My 2016 road season ended at the Leicester kermesse. Looking back now I really was on my hands and knees! haha! I had just come back from two weeks in Belgium where I raced myself into the ground. I needed some time off the bike, and away from everything bike related.
I flew from East midlands – Dublin and a few hours later flew from Dublin – Zadar (Croatia) with my girlfriend. We spent two weeks exploring the place, lucky for me Rebecca had done her research and planned where we would be everyday so we got to see some really incredible places.
I had a two days at home and then was on a plane back out to Mallorca to begin training with the Irish track squad for the European Championships in Paris. It was a case of straight in, and back to split days on the road/Gym/Watt bike and track. All the days just merge together to be honest, we all put our heads down and go into hermit mode for weeks training. There is little to distract us training out there, we really do need a dog or something to keep us sane!
We took ourselves to a few UCI track GP’s in Barcelona/Switzerland which were great openers and made a change of scenery from the Palma arena velodrome.
I felt I was in good shape about two weeks before Euros, my power meter was telling me I was on track for a PB, but to be honest think I over did myself a couple of days before we flew to Paris (error on my part not listening to my body). Euros went OK, I didn’t PB in the Individual pursuit as I had hoped. I finished 12th in the Points race and went away from it in a really bad mindset, I knew it was a really poor showing from me and I just wanted to do it all over again. That’s bike racing.
I came home from Mallorca and took another short break in December to freshen up the body and mind. Since then I have just been chipping away working on my endurance and raising up my threshold, nothing fancy just keeping things consistent. My next big race on the road will be in April with Neon Velo, its still a good bit away so i’m not too worried about ramping up the intensity for another while just yet.
I will do a couple of Irish races in the coming weekends, then take about 10 days off between the end of Feb & start of March. I did this last year and felt it allowed me to have a bit more in the tank for later in the season for more targeted events.
I’m looking forward to another year on the road with Neon, we are seen as underdogs in the UK races and I enjoy that. The squad is looking strong for this year so hopefully everyone has been doing their homework and we can make an impact on the UK scene.