Since I last sat down and wrote we’ve had some great results, top 20s in National A races, Giro del Mon victory overall, KOM, U23, Team and a Stage win, plus results in Belgium to mention just a few of the race highlights. Unfortunately this season has been punctuated by crashes. By the end of March we’d had 5 crashes, with Joe being brought down twice in a week.
Everyone says it’s part of racing, which is true, but I can’t help thinking that the frequency of crashes at the moment in races is just unusually high.Crashes are usually caused by a variety of factors, but nonetheless they are caused.I could waffle on about what I think riders do wrong, but I’d just sound like an grumpy old chuff so I won’t.What I will say is there are riders in the UK peloton who’s skill level, and attitude towards rider safety could be better.As a result of several of our riders being injured in crashes, I have the task of looking after their morale.
In the age of training and racing by numbers, what hasn’t changed is the fact that morale is the key, a riders mental well being.When a rider cannot race, and maybe not even train, he has a real battle on his hands. I tell our guys that these setbacks are harder to deal with than suffering on a climb or in the crosswind. Dealing with missing races due to injury or illness is part of developing into a serious rider, and will be an issue through every riders career.
We seem to over the hump ,with riders returning to racing and the team being back to full strength. So we are looking forward to some good races in the 2nd half of the season.
*photo Thom Barnett
*Just a footnote. Connor Swift winning The British Road Champs was incredible. I’m not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes as he crossed the finish line. Connor’s a huge talent and will no doubt have a great career. He’s an inspiration to our riders.
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