Friday, 21 January 2011

Quick Update

Whilst I watch the live coverage of the 2011 Willunga Hill Stage of the Tour Down Under I thought I would fill my Followers in of my 2011 racing plan! I've been working pretty hard recently with DS Dan Bennet and Coach Nigel Job to come up with the perfect compromise for my 2011 programme. Arranging the calender is a slow process with lots of different sites to scout, and races all over the country to consider. Well to shorten it down the major races are the National road series, seen here The National TT Champs, National 10, National 25 and National Team Time Trial. These are the most important races for myself so the remainder of the calender is based around getting me in the best possible form for these big events. I will also be racing In France and I am hoping for around 5/6 weekends with a mixture of racing in the north and south of the country! This is in order of me building a Palmares for an application to a French team for the 2012 campaign.

Haven't got a picture a picture of myself so I am afraid I will just say how Beautiful, Light and Stiff my new Keo Carbon Blades are and here is a picture!

This is a video explaining why they are so goods so I don't have too .

A quick update on training, well this week will be my longest week so far this year and will come in around 15/16 Hours. I have a 5hr and a 4hr ride to do this weekend, but not sure yet what order depends on how I feel. I am looking forward to a good catchup with Dante Carpenter tomorrow who last year was part of our Squad however has moved to ASFRA Flanders as he wants to focus his racing priorities on the Belgium Kermesse scene! Sunday I will be accompanied by Brock, and hopefully Will Kemp, Tom Copeland (Sigma) and Josh Cunningham (Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club). Will be a tough weekend for sure!

Once the Calender has been finalised I will post the 2011 agenda and fill you in on any further updates! another off topic blog is on the agenda just bare with me only 2 exams to go.

Cheers Tom

Monday, 17 January 2011

Jobster and a bit more power

Yesterday afternoon I was greeted with a visit from my coach (Nigel Job) he has more knowledge on coaching and everything bike related than anyone I know. He started his Career in Accountancy and has a Degree to his Name. He has also raced a bike at a High standard including races such as the tour of Israel. He has worked as a Coach and Scout for Glendene and can been seen at pretty much every Circuit race in London!

I have been working with him since last March and I really am starting to feel the benefits and my results will prove this, this coming year. I started working with power on Christmas day and after reading 'training with power' and with the knowledge of my coach guiding me in the right direction I have been able to analyse my training and this data will become ever more important with the season coming up! From are last meet my coach thinks that I may be able to challenge the Juvenile 25mile TT national record which Currently stands at 50m 40s which is around a 30mph average! We also concluded that he thinks my build is going to credit itself to both time trails and climbing and thankfully all apart from 2 of the national series include climbs! I can comfortably say I am not going to be a Chris Hoy and put out 2000 watts! My First Appearance will be at Hillingdon on the 29th however I shall be playing a team role but I am excited for some competitive racing!

Any how Using power has so many advantages As I mentioned yesterday I rode Ditchling Beacon and I got a new 4min max power output which was 378 watts. How does this compare to the pro's? this shows Horner's data from stage 17 of the 2010 TDF compared to my Sunday ride data:

Max Power (W)

Chris Horner

Tom Laker

5 Sec









you can see that my 4min average is 30 watts less than Chris Horner's however Chris was doing a more sustained effort (the Tormalet) so his will still be considerably higher! However it makes good reading as I am by no way at full strength so expect to see this rise. I can't wait to compare my own data from the Tormalet this summer! (watch this space) Any how the data makes promising reading!

Did a quick 30mins on the rollers to loosen up the legs today and they certainly feel looser I am sure 30mins stretching also helped. Bike felt awesome on the rollers and can't wait to take it for a spin on the road and really feel its benefit, the kinesis is feeling like a shopping trolley (real winter bike)!

Next update won't be till Thursday evening as I have a number of exams in the coming days so need to focus on the college work.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Solo or Group?

This weekend has included some heavy mileage indeed! Thought I would separate the blog into two halves! I don't normally blog on rides but I feel quite obliged to blog about today's fast Sunday run and a lonesome Saturday outing!

