Sunday 1 October 2017


Technically I've only ridden 2 races this month, but with 9 race days it still wasn't an easy one, this month has seen me race the Tour of Britain and the Primus classic. There's a lot I could say about the Tour of Britain but I'd like to keep it short and not go through an in depth stage by stage guide. First let me tell you that my month of racing came to a holt after Primus Classic, there were a few horrible days in Britain but the last day was far from ideal both mentally and with the weather, my immune system was low but I needed to ride Primus classic the weekend after, of