In the final build up to the National Hill Climb in October I’m excited to now have the jersey of one of our strongest local cycle racing teams on my back.
For the rest of the year, and moving in to next season I will be riding for THR Racing. A strong bunch of lads who’ve had huge success at both a Regional and National level already. With even higher hopes for next season.
This year has been full of ups and downs for me. A rollercoaster of form. Going from feeling strong at the start of the year, to crashing, missing the mark on nutrition, and allowing a power meter to get the better of me.
But! With hard work and determination I’ve overcome mental barriers and setbacks and learned a great deal about myself as a rider.
Having my main goal at the back end of the season has been difficult, and not something I want to repeat. That’s why I’ve decided to take a more serious look at Road Racing in 2016, and joining the guys at THR Racing is a fantastic opportunity.
The Hoppers team are a great bunch of lads who so far have been extremely welcoming and helpful. It’s going to be a blast riding with them.
Right now my training for the Hill Climb season is so specific it’s difficult to go on training rides of more than an hour and a half. Come November however I will start building for Road Racing and plan to go on regular training rides with the team. As well as riding the local chain-gang to get the legs and head race ready!
A bonus! The team kit isn’t half bad and the generosity of some great local businesses help keep things running smoothly.
I’m looking forward to my best ever year on the bike in 2016 and will be targeting both Road Races and early season Hilly Time Trails.
But this year’s not over yet…
and I’ve still got plenty to give.
Coast To Coast
It hasn’t always been about going up hills as fast as I can though. Earlier in the year with my good friend and cycling powerhouse Phill Sharpe I rode from Morecambe to Scarborough in six hours and three minutes! That’s 133 miles at an average speed of 22mph.
It was probably one of the most enjoyable days out on my bike and a huge personal achievement for both of us to maintain that kind of speed for that distance and time.
Check out photos and videos of the day at http://rossmalpass.co.uk/morecambe-to-scarborough-coast-to-coast/.
Hill Climb Season
We’re only just getting started with Hill Climb season. I’m filling up my calendar over the next few months with a mixture of Open and Club level events.
So far this year I’ve ridden two climbs competitively. Great Dun Fell (which is a performance I’d rather forget) and Hartside (just two weeks later) which was my breakthrough ride of 2015.
During that climb I put out some power numbers that I’m extremely happy with. A quick overview below:
These numbers are part of the reason I want to take on the challenge of Road Racing next year. As I believe my ability to ride hard for a sustained period at a high w/kg will be beneficial. Especially on some of the hilly and more technical courses we have in the North West of England.
Cycling is also largely a solitary hobby for me so it will be nice to work as part of a team! I love having a job to do, and relish the chance to work for or with others.
The National Hill Climb 2015
This year the course is Jackson Bridge. A short, technical climb Yorkshire with varying gradients and ramps to keep you on your toes. It’s just under a mile long with an average grade of 11% but ramps of up to 15%!
All going well I will make the selection and have a chance to conquer the goal I’ve had all year: Place in the Top Ten in the country for climbing hills on a bicycle.
Winning times on the climb range from around four to four and a half minutes. So the focus for the next seven weeks is purely to increase my five minute power. I’m in a pretty good place right now. Pushing just over 6.5w/kg for five minutes and 6.81w/kg for four minutes. So I just need to keep training hard, recovering well, eating right and things are only going to get better. I’m hoping to be ~7wkg on the day!
I have kept a brief diary of my specific training at http://rossmalpass.co.uk/training-for-the-national-hill-climb-championships-2015/ but there are many posts in the cycling category of my website which relate to my regular activities on the bike.