So, Saturday I knew what I was faced with! 4hrs on the road... the weather, windy and a little damp! never have I felt so uninspired to jump on the saddle! with Most the squad in Newport for a track session (read this blog to find out more and Dante electing out of the ride last minute to race at Hillingdon. I had no option but to go it alone! 3hrs 45mins to go and I was already counting down the time! not a good sign to say the least. Well I ended up riding around the Dunsfold road Circuit and if you want more data look on Garmin connect . Enough of the ride details But it got me thinking are there any pros of riding on your own. For shorter rides its nice to have your own company as it allows you to do some thinking of what is going on in your life and also what next to blog about or if your doing intervals then you can do exactly what your coach has allocated you! but there really is nothing enjoyable about a level 2 endurance ride alone! The ride wasn't too bad but what would one do without the company of an Ipod, I don't know! Still a good 4hrs in the legs!

Sunday, well It started at Chez Drew in Bolney and I had another 4 hours on the agenda. The plan was to meet Brock DR & Will Kemp (PCCDS) and Tom Copeland (Sigma Sport) in Ditchling around half 10. But we were fashionably late so we ended up meeting them in Hassocks. We were then on our way to Lewes to meet the Mc Namara's this made me wonder how my legs were going to hold out from yesterdays slog as this training ride was rely going to include some strong cookies! So off we went and it only had to be Via the beacon! Seems an age since I last rode it, but it seemed to have got easier? well not rely! I managed to stick to the Wheel of Tom Copeland (Sigma Sport) the whole climb which is a little achievement in itself! looking back on the data we averaged 350 watts for the complete climb! at one point I was certainly grimacing as my computer read 450 watts 3/4 of the way up! We reached lewes after going past the most amazing building in the UK! I couldn't quite contain myself and the ALBION chants had to be Sung! for those of you who don't have a clue what I am talking about, it is the magnificent stadium of Falmer, the new home of BHAFC. After being homeless for 13 seasons every time I see the stadium I rely getting a huge feeling of pride and excitement and can't wait to get my season ticket!

We met an assortment of riders including Chirs Mc Namara (Corley Cycles) Simon Mc Namara & Rodger Smith (South Down Bikes) and Paul Barnard (Team Terminator). They didn't hang around and with Tom and Chris doing the majority of the work it was pretty fast! A mention must go to Brock who Rode extremely Well after a week long Illness. He finishing 3rd up the Beacon and he Hung on comfortably in a tough ride! For myself It was a bit bizarre riding with the Mc Namara's. When I first started racing a bike at Dunsfold Aerodrome they were always in contention for the win so It felt a bit of a honour to be in such company and talking to experienced riders is always nice as you can never learn to much! So Back to the title of the blog and I think by the amount I have written for Sundays ride shows that the pros of riding in a group really excel those of riding alone! I am quite a social person so riding for 4hrs with company is far more enjoyable for me than being alone! Here is the Garmin data for Sundays ride.

This coming week I have got exactly the same training wise as the previous week. I shall blog about some of the Power Data from Sundays ride in an attempt to help followers understand the utility of training with wattage.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Its more important than you think

Ultimately my results this year are going to determine where and at what level I will be riding a bike in 2012! For myself this adds motivation to each training ride. I know I have to follow the most professional lifestyle possible in order to overcome my opponents this includes making sacrifices including minimal alcohol , not going to parties and not eating crap food. This is all in order of building up a sufficient Palmares. So.... (in the words of Charlie Fawke) the ball is in my court! What has made me think about this? it is that I am currently sitting exams and the thought of Uni at the moment really doesn't appeal and the realisation of the importance of this season just has hit me and my results are the same as a person aiming for a number of UCAS points in order to get to the uni of their preference! I have began to sort out logistics already for the following season and am beginning to tally up costs and work out which teams I will be applying to! come June I will be a full time cyclist (scary prospect) and have a part time job trying to gather as much money possible to race abroad! this excites me so much and I really cant wait to get racing and start impressing people so all I can do atm is everything I am told by Nigel Job (coach) and I have a lot of confidence this Is going to be a good season!

Progressive Cycle Coaching Development Squad 2011

From yesterday's blog, opinions have been coming in and I am rely happy about this! I had a great response from and I like how it has caused people to express their feelings on the topic! As I said today on twitter I will blog about my own performance as a cyclist, My interest in the world of professional Cycling, My football Team (Brighton) and sometimes an incite of my personal life if I feel it be relevant to my blog! please feel free to respond via twitter or blogspot with your own opinions!

