Nigel's Blog
BPM Coaching

March Racing with Josh Coyne

 

 

A month of firsts

March began with my first trip away with Bpm Coaching this year, a week in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, it was awesome to get away from the British winter. We had a great week of long rides in the sun working on endurance and throwing in a range of efforts on some epic climbs, I was pleased with my numbers all week even though after 450 miles in the week fatigue started to set in.

 

Back Home

After returning to the gloom of Devon I had a week of solid Bpm Coaching training before my first event of the year, mainly working on tempo and threshold.

 

The Season Starts

Unfortunately, with the weather being how it is my first planned event, the Tavistock Wheelers 25 TT was canceled, a real shame as I love the course, however, if the course is under the snow there isn't much you can do about it.
So, my first event of the year was Plymouth Corinthians Sporting time trial around the Modbury circuit. A circuit familiar to most racers in the region but not me, having never ridden the course before I had a quick drive of the circuit before heading to the H.Q.

A bit of a lumpy circuit, mainly climbing on the way out, with a rapid return down the valley with a final kick up to the line. Rain started to set in during my ride and quickly steamed my visor as I hit the top of the valley, I'm glad the road surface was good as my vision was not! I had a solid ride with promising numbers for the first time out in 2018, finishing in 3rd place, my first podium in an open time trial, excellent!

 

Easter Weekend

Heading into the Easter weekend I was buzzing and raring to go, having had a good week of training I headed for the Mid Devon Hilly TT, a personal favorite of mine. As the name suggests its lumpy, mainly rolling up the valley to Doccombe, up and over and flying back down the Teign valley. Despite the Baltic conditions of 0°c average, I opted for leg warmers but no base layer, a decision I'm happy with, I quickly warmed up, riding the inclines hard and trying to recover on the descents/corners, pushing hard down the valley on the return I knew I was on for bettering last year, just the final push up into Chudleigh, with legs burning I kept it turning to the line to record 58.53, slightly quicker than last year on a much slower day. This was enough for 8th on the day against a field of mega strong riders. 

 

The Big Win

Being back at work on Saturday gave me a day to recover before the Brentor Road Race on Easter Sunday hosted by Tavistock Wheelers. 

 

I came into the race a little curious wondering how my numbers/form would compare to others having not raced on the road bike so far this year. The first few laps were how they always are at Brentor, everyone trying to smash everyone. The bunch was slowly depleting with every ascent of the drag to the line, after a few laps I followed the attack of my training partner and fellow BPM athlete Andrew White, we worked for a few minutes, however, were quickly chased back down by the bunch, either we weren't going as well as we thought, or we were both being heavily marked! I dropped back to the bunch and recovered, two laps in a row I was caught on the wrong side of a split in the bunch up the drag, and two laps in a row I bridged/dragged back up to the front group, it was these two efforts that clicked for me that I was one of the strongest in the race at this point, the gaps closed quickly and without going into the red. 

 

Onto my original plan, an all or nothing move on the penultimate climb! I recovered in the bunch and waited for the moment, drinking and refueling as I knew what was about to come. A kilometer or so before the turn into the climb I turned to Andrew and said I was going all or nothing on the climb, his face said it all really... 'rather you than me mate'.

 

I positioned myself well around the final turn and launched into the climb, an all-out effort pushing out the saddle up to the crest of the climb, keeping it rolling in the big ring. A quick look back seeing I had a decent gap meant I had to go all in now, I took the Bell at the finish line solo and set about the last lap, into time trial mode. 'stay aero' Part way around the lap a lad from Penzance Wheelers bridged across to me, immediately making him work we continued to ride hard, our final time check was 35 seconds rounding the final corner. It was now between us for the win, I led up the climb with my companion unwilling to take a turn (can't blame him, I wouldn't have either!) I was concerned by how well he'd stuck to my wheel even with a few surges and was fearing the worst for the sprint. I came into the last km constantly looking behind me for my opponents' launch, as we approached the line I launched earlier than normal, head down, all in, I saw his front wheel draw alongside me as I grabbed one more gear and kicked one final time... Boom, across the line first! I was over the moon to take my first road race win and my first road race points! 

 

Training that Works

Would like to say a massive thanks to Nigel from Bpm Coaching for all the support and coaching obviously! Also, Eggy and Mark from OKCC who came and stood in the cold to support all the riders, I haven't really stopped smiling yet!
Coming up in April is a couple of 25mile TTs and Totnes Vire 2-day stage race, in with the big boys on that one! (if my entry is accepted)

 

Author: Josh Coyne


Editor: Nigel Hale-Hunter