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Caledonian Thistle

Is it just me or does everyone's body during the the first k or mile seem to say " your going to try and do how many of these ?" It feels impossible to run but then as you settle into it, a rhythm develops and you start ticking off or counting down K's or Miles . For me this is made easier with something to look at, listen to or distract you from actually running. I like to watch the trail, the clouds, the trees. This holiday it's been the water ( something I don't get at home and I've loved it). Today's water was the Caledonian canal and banked by my one of my favourite trees the Rowan I was easily distracted. I will miss the water.

Shore bay run

Pushing the run buggy on more than a few short sharp climbs gave me few maximum heart rate moments today. Weird thing is I quite enjoyed trying to bring it down whilst still running uphill pushing the Thule buggy. The scenery was once again stunning. with the incredable Bens and Loch's all around to inspire.

Sunny Intervals Strapether run

The rain in the night was almost welcome. The pitter patter on the motor home roof. It signals something easier, a break or repute from the treadmill. Except it's not a treadmill any more. Treadmill implys a trudge or a steady grind. But let's face it life ain't like that. It's a full on never ending sprint. I needed a break.

My first 10k for a while and what it lacked in pace was more than made up by the scenery more pitter patter please.

Riding The Wilier Cento 10 Air – *Deposits Now Being Taken In Store*

When The Velo Store first told us they would be sponsoring the team for the 2017 my first thought was…. what bike would I be getting? After months of Anticipation The Velo Store arranged a demo day with Wilier on their newly Cento Air 10 race machine. The team took them out for an evening and we were all very impressed with the bikes. The guy from Wilier who rode with us on the demo didn’t manage to stay on as we put the bike through their paces. “That’s the fastest demo I’ve ever done” is what we heard at the end. 

I have now had this bike since the end of February and I have done a fair few races on it. The design and colour scheme are spot on, we all agreed on the Matt black / red with a glossy finish – the best colour choice in my opinion. 

The frame is based on advanced aerodynamics and also features integrated Alabarda aero bars which not only improve aero performance but also finish off the bike nicely. 
We all received the bikes with full ultegra groupsets and Mavic cosmic carbon wheels. At first I was a bit wary of the wheels having not rode on cosmic’s before and hearing a few bad experiences, but the wheels have been awesome, never missed a beat. As for the groupset, I have always rode on shimano and probably always will. Ultegra is a great all rounder and I would recommend it to anyone. 

I could sit here boring you with all the geeky details but I am not going to. All in all I would highly recommend the Cento 10 Air and I will be sad to see it go at the end of the season. If you are looking for a bike built for speed then the Wilier must seriously be considered. For anybody who wants to read the full review please follow the link below:

The Velo Store is currently taking deposits on the Wilier’s and these will be available for collection mid/late September – 3 bikes to choose from, small, large and XXL all come with Shimano ultegra groups sets and cosmic wheels – bargain price of ¬£3500


Velo RT July Update

Where to start… July so far has proven to be a good month all round. A lot of racing and probably are most successful month to date – podiums all round.

02/07/17 – Sunny Rhyl Crit – E/1/2/3 – Myself and Grant turned out in Velo colours, with a half past 9 start and a 2 hour drive it was an early one. When we arrived we were surprised to see that there wasn’t quite 10 on the start sheet, this was very frustrating given the early start ūüė¶ nevertheless we did what we had to do. The race turned into a really good laugh if anything, we really enjoyed the race, some hitters turned up including the newly north west regional crit champ Ed Hopper. Late on in the race there were a few moves but nothing was going to stick so it was down to the sprint. Coming round the last corner sitting on Ed’s wheel I thought I might be able to nick the win but I couldn’t quite do it. Ended Martin 2nd – Grant 4th.

08/07/17 – BodyTORQ crit Lancaster National B – E/1/2/3 – Richard took the lead on the driving front, Rich was booked on the 3/4 race while myself and Grant were doing the Nat B. Rich rode strong in the 3/4, cancelling down some early attacks. Going into the last few laps It was going down to the sprint. Rich managed to make up a few places in the sprint coming over the line in 8th place.

As Rich was still feeling good he decided to sign on the Nat B straight after. This race was brutal early doors, attack after attack. The start sheet had some big names on it so the attacks were expected. It seemed to settle later on but it was a very congested race. In the last 2 laps 2 riders managed to get away, so again it was about the sprint. Getting into a good position going into the final corner was proving to be extremely difficult. At one point I was on the grass and lost a few positions. As the sprint started you really did need your wits about you, there were bikes being thrown around every where. Grant managed to come over the line in 9th place, myself 14th and Rich 18th (pretty strong effort considering). We all went home happy as we were all in the points and again we had a good laugh.

16/07/17 – Swyno 60 Mile Road Race TLI – AS this being a local race we always want to do well representing Velo. Only myself and Grant entered this from Velo. Early doors 2 riders went up the road, I did consider to try and bridge over but I was confident it wouldn’t stick (how wrong was I going to be) the 2 riders was soon 1, with 1 rider being swallowed back in the pack. As the race progressed, we both tried various attacks but everything was getting brought back. With 1 rider still away on the final lap Grant decided to make a move going over the top of one of the climbs. Seeing Grant do this I immediately jumped across with another rider…the 3 of us were away. The solo rider away was in touching distance but this wasn’t meant to be. He crossed the line as we started our sprint 200 metres back. I managed to sprint for 2nd place and Grant came over the line in 3rd – the best outcome really :). The bunch weren’t far behind but we had done the job in hand. Shame we didn’t catch the guy out in front but he fully deserved 1st.

19/07/17 – Midweek Marsh Tracks Crit Rhyl – E/1/2/3 – Evening race, not the best to get to during rush hour but worth the journey. After 2 hours in the car I got there hoping that there was more than 10 entries, which it turned out there was – thank God. With Ed Hopper and George Evans on the start line I knew it was going to be a difficult race. The race was for an hour and there was lots of attacks, George trying his best to shake everyone off his wheel but it wasn’t meant to be. Towards the end Ed put in a big effort and went solo but he was caught. The last couple of laps went slow, everyone sat up and looked at each other. As I came onto the home straight I managed to cross the line in 5th place… overall happy to finish in the points, it made the journey home more Pleasurable but still looong.

23/07/17 – West Mids League Alan Goddard 2/3/4 – Going into this race I felt pretty good, with some good results under my belt I was looking foward to it. The course is flat but there was a nasty wind knocking around. Again, just myself and Grant entered this. The race started with a few soft break attempts, I wasn’t convinced anything was going to stick today due to the course being flat. As the race went on there were more attacks, I went with a few but again nothing was going to stick. After 47 miles going into the left hand turn on the A53 a group of riders got a gap. I instantly went for it with another rider, we managed to get on the back of the break. In total there was approx 10 riders, with a lot of shouting and organising going on we started to go through and off. My number one priority was to look after myself, try not to go through to hard and stay as aero as possible. With the pack a good 30 sec behind and the line getting closer I was confident we were going to stay away. After 15 miles we were in the last mile of the race, the 10 riders were still together. In the last km a guy took off, followed by a few others. Coming up to the finish line it was a all out sprint. I was slowly catching a podium place but it wasn’t meant to be…4th place but happy. This is probably my best result to date due to it being in the west mids league. Unfortunately Grant puncture on the 2nd to last lap, so he DNF. 

So far July has been a good month for us all. At the local Audlem road race TLI league Grant took 1st place in the 1st out of 3 races. This was the 1st win Velo have had this season and hopefully not the last. Since this Grant also took 6th in the 2nd race, so it’s all down to the last race (good luck mate)  I will update Grants final position next time. 

Richard also raced the Darley 3/4 on the 22/07/17 and came over the line in 4th position. This was Riches best result to date and hopefully not the last ūüôā 


City of Birmingham Triathlon 2017

Following a surprisingly good run at Cheadle 4 last week, I should have felt confident going into this race, but I didn’t. This was the first time since the World Championships in 2013 that I have raced an Olympic Distance Triathlon; 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10k run.

Treading water at the start line, everyone singing happy birthday to a fellow competitor, (another first) which helped take my mind off the two or so (hopefully) hours of racing ahead of me. A lead pack quickly formed about 40m ahead of me but I maintained sight of them for the remainder of the 1500m, heading out a second smaller group of swimmers ahead of the main pack. Exiting the swim in a little over 28 minutes, and in the top 10, I hoped to get into a nice rhythm and make up some positions on the bike.

Birm SwimBirmingham Triathlon 2017Birmingham Triathlon 2017

I’d not done this course before, and¬†hadn’t recced it either, so naturally took my TT bike, and at first I thought it was the wrong choice, but it was fine, I was¬†really strong on the sharp climbs, passing some lightweight looking people on lightweight road bikes, and on the descents my MTB experience coming in handy¬†on the uneven descents and tight corners.

I managed to pass a lots of fellow competitors on the first lap; on the following 7 laps it was difficult to tell who I was racing or just lapping, so I just passed everyone, and did my best to avoid some cows that decided they wanted to get a closer look at the racing.

Unbeknown to me I came into T2 in 2nd position overall, and completed the fastest bike split of the day in just over 1hr 2 minutes on the very technical course. The spectators and marshals were giving me a huge cheer, something which always encourages you to go faster.

I headed out on the off road run (again, course unknown), still not knowing my position,¬†the sharp climb at the start soon warmed my legs up for running.¬†I approached another runner who had a marshal alongside him on a Mountain Bike (…oh please give me your MTB). I passed this runner, seeing he was also in the same race wave as me, and then the marshal on the bike came with me – I thought, the marshal on the bike usually shadows the leader – he will go on any moment now. But no, 2km later I asked the marshal what position he thought I was in and he said well, when you overtook that¬†last person,¬†you took the lead as far as I’m aware – no pressure then!

Being a 4 lap run course I was able to gauge the distance to the person behind me as I exited the start/finish area and he entered it, and this remained the same until the start of the last lap, which gave me confidence that I could stay in front.

Birmingham Triathlon 2017

Nearly twisting my ankle, and¬†fighting off¬†cramp, the last lap wasn’t all plain sailing, but I did it, over the finish line in 1st place to WIN the City of Birmingham Olympic Distance Triathlon 2017!!! The commentator shouting my name and Velorunner out on the Mic several times was such an amazing feeling and the best end to a race I could ever hope for.

Birmingham Triathlon 2017Birmingham Triathlon 2017

At the presentation I received my age group trophy and a nice overall winner glass trophy, and I quickly overcame my fear of heights on the top step!

I’m now looking forward to more races at this distance.

#velorunner #argon #newbalance #believe