Thought I would add a picture. So..... here is a picture of my TT bike for 2011, I apologize that it is currently cassetteless its not quite a speed machine yet! Bike spec is below the picture.

2011 Time Trial Bike (Pro-Lite Espresso Aero buster)

Frame: Pro-Lite Espresso Aero buster (57cm)
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra 53/39 175mm
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace Bar End 10sp STI Shifters
Brake Levers: Crane Creek 200TT
Derailleurs: Shimano 105
Brakset: Sram Force
Handle Bars: Easton Aero Force Mod Base bar & Extensions
Stem: Ritchey WCS 4Axis Stem Wet White
Cables: Jagwire Racer Orange
Chain: KMC X10 SL Gold
Saddle: Fizik Tundra
Training Wheels: Cyclops Pro+ Hub, Ambrosio Excellight Rims
Training Tyres: Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 290 TPI
Racing Wheels: Hyper Sonics 50mm/Novatec Hubs
Racing Tyres: Continental GP 4000

Thats all for now, may blog later tonight If I can't sleep!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Who to support, team or rider?

Cycling is an odd sport! For the outsider it's impossible for them to understand how cycling could be a 'team sport' but those who do understand the game do know that team work is paramount to success! Therefore the fact of having a favourite team doesn't appear to be support for a brand but the support of a group of riders! but how can a fan like all 25 to 30 riders on a squad? will they find the kit presentable? will they find the bikes Beautiful? There are so many variables that consist in simply supporting a team! I wouldn't lose passion for Brighton if Elliot Bennet decided to wear pink boots! and this it what makes cycling a complete opposite from other team sports, I as a football team fan would never now lose support for the Albion and change teams this isn't the case in pro cycling!

The Leopard- Trek presentation was extremely bizarre this included a talented Fixie and a Zebra rolling around in a large wheel! The team is looking like a real dream team for 2011! With a team with Strengths in all fields of the sport! Will they have my support? Not sure yet, Andy Schleck will always have my support as a rider! After following him in the 2010 tour I will never stop having a passion for the rider when I see him climb! the question remains about the team! Do I like the bikes? Honestly, not really I think that the paint job on Madone's are not easy on the eye. Do I like the kit? Well the kit design is nice however I prefer a jersey with larger logos and sponsors covering all sides! Leopards jersey is 'elitist' and for me too plain however the colours are nice! When I watch team leopard race I will support Andy. This may sound odd that I will not support the other individuals on the team, but fans support winners and Andy has my support. There are other riders who I will continue to support from Saxo-Bank Include Dominc Klemme, Jens Voight, and of course Maxime Monfort from his Cofidis routes. Most fans have support for a number of riders all on different teams and would support them regardless of the colour of their jersey!

Many fans support teams because of their nationality this is evident for example by Euskadi-Euskatel! Passionate Basque Fans covering the Pyrenees in Orange so that they can see Samu Sanchez ride passed! they will love this team regardless if they win or lose! Much the same can be said for the Italian Tifoso! With there only being one Large British Pro Cycling Team (Sky) you would think I would follow sky and I do but as It stands atm I have a larger affinity for Cofidis!

For me to support a team you have to fall in love for the atmosphere created by the infrastructure of the team and the riders and what the brands mean for you and the nationality of the team! All though Cofidis are now only Pro Conti Status, in my eyes they are my favourite outfit! A lot of the riders come from Pau! the first rider to inspire myself was Stephan Auge his courageousness in breakaways in the tour inspired me and since then I have owned 2007 Cofidis kit. I like the french nationalistic approach, the French Riders, the French bikes and the Passionate French fans. With my Mother living near Pau I feel a tiny part of that! and I have an affinity with the team and hope each day they race it will end in a Cofidis win regardless of the rider!

However let's be honest, as a rider I would ride for any team who is prepared to pay me money to race bikes!


Questions and Answers

This has been taken from my page on the team website, a few Q's and A's you might be interested in!

