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Tour of Yorskhire recovery

Hi everyone,

Here is a quick one armed update from me… Thanks to all that have wished me well since my fall at this years Tour of Yorkshire a race that has a special place in my heart as I helped launch it and was a great supporter.

Back on the trainer, getting the legs moving again

Back on the trainer, getting the legs moving again

 

During the race I was feeling good and we were going along well then all of us a sudden one slick descent derailed the whole plan! This is bike racing and we move on….but all the well wishes mean a lot and I’m now back on the road to recovery after an operation on the shoulder.

So its back to the turbo trainer for me for a while and i’ll update you all with a return date asap!

Thanks again!

Ben

 

Basque Country Tour - Stage 2

Resting then Racing!

Hi All

So a little update for you: after two difficult days in Pais Vasco, I headed home for some R&R. I felt super fatigued going into this race and didn’t have the legs I needed to achieve the goals I wanted at the race.

With Basque been such a difficult race we made the best decision to stop. I am now going to take a few days off the bike to recover a build towards my next goals of the season.

Next up for me is Tour of Yorkshire which is going to be a special race for me so I need to be fresh and ready to go!

After that I head to Tour of California where I have fond memories and I am looking forward to riding this race again.

I'm Going back to Cali! photo: Graham Watson

I’m Going back to Cali! photo: Graham Watson

I will then have a couple of weeks before riding Tour de Swiss and then the Nationals championships.

I have some great races and goals on the horizon, so I need to take this time to recover and then build towards those. Really looking forward to it and as ever thanks for your support!

Paris-Nice - Stage One

From Nice to Milan !

Hi All, After a good training camp in Tuscany at the beginning of March I headed straight to Paris for my first Paris – Nice… which turned out great for the team.

The "Race to the Sun" turned out to be the "Race through the cold and grey"

The “Race to the Sun” turned out to be the “Race through the cold and grey”

Huge congratulations to Richie Porte and a special mention to Geraint Thomas who was also looking super strong and it was unlucky that G did not make the podium.  I was happy with my progression and was feeling good so now I’m getting some rest and preparing for one of my first main goals of the season Milan San Remo…ill be hoping to go one or maybe two better than last year!

Your truly on Stage 5 of a very successful race for Team Sky

Your truly on Stage 5 of  Paris Nice ..a very successful race for Team Sky – ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAHAM WATSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volta ao Algarve - Stage 3

The 2015 season begins !

It’s been a quick start for me in 2015 ! And its been great to be on the bike and mixing it up as much possible in the first races, however all this racing and traveling has left little time to sit down and write any blog updates on my progress and thoughts for this year! I have, however sat down with a number of publications and websites about my plans so I hope these recent interviews and features below will help fill you in!

I am currently between races now and just about to set off for Tuscany for some training in one of my favourite parts of the world. I’m feeling good after what was a great race for the team in Portugal at the Volta Algarve and it was awesome for G to take the race win! Along with our race it was fantastic to watch Froomey and the other guys perform so well in Andalucia these races will help to build confidence throughout the team as we head into the Spring and Classics season.

See you soon

Ben !
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Click HERE to read my thoughts on the inaugural Tour of Yorkshire!
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Here are some handy hints from me on the RCUK website click HERE to read more

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Finally a recent chat I had with Cycling News re my first main target of the year…Read it HERE

 

Basque Country Tour - Stage 5

Happy New Year 2015!

I hope everyone had a great New Year, I really can’t wait for the 2015 season to get started. I had a lovely Xmas and NYE back in the UK before I head back to the Team Sky base in Mallorca for the rest of January. Got some good miles in today with Russ Downing and the weather was pretty good but a little on the chilly side !

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Good way to start 2015 a beauty of a day out on the Peaks !

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South Africa 2014

Hi All,

As you may well of seen I returned to South Africa this November to ride with the Hot Chillee Team at the Coronation Double Century Race which is organised by the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust and starts in Swellendam it’s a brutal 200km team time trial with over 250 teams and over 2,700 riders so a big old event.

I was also in Cape Town to catch up with Nic Dlamini, whom I have been mentoring along with Stephen Roche for the last year or so. Nic had a great year on the bike and I was able to congratulate him on his first pro contract that begins in 2015 with MTB-Qhubeka.

Our team for the Coronation Race that included myself and Nic finished second a fine result as we went one place better than last year! Obviously in 2015 we now need to win it!

Here are some photos and a little video from my time out in Cape Town.

Nic and I with some of the kids from his local town Khayelitsha

The race was hard...but the conditions, pretty good!

The race was hard…but the conditions, pretty good!

 

SA truly is a beautiful place to ride a bike!

SA truly is a beautiful place to ride a bike!

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Was really happy to be able to congratulate Nic on his contract with MTN-Qhubeka.
Good luck in 2015!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milan-San Remo

November Blog – 2014 review and 2015 preparation

Hello Everyone,

As autumn passes and winter closes in I hope you are all coping well with the colder weather and the lack of cycling to watch! Now the off season is upon us I thought It might be nice to give you a few of my thoughts and feelings about the 2014 season and also have a little look forward to 2015.

Looking back my highlights from a personal point of view would have to be coming 3rd at Milan San Remo and my win on stage 5 of Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country).  Although I did not win, Milan San Remo was perhaps the most special not just because the stature of the race but because I felt truly back at my best and able to not only compete but beat the majority of the top one day racers in the world on that day.  MSR is my favourite race to ride also, so it was a good day all round apart from the weather! Although that worked in my favour as I really don’t mind riding in those conditions.

If MSR was my favorite race to ride, when the Tour came to Yorkshire was easily my favorite race to watch! It was an amazing day, the crowds and buzz around the place created such a fun atmosphere.

Sometimes when we are racing that fun element can get suppressed a little but one race sticks out in my in my mind this season, at the Coppi e Bartali race we had our fare share of laughs! There was 8 of us on the team and we had to slum it in a camper-van as we did not have the Team Sky bus (I know the horror!)  So it was right back to basics but we definitely had a great time, it was like the old days travelling as a junior with all the lads crammed in a tiny bus, but the atmosphere was really positive and it showed in our results as we won most of the stages except one where I came second! With of course Pete (Kennaugh) winning the whole race, good times!

Tour of Poland - Stage 5

Seb Henao had a great season, here he is attacking in Poland. Photo: Graham Watson

Pete had a good season but the rider who impressed me most this year on the team has been Seb Henao, our young Colombian rider. He’s always there when you ask him to be in a race and socially he’s fitted into the Team really well. He’s also had some fantastic individual performances on the bike all this from a 20-year-old neo pro is very impressive and shows he has so much potential.

In terms of my performance throughout the season I feel the main improvement has been in my climbing, I’ve focused on it again this year and I know some of my best results are aligned with my improved climbing ability. It’s confirmed to me that’s the direction I want to go in for next season, a rider who can race the lumpier stages with sprint finishes or big one day races like MSR.

Another positive was my stamina during the season and this correlates to my good results at the tail end of the season so all in all I’m very excited for 2015 in fact I just want to get racing again, I’m only taking a break because the seasons finished! I feel strong and at a good level already.

These fitness levels were tested recently at the team camp in Weymouth when we went sailing with the GB team, the new signings for 2015 also came along so it was good to meet them in a slightly different environment than say a training camp, that will come soon enough though when we all hook up in December for the first pre season camp.

This year I’ll have a proper injury free pre season so along with riding I’ll be able to do a lot more gym work with a focus on TRX training which uses your own body weight to drive the workout, I’ve found this training really effective as its helped me eradicate some recent muscle injuries

Before all that however, I am now in sunny South Africa for a spot of pre season riding that will include the Double Century race with the guys from HotChillee! Can’t wait! And here are a few tunes i’ll be listening to when I’m out there…

Keep safe people and thanks for all the support this season…I’ll update on my progress again soon!

Cheers for now

Ben

My new crash avoidance technique!

Thanks to the fan who captured this…I fully intend to use this technique to avoid all future crashes!

Tuscany training film…

Me and Russ Downing went to Tuscany mid season for a spot of extra training…here is a short film to show you what we got up to, some of it you definitely won’t find in any text book!

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September Blog – Racing, resting and the Worlds!

Hi All,
First up thanks for all the positive messages on my re – signing with Team Sky, the new contract has helped augment my current feeling of positivity!

I’m feeling good and It’s been great to get a full year of racing under my belt, by the time this season closes out I will have raced nearly 13,000KM.

These miles will give me a really solid base for my winter training as I have felt on occasions this season that I am missing that little bit of depth that a full winters training gives you, though on the upside I’m feeling more mentally fresh in the latter part of the season, so I am  happy to be doing the later races and looking forward to a full winter program…No rest for the wicked!

My race program and schedule have been carefully planned so as to get me in good form for this part of the year as I have had my eye on doing a good ride at the Worlds.

I took a complete break in July after a heavy spring and early summer and that mid-season break has enabled me to come back in pretty good shape and since then I have been building up form by doing the right type of races and training that will allow my body to be as fresh as possible for the Worlds.

Taking a break is actually the hard part as it’s far too easy to keep pushing and pushing, so I have had to listen to my body and make sure not to push too hard, we will soon see if the strategy has worked, unfortunately its never an exact science!

Seb and I warming up at the TOB

Seb and I warming up at the TOB

The Tour of Britain was a good form builder and a tough test one main reason is because the roads are so heavy!

Lots of rain means heavier, grippy tarmac and the roads just make you feel really bad though it was encouraging that when the hammer went down, I came around and could race most of the finishes

The TOB is a special race for any British rider that races mainly in Europe, its an awesome feeling to be able to come home and race in front of a home crowd and now that TOB is getting a higher profile with bigger billing this only adds to the event.

Although hard, I really enjoyed it and the TOB is turning into a great race to prep for the worlds, its 8 days of solid racing with some testing long stages. I think every body that raced it this year was ready for a few easy days after the race!

Taking on a recovery drink at the TOB

Taking on a recovery drink at the TOB

So my next race is the Worlds, it goes without saying that I am very happy to be a part of the team and its always a special moment when you pull on that national jersey. The course is very interesting and one that I liked the look of when I went to reccy it in the summer.

It could make for a strange race and it’s definitely not straight forward, the profile and the circuit allows a variety of options for race strategy and with 14 laps to complete it’s also very hard.

There are teams there that will not want to bring it to any sort of sprint, which means it will be hard for a long time and for me it’s going to be about trying to survive the climbs as best I can, but we have a great team with a lot of cards to play and I am very much looking forward to it.

I am heading out really early to spend a bit of time there and get into the environment in order to give myself the best possible chance.

Hope to see you out there! As always thanks for your continued support

Ben