I’m sitting in the car doing 30mph on the M4, snow is falling very lightly but the surrounding trees and fields are absolutely covered. Wales was sunny with blue sky but lots of snow, about four or five inches.
My camp started at two thirty on Wednesday, I ran out of school and jumped into Dads van to get across rush hour London to Paddington station. He has already picked up my training bike, track bike, aero bars, two helmets and two massive bags. By Four I was on a pretty empty train heading to Newport, hoping that I didn’t have a repeat of my previous five hour train journey. Getting onto the train with all my kit wasn’t too much trouble but was still a bit of a stress.
One of the coaches picked me up from Newport station, a quick stop at the Velodrome to drop of some kit and then I was off to the hotel for the night. It was great to see all the lads on the team and everyone had a good catch up.
At six thirty the next morning we where up for breakfast before heading onto the track. A short four mile ride to the Velodrome and I was soon on the rollers warming up for my first event; the Team Pursuit. It went really well and we went fastest of the two Talent team teams, I felt very strong and the Team Pursuit is fast becoming one of my favourite events.
I think I enjoy it due to the nature of the event, you put in a big effort start and then settle into a rhythm however if its going to be fast it must be a lung bursting rhythm. You have to suffer and hold onto wheels just like the road, however it is effectively just a few big sprints mixed in with high end rest periods. You push as hard as possible whilst on the front and then swing up high into the corner to dampen your speed and then fly down super fast the track to get back onto the rear of your high speed four man train.
The Team Pursuit was followed by a flying lap that afternoon and then an Individual Pursuit, Elimination race and Scratch race the next day. The racing was very hard, the two bunch races where effectively my second and third ever bunch races on the track and I found the positioning very hard to deal with.
We where racing with the Olympic Development Programme (Under 18s) and the Academy (Under 23s) on the track and it was very hard. Some of the Academy lads have been full time professional riders for three years now and will be riding the Senior World Cup events next season. It was amazing riding with them and I learnt masses about everything on the track and also worked out what I need to work on this winter before next season on the track.
I have just looked up from the mum’s laptop and its dark now, the snow has stopped but there is still a good four inches on the side of the road. We are in pretty crazy traffic just outside London on the M4 motorway, mum has been travelling for seven hours today. My Grandpa picked me up from Newport this afternoon and we drove to Swindon to meet mum who has already broken down twice in her rented car. We where down to ride two more races today but they where cancelled due to the conditions, I managed to get on the boards for about an hour with two of the Welsh academy lads and again I really enjoyed it. Just riding with them for that short amount of time helps so much!
Thankyou to Mum who spent 9 hours in the car today, and to my Grandpa for saving me from Wales!