All posts by Leon

National Championships

National Closed Road Time Trial Championship 2020. On Saturday the 10th of October 2020 (last week), my dad and I went to ‘Premier Inn’ at Thruxton in Hampshire for the race the next day.

We went with Jack (10yrs) and Edith (13yrs), all of us are members of Suffolk Youth Race Team (SYRT). We had dinner together that night and then went to bed. The hotel let us down a bit with breakfast, so we had to find some in another place.

In the morning, we woke up and packed our things away. I got ready in my kit, then we packed the car and checked out of the hotel. We then went to McDonald’s and bought pancakes, but didn’t eat them in the end as we didn’t really like them, so I had a banana instead. When we got to the race, I signed on and got my numbers and timing chip and took them back to the car.

Edith, jack and I rode around a bit to keep warm and at 8:00, we did a few laps of the course together to practice our lines and position.

With about 30 minutes to the race, I got on the rollers and did a few minutes on there. I finished my drink, got back on the rollers and did a few harder bursts. With about 10 minutes to go to my start, I went over and started riding around the square warm up area near the start line.

At the start line, I had to think about my gears and where my pedal was in order to get a fast start. Although I was ready, I still had quite a bad start, only getting clipped in at the end of the pit lane.

I was on the tri-bars as soon as i could have and about 1 minute into the race, I went around a corner and someone came past me on the inside of the track, but there was not much space, maybe 40 cms, so it was very close. They made me lose control of the bike whilst I was on the tri-bars, and I almost fell off. I recovered and settled back into the race without losing too much time.

There is a hill on the course near the end of the lap. After a few laps riding the hill seated, I decided to test out which one was faster, “out of the saddle” or “on the tri-bars seated” for the hill. I figured out that I was much faster out of the saddle when going up the hill and still recovered in time to push onto the finish straight.

I forgot my inhaler before the race, so I was struggling a bit with my breathing for the whole race, but at the end of the race I gave all my remaining energy away by giving a sprint to the finish line. I was so tired and out of energy when I finished, that after I signed out, I could barely stand and had to sit on the ground whilst we were talking to team mates.

I was quite happy with my result and I came 1st (I was the only one in my category 🙂 ). Although I did beat a 13,14 and 15 year old which I think is quite good.

It was great fun and I’m glad I could race there this year. Well done to everyone who raced.It was about 4 hours to get home, so I was quite tired when we arrived to see my mum and our dog.

Thank you again to Angus for lending me his disc wheel. I looked after it very well and It made me feel very fast.

Photo by Huw Williams.. Dad has this photo in his office at home

Thank you to Stonham Barns for their support this year (Alan and Terri Forward, Keith etc), you make a big difference, especially for the opportunities you make available to me.. Its never forgotten.

Lovely Ride with Megan Barker

Today I went to Milton Keynes to ride with the UCI road team, Cams Tifosi.

When we arrived, we met Keith the photographer who works with my sponsors Stonham Barns and we went to the area where the team were getting ready.

A few minutes later, I talked to Clover Murray, who came from Colchester and rode for Braintree velo (who my dad used to ride with, and they both knew Chris Broadway). She was very kind and supportive.

There were two choices of course, 20 miles or 40 miles and I chose the 40 miles one.

We had to ride in groups of six because of coronavirus and our group was with Megan Barker (Professional cyclist who won a gold medal at the European games). It was a very nice course and lovely weather. I used my cyclo-cross bike which is a bit heavier than my road bike. The course was quite hilly but also had lots of long downhills.

We rolled out from the café but our group split up quite quickly so Megan and I rode together almost all of the way. I managed to ask a lot of questions and I now know a bit more about how professional riders work.

Everybody was very friendly. The photographer and my dad came past quite a lot and got hundreds of pictures of Megan and I. Megan said “it’s like were celebrities.” It was very windy which affected our speed a bit but we still got round with a 16 mph average.

When we got back to the café me and my dad got a drink and something to eat. I got the biggest bit of Victoria sponge cake in the world! The wasps were attacking us and they wanted my dad’s Danish whirl. After that the team had a quick Q&A session, but we had to leave a bit early, so we could only see half of it.It was a wonderful experience and a very inspiring ride and I’m glad I got this opportunity.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Allan, Keith Suffling (amazing), Simon and Cams Tifosi but especially Megan Barker for looking after me around the course today.

Some great photos from Keith Stuffling of Megan and I during the ride.

Massive thank you to Megan for buddying me around the 40 miles, Clover for being so kind before the ride, Keith for helping to organise the ride and taking all of the photos and of course, Alan Forward of Stonham Barns Park for his support, as ever.

Taking my CycloCross bike for a spin, its a bit heavy @ 9Kgs, but its a bike you can take on longer rides in any conditions safely
Megan buddied me throughout the ride and was great company, chatting to me all the way… Amazing
Dad worrying about nutrition… I dont think he was a spreed trap policemen, even though it looks like it in the photo

Going for the Lap Record at Stonham Barns Showground

New lap record

This took a while to get right. We went through a few weeks of how to get an 11yr old girl, me, to beat some of the fastest male senior riders around the showground. I know if they came back, they would beat me, but that’s not too surprising.

