This weekend saw the return of the Welsh 25 TT champs. Taking place on the r25/3h course which is FAST. This is down to the start being at the top of a hill and it being less than a mile before what is described as ‘the ski slope’ a dual carriageway descent. This causes sketchy moments at 45+mph on the extensions.
This is the first time that I have ventured over to deepest and darkest Wales this year. Due to the fact that it is still only early season.
So my race, I was in the Overflow event due to this hosting the Junior championship which started at 9am. I was number 75 so my start was at 10:15. So I arrived at the HQ picked up my number and headed out to a layby to be closer to the start. It was then when I was preparing the bike that I noticed the wind. It was really strong. This meant that the outward leg even with the bank would be very very fast. So I headed out to warm up and eventually got to the start. Heading out of the start into the wind was a sign of things to come as I was having to push just to stay 25mph+. Onto the DC I instantly knew this was going to be fast the speed quickly picked up and before I knew it I was in the 53×11 spinning out at 46 mph (if only I had put the 55T back on). This high speed continue I got to 10 miles at 17minutes, 12.5 at 23 minutes but it was this point I realised the return leg was going to hurt as I was really starting to suffer. This ‘feeling’ was explained to me by Andy Legge at the HQ after putting it down to having to rely on base fitness. Due to my lack of riding recently due to the injury problems.
The turn is at 15 miles and I just felt terrible, sick and for some reason I got heartburn WTF????. I knew that this would just be a slog into the wind and regardless of the time I was just glad to be racing my bike. So I was just ticking off roundabouts as I went whilst also watching the avg speed tumble from 32 to 28. Finally I finished in a time of 53:33 not even considering the Junior Title due to the quality of Junior there is nowadays. As I returned to the HQ Andy said that I was tied in 1st place initially I told him to F off as I just didn’t believe that after 25miles it could be a dead heat with Joe Rees (Cardiff Ajax). But this was the case so in an historic day the first joint winners of the title and the first time that the title had been retained as I have won it previously.
So Overall a great result from a weekend that I was tempted to right off. A trip to Wales that was well worth it!!!!
Yesterday evening marked the return of The Classic League which is a Time Trialling series hosted by Bristol South CC the best cycling club in the South if not the World. These TT’s are a true grassroots way into cycling. This was my first introduction to competitive cycling back in 2013 in which I did a lap of Chew Valley Lake (8.3 miles) in 26.36 and came 16th out of 18 riders. This gave me the bug for TTing which last year led to me breaking 6 long standing club records. This love for TTing was rekindled last night as I did the lap in 19:09 which surprisingly got me 1st Place!.
Link to results – http://www.bristolsouthcc.co.uk/djk/Results/classic_event_times.php?eid=1&year2=17
This surprised me due to the fact I have been barely able to ride my bike let alone put in any efforts. This lack of training was obvious I felt weak around 1/2 way in and it took forever to reel in Dan Kempe (legend!) and once I did. Getting past him took forever and was only able to stay in front for around a minute, you can thank me for the tow later or exchange it for a lift Sunday?.
I would just like to say a big Thank You to everyone which has given me support recently due to the rough patch (which I feel Im through) it has been truly humbling.
In my relatively short cycling career this is my first rough patch and its much worse than I ever could of imagined.
Cycling the one thing that allows me to escape if that be from; school, work, family or just life in general is painful. Since the crash on Saturday, I have ridden twice a short 8 mile route from school in Clifton over the Bridge along Beggars Bush Lane down Belmont and then on the cycle track to Nailsea. These rides were done on my TT bike as its the last one standing. This is normally an easy ride but the body has nothing to give my minds in the right place but just no go. It reminds me of when I started TTing in 2013 and I just had no power I wanted to go fast but couldn’t.
I feel as if I’m in a vicious circle. I’m not sleeping well due to the road rash and its distracting me during school due to me being unable to move without pain. This is not good as I am currently studying for my a levels.
This has been caused by the irrational and irresponsible actions of the rider that took me out on Saturday. Cheers mate.
Moving on, I am on the lookout for a replacement frame my preferred option is the Cannondale Caad10(Thanks to Rob Borek for this) but trying to find frameset appears to be near impossible. So if anyone can point me in the direction of one for sale it would be greatly appreciated.
That is the question I am asking myself on this Sunday morning. I’m sitting here reflecting on the past three weeks of racing which has resulted in over £1500 of damaged carbon, 1 trip to hospital and 2 get downs at 30mph.
