First Pro (and Senior) Race
Towards the end of January, I headed off to Calpe for my first pro training camp with the Saint Piran team this year. This camp was also going to include my very first pro race in the Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana UCI 1.2. I arrived a couple days before the race, along with the other boys from the team racing. It was great to meet up with the guys again after the Cornwall get together at the end of last year. Anyway, once race day arrived, I felt ready and pretty excited to get going. Overall, the race went pretty well. I managed to finish my first pro (and senior) race and was set to finish in the leading group until a crash in the final KM. It was also a shame for our man for the day, Charles Page, who was also involved in the crash.
A few days after the race, it was time to get the camp underway; 3 more weeks of solid Spanish roads to get stuck into, and they were thoroughly enjoyed too! The camp was put together by Liam, the team's performance director. It was balanced between specific race drills and continuing to improve our aerobic foundation. I loved the whole experience; a structured team training camp was not something I had experienced before. I got a solid 3 weeks of training and felt what it's like to be a pro cyclist; professional training, nutrition and a nice clean bike to ride every day!
Calpe training camp.
After the camp and some focused adaptation time, I soon had my second pro race to contend with in the GP Lillers UCI 1.2. This was my first race in France and the first northern Europe race since the under 16 category. It was brilliant to get a feel for this kind of race again; the narrow roads and aggressive nature of northern European racing. The team tactic was to help place Charles for the final dash to the line. For me, this meant trying to go for the early break to take pressure off the team. I followed a good few early moves to start but ultimately missed the early break, which was a shame, but with only 4 men going up the road, they didn't have much of a chance. Unfortunately, I was caught out by position in an exposed section and the group split. I didn't have much chance of getting back. However, Charles and Leon (Mazzone) both managed to make the front split, from which Charles sprinted to a fantastic 5th place on the day!
Climbing the surrounding mountains.
I once again learn a lot from my second pro race. After debriefing with Liam, we have some specific process goals for my upcoming races to further my development. I can't wait to pin a number on again and continue my debut senior season with Saint Piran!