  • What is your favourite ride? My favourite ride is in the south west of France in the Hautes Pyrenees department. The ride starts at Argeles Gazost finishing in Lourdes. The ride includes the ascent of the Tormalet from the Luz St Saveur side and includes the ascent of both sides of the Col dAspin. The ride is about 130km.
  • What are you doing when you're not cycling? When I’m not cycling I watch Brighton Hove Albion Football Club, and occasionally go to away matches. I have the odd kick about, and chill with my mates. I go to the cinema and play a bit of poker. Alternative exercises include spending time in the gym as well as jogging and swimming.
  • What do you like about riding for One Life Development Squad? I like the organisation of the squad. This includes the infrastructure of the team Also I like how the riders are committed and how we are a recognised as a strong unit. The team is also full of friendly individuals who work together as a team. It is also evident how the squad cares for you as a rider and your progression to your maximum potential.
  • What is your ultimate goal in cycling? My ultimate goal in cycling is to one day become a professional rider. However that is the dream of every young bike rider in the world So I realise how competitive it will become as I continue to progress. My approach to the sport is dedicated and professional, and if I was to fall short of my dream I would still be able to re create these aspects in everyday life. If I become professional my dream would be to race for a French outfit. If not successful I would like to Gain a BSC in sport science and hopefully coach either footballers or cyclists to future champions or become an agent in either of the sports.
  • What is your greatest memory on 2 wheels? In 2009 I raced in France for the summer. I was racing in a criterium at the foot of the Pyrenees in a small town called Montaut. There were around 80 starters in the cadets race (under 16’s). The race started off at a furious pace with constant attacking, which is the style of amateur racing on the continent. With 20km to go I was in a chase group of nine riders including 3 regional champions. However there was a sole rider of the front. Then With 5k to go I attacked and left the chase group, I ended up pulling back 20 seconds from the leader but just fell short of catching him. By around 5 seconds and had him in my sights and the end of 78kms. For me it was the first time I realised my potential in the sport and being on the podium abroad with flowers and a small trophy was inspirational.
  • How did you get into cycling? In 2007 I was in France for July living with my mum. Le tour de France passed near our house so we decided to take a trip and watch the race. For me the spectacle of the race was awesome and the size of it was incredible. Then throughout that summer I did 10 miles on a old MTB every day, and on my return to the UK I bought my first racer a Specialized Allez and joined AD cycles.
  • What is one of your most memorable moments? Greatest moment not on the bike would be the play off final against Bristol city when we were in league 1. We were given a penalty around the 70th minute and held on for the win, and were promoted to the championship.
  • Favorite Musical Artists? Jme, Devlin, Coldplay, Inna and Shakira
  • What are you favourite films? Green Mile, Planet of the Apes and Shaw Shank Redemption
  • What is your favourite food? Starter: Bruschetta Main; Confit du cunard and chips; Pudding; Tarte aux pommes

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Creeping Up

So it's the11th of January and the season is almost upon us! the first day I intend to race this year is the 6th of March so I have around 8 weeks to go, to be where I need to be! I shall be at Hillingdon only once for the winter series to gauge my fitness. Then I shall be In France from the 17th to the 24th of February, this will consist of two long days in the saddle at sea level and 4 days skiing and altitude training. Cycling shall consist of Mountain reps on the Col du Portalet. Its 29km in length averaging about 5% with about 1300m of climbing in total! I will be Skiing with my step Brother at probably the best resort in the Pyrenees and needless to say I am rely excited about it and about spending some time with my stepbrother (Ed). We spent a lot of our childhood together but as we have grown up and now living in different places we don't see as much of each other so it will be a great catch up!
Profile Col Du Portalet

Enough of the boring bits I have got myself thinking what is a blog? is it the telling of a story or telling people your thoughts? well for myself reading listed facts is not interesting. So I am now going to attempt to include more feelings and emotions! however of course I will update you on my cycling developments but is there anything worse than updates on the latest turbo session? isn't that what twitter is for? If you want to hear about my training and latest purchases follow my twitter !!! However I shall still blog about races, extensive training blocks and I would also appreciate your comments on each post!

Rant over, this month is going to be a long one! 6 exams and lots of riding on the agenda.When February comes I will be able to relax more and with the lighter evenings coming our way, fitting training in will certainly be easier!

Some other blogs you may want to check out:

bonne nuit