We worked on all sorts of positional optimisation, corner exit speed etc to be in with a shot. A local coach tried to tell me I was not riding correctly, which confused me a bit for one week, but w got back on track and the results are below.

It was great to be on my own pushing out a good few lap times that equalled the record, but I was over the moon to see two laps that were quicker. I did have a few laps out on each attempt and the fastest time same from 3 laps in a row attempts with the middle lap being the hardest push.

Thank you again to Stonham Barns for their support and use of the show ground.

Glorious Goodwood – 2nd Race

6th of September 2010

Goodwood, allowed to race up an age group today. Happy with ride, it looks like I’m on target. Trying to average 23mph for 11.7 miles. It was windy and a bit colder than the last time we went to Goodwood.

I came 3rd, riding in U16s. It was really good fun and have to thank the race organiser David Collard-Berry of 3crg for letting me race in an older age group and most importantly the same distance as i would need to ride in the National Championships in a few weeks time.

Thanks as ever to Stonham Barns Park, my sponsor for their Support
Warming up… It wasn’t as calm as it looked, we were a bit late to warm up
Getting over taken by a much older boy
Warming up became calmer once we were back on schedule. Its a learning experience and we are not normally late, so this was something to understand. It will happen again sometime.
Eek.. concentrating and trying to picture the course we did a couple of weeks ago and how the effort for the first lap felt. At home I can use my power meter to help me, but not here. I have to push, but not too hard. I use negative splits if I find I am feeling better on lap two than I should be and push the effort up slightly for the 2nd half and then go for it flat out for the last mile or two. Its all about learning for me. My lap times were good today, so I got it roughly right and it was close to my FTP (in feeling) and that showed in close lap times.
I was thinking if I could make the next lap shorter 🙂
N dsk wheel today, so the ssshhhh noise wasn’t there. Disc wheels make yo go faster, but dad says its good for me to think like that, so I guess it doesn’t make as much difference as it feels like it does.
pushing n he last lap. I got over 27mph, which I know means I wasn’t pushing enough on the earlier laps. Nice to sprint though… feels good.
Driving to the line.
Saw Mummy, Callum and Eva after the warm down lap.

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD YOUTH TIME TRIAL

11th of August 2020

Thanks to Angus for the loan of his wheels, they felt fast
The winner was a boy 3 years older, so I couldn’t beat him. it was very good fun and I was fastest girl
signing on with Eva
going over the plan
Excited to race in 2020
Checks and more checks 🙂
Clipped in well this time
Can’t catch the motor bike 😉
Into my pace
Pushing very hard for the line
I caught some riders and we had a good talk on the warm down lap, then saw mum, Callum and Eva
Callum after the race talking t me

Short Ride around Debenham

Saturday Ride – 1st of August 2020.
Still no racing due to Corona Virus.

I went for a tail wind ride out for once, with a head wind home. I rode past my sponsors “Stonham Barns” which always brings a smile to my face and reminds me of when I first met Alan, his team and the residents of the holiday holes when I rode 121 miles to raise money for Great Ormond Street.

Ride details below:

2019 End of Road Season summary for Abbey

Whether Abbey ever repeats this years feat of being undefeated at home or in Europe is hard to know, but to do that again would be equally amazing. There are some very talented girls racing against Abbey who were so close to beating her on road and beat her in other disciplines, such as Orla and Melanie. In years to come the girls will battle away and all win, I am sure. New girls will come into the mix and make the races as exciting as they have been this year. A massive well-done to all of the girls.

Rather than go into detail of every one of Abbeys wins, here’s a montage of Photographs from this year.

A massive thank you to Stonham Barns and Gibbons Plant Hire for their support.

This years results
Winning the Youth Paris Roubaix
National Age Group Time Trial Champion
Winning medal and Zwift bottle (Thanks Zwift)
Time Trial Medal
Winning the Farnham Grand Prix
Paris Roubaix Start
Lovely evening with Nigel Powley at Felixstowe Radio
Lovely evening with Nigel Powley at Felixstowe Radio
A rather too robust a challenge, leading to Abbey fracturing her arm
The look of a champion
Racing against the best riders in the country
Fun on the podium at the Minehead Grand Prix
Pave at the Paris Roubaix
National Road Race Champion
National Road Race Champion
Winning the Points Jersey in the Isle of Man
National Age Group Time Trial Champion
National Road Race Champion ship racing
Winning the Isle of Man Road Race. Note Melanie Rowe won both Hill Climbs
Winning at Castle Combe in her come back ride. Note Arm support
Castle Combe win sporting a baseball hat from Andrew Early
Post National Championship fun with Team mate Aaron
Abbey and Cycling friend Orla

Farnham Festival of Cycling

7th of July 2019

Winning at Farnham in empathic style

Abbey and some of her Suffolk Youth Race Team mates went down to Farnham in Surrey today in one of the last big races of the season. The races had strong fields and reasonably good numbers too.

Abbey had a reasonable start, at about 10th into the first corner. This is better than her normal position into the 1st corner, which is last. As the leaders finished the first lap, Abbey had forced herself into 2nd overall. She stormed the race and finished 1st by a very long way.

Abbey