First event which started this bad run of luck was the Junior Tour Of The Mendips. Which was an event that had been targeting since the Bristol South CC HC in October of last year. The race is a two day stage race with a TT (prologue) on the Saturday morning around half of Chew Valley Lake (my local TT course). I went into it with a feeling of unknown due to this event being filled with the best Juniors in the country and I’m just a lowly 4th cat. The Prologue I ended up getting 50th but was only 30s off the overall lead so I was looking forward to the ‘Sprinters’ stage in the afternoon. Photo Credit to my Coach Jason Streather of PDQ Cycle Coaching. http://pdqcyclecoaching.co.uk/home/4587444215
The Road Stage which was a rolling course on the top of the Mendips didn’t go to plan as around 30 miles in I got taken out in a crash at the time we were going 30mph and riders went down in front of me it was simply unavoidable. Putting me out of the tour. Luckily I wasn’t broken just lost skin but the bike was another story.
So I decided to reassess and begin to target The Castle Combe Easter Classic 4th Cat race on Good Friday. But on the Wednesday evening I got food poisoning from some dodgy chicken and what followed doesn’t need to elaborated on further. This ‘illness’ was still with me on the Friday morning so despite feeling weak I still decided to race and use it as experience. So as the first race after the Junior Mendips last weekend where I crashed I was nervy I was on my spare bike (more news on this later). So I decided to attack early on so early it was the first lap.
This turned out to not be successful but later on in the race I broke again with another rider we got a good gap but due to Junior Gearing I was unable to give good enough turns on the tailwind downhill sections and it didn’t work.
So it came down to a bunch sprint I was weak and nervy and surprise surprise there was a crash just infront of me but due to being on edge I managed to get it stopped and didnt crash. But this made me lose all momentum and caused me to be well outside of the points.
So yesterday was Sulis Scorpions 1/2/3/4 Junior Race at Odd Down. I felt good fully recovered from the illness. But this didn’t go the way I wanted as on the 2nd Lap I and another rider tried to get across to a breakaway up the road so we went on the attack. But as we came up the right hand side an out of control rider came from the left hand side of the track and took me clean out sending me flying doing a forward somersault landing on my head and neck around 5 metres away from my bike which ultimately took out the rider coming with me. To say that I was fuming is an understatement as I was rolling around on the floor. But credit where credits due is to the paramedics which managed to treat me thoroughly and calm me a very angry Josh down.
So now the bike which was built up as a spare after the crash in the Junior Tour Of The Mendips its a Ribble Sportive Racing which my Dad had and then gave to me in 2014. It has now come to the end of its life as it cracked during the crash.
So that’s been my past month of racing which I feel is summed up by ‘Why Always Me’
But at the end of the day in the words of Mark Cavendish ‘That’s bike racing at the end of the day I’ve crashed before and I’ll crash again.’
My name is Josh Griffiths, I am a junior racing cyclist based in Bristol. I race for Bristol’s oldest cycling club, Bristol South down here in the South West and have done so since I was 12 back in 2012.
I love all aspects of the sport be it Sportive’s, Track sessions, Criterium racing, off road in MTB events and I even did a cross event last year cross event in last year on my training bike for good measure.
At this stage a majority of my racing has been against the clock and it’s here that I have been getting my best results.
I love mixing it with the ‘Seniors’ at races, but also enjoy the club scene particularly ‘my’ club who have played such a big part in my development, right from the early days when they looked out for me on Sunday runs, and are hugely encouraging during the race season.
This encouragement continues today even though I now turn in better times than several of my mentors. I am not sure it’s right to say they enjoy that part but I do think they enjoy the fact that they were instrumental in getting me to where I am now as a sportsman and as an individual which is of course testament to the grass roots of my sport
I am one of those people who analyses what I am doing, whether it be position, setup or aerodynamics but the last 15 months in particular I have taken control of my Nutrition which has seen my weight drop from 95kilo’s over the past 2 seasons to my current race weight of 74kilos whilst being a good 3 inches taller.
I have listed below my PB’s set last season when I was 16. It was a season of 2 half’s with significant increase in power from the end of July:-
21:10 for 10miles – Ross on Wye 6/7/16
51:06 for 25miles – Port Talbot Wheelers (11/9/2016)
1:56:24 for 50miles – Cardiff 100mile RC (7/8/16)
4:04:29 for 100miles – Welsh CA (4/9/16)
My aim for this year is to improve as many of my times as possible, whilst riding as many of the other disciplines whilst not negatively impacting my studies. I think a sub 50 minute 25 time is possible but whether it’s this current season remains to be seen. I compete in Road Racing, Time Trials and the occasional CX race. My aims in cycling are to get onto one of the British Domestic Squads and hopefully ride in the World Tour.