2016 I’ll be part of the newly formed “Team Bottrill”.
This is an exciting opportunity and along with my existing team mates Simon Travell and Bill Seddon I’m really looking forward to being part of this project from the outset. The team consists of a number of elite riders including Matt Bottrill, Dan Barnett (my coach), Josh Williams and then the opportunity was extended for others to join who were coached under the Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching umbrella, all in that’s about 50 or so riders.
It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the best TT talent in the country and to progress within the sport of time trialling. I feel really motivated for the forthcoming season, despite my turbo being in a cold and damp outhouse I’m doing my best to nail the sessions that Dan is giving me and looking forward to putting in some great performances. Indeed this is one of the great things about having a coach, fear of letting Dan down drives me on that bit extra! The clock is really ticking now, the opening event, the Sheff Rec 2up is only six weeks away.
It’s not all been good news though, over the last few months I’ve been at real odds with my TT bike, for some reason my undercarriage has taken a distinct dislike to my current saddle, to the point I couldn’t actually get in position on the bike, not good. Having finally decided that I couldn’t risk compromising my training further I booked in for a bike fit with Ada Timmis at www.cadencesport.co.uk to get myself sorted.
With a few tweaks here and a few tweaks there and then a new Adamo saddle I’m now good to go (I hope). I’d highly recommend Ada, as an ex pro rider who’s ridden the Tour de France he certainly knows his stuff. Although I’m happy to be back on the bike properly (albeit the turbo trainer, still no TT road work since the end of last season), it was annoying to blow my war chest that was earmarked for go faster bits. So for 2016 I’ll still be racing without a disc and those PDQ bars I wanted, damn.
Although no carbon fibre will be arriving….., the new kit is looking great, based around the Giant Alpecin team ( Team Bottrill is supported by Giant so perhaps no coincidence ) I really like the design and can’t wait to get the skin suit on and start tearing up and down the tarmac in it.
I’m really looking to build upon my first season, training is going really well, power is going up, consistency is better than ever and touch wood no health issues to report, a huge improvement on this time last year. My only concern at this point is my lack of time outside on the TT bike, whilst I’ve clocked up the hours on the turbo I’ve only ridden it once outside since the season finished. I’m hoping the weather will start to perk up and I can get some time outside on it, if not, then the races in March will most likely be live testing of changes I’ve made to my position. No point worrying about it though.
With the race calendar now released I’ve begun plotting out my races for the season, some of these will no doubt change but it’s good to have an idea, it also helps with family holiday planning. 2015 was predominately made of up 10 mile TTs, 2016 should see quite a few 25s in the diary.
Given that Etwall (25 miles) is a fast course and local to me, my intention is to get down to the South Pennine Road Club event regularly on a Tuesday night to race. A 25 mile TT still offers a good training load and will also keep me in the swing of racing. My goal time for 2016 for this course is going to be 51:59, a challenging target. Discounting the wrong turn I took, a long 53 / short 54 (not bad in only my second 25m TT) was what I achieved on a similar course in 2015 so that’s about 2 minutes to find or an extra 1mph in real terms.
For 10 miles, the target is 19:59, not sure any other course apart from the V718 will see me get this so it’s going to be about performance on the day combined with favourable conditions, something that in both my races there last year I didn’t benefit from.
Current PB, is 21:01, so just over a minute to find. That’s 1.5mph in speed terms, realistically if I had good conditions last season I think a 20:30 would have been a certainty, but the record books state 21:01, they don’t say “that would have been X if it wasn’t blowing a gale”. I have more performance based goals and course time targets, more on those to come later in the season.
Amongst the riders and coaches on Team Bottrill there’s unlikely to be much they don’t know about the sport of time trialling, an endless supply of resources that I can tap into and learn from. I’m sure the competition amongst team mates is also going to be good to watch too, I’m certainly motivated to represent Team Bottrill to the best of my ability in 2016. Unless I suffer an Incredible Hulk style science lab mishap (I don’t work in a lab), or some kind of performance enhancing spider bite then moving into that elite level of riders will not happen, but when I look at the results board I’m hoping I won’t have to scroll down too far in 2016.
You could say I’m now ready to #smashitup …………