Welcome Jake Crossley
Jake is one of the new recruits for the professional team Saint Piran, for whom I work as Performance Director. Jake is fresh out of the junior ranks writes about how his preseason preparations are going.
This is my first winters training with Liam and my first with a coach in general. It certainly feels a lot better and gives me a lot more confidence with what I’m doing, having a coach behind me setting the sessions I need, and someone I can get the right advice off when needed.
This year is also the first year that I’ve stepped into a gym to give a real focus towards the S+C part of my training. This has been really refreshing for me, as it gives me something to incorporate into my training that hasn’t been such a strong presence in other years. Although I guess the biggest change in this would be not always being around people with skinny arms and non-existent upper body muscles, ha-ha.
Working with a coach
I have to say, working with a coach for the first time has been a breath of fresh air for me. Over the last few years in my development, I have been setting my own sessions and also getting a lot of help from my dad setting training and motivating me. I first of all would not be here without him and his investment in me and my training. So I am forever grateful for that.
Since working with Liam, there has been a lot more structure to my training, which has been really nice; it’s also been nice not to think about setting my own sessions every week. Having someone who knows what it takes to make a rider improve in certain areas is great.
Racing as a junior and joining Saint Piran
During my first year as a junior, I didn’t exactly get in the races that I wanted to. At first, it was shaping up to be a good season. The team at the time (Tofauti Everyone Active) was getting into several Junior UCI races, and it was looking like I was going to get my fair share of opportunities in 2020. As we all know, this didn’t exactly go the way we were hoping it was. The only good I really got out of the 2020 season was getting my 2nd category licence, just before things turned upside down.
Then came the second and last year of being a junior; this started very similarly to 2020, in which the first couple of national series races of the year were already being cancelled. Luckily, however, things began to turn around, and I was able to get racing again. The season kicked off for me with a couple of decent results with a win and a couple of 2nd placings at some local crits and road races. After this came the first couple of national series races for us juniors. Starting with the Junior tour of Yorkshire and then the Junior Cicle classic. For me, these both ended in 11th placings, which was good but not quite where I wanted to be.
Then there was national champs and the cadence junior road race. 7th in the TT was my best result so far in the season, which I was very happy with, followed by 8th in the cadence junior road race. For me, these were followed by the two main races of the season in Tour of the Mendips and Tour of Wales. Mendips was the better of the two for me, with a 2nd on stage 2 and a 2nd on GC. Wales ended 10th on GC.
In Mendips, I first got into contact with Steve Lampier of Saint Piran; from here we chatted about me possibly joining the squad for next year. We had a chat on the phone, and I had my eye set on the team from this point. Being from Cornwall myself, I felt it would mean a lot to me to be a part of a team with such ambition and from an area that means so much to me.
From here we stayed in contact and then I was told that I would be a part of the team for next season, Then a few weeks ago all the team for this coming year met up down in Cornwall to get to know each other, go for a ride and get some bits done for this year.
Having just finished my last season as a junior rider, the thought of stepping up into a professional team for next year can seem quite daunting. However, after meeting the guys who are riding and working for the team for this year and seeing how welcoming, determined and ambitious they all are, I have to say I’m very much eager and excited more than anything for the year to come now.
I am beyond excited to start my first year as a U23 in my first professional team. I have put in a lot of work over the last couple of years to get to this point, and I will be doing everything I can to get all I can out of this year. I am most looking forward to getting stuck into the biggest races in the UK and some great UCI races in Europe. If it goes my way in these races, I would love to race the Tour of Britain towards the end of the year, as that has been my absolute dream since I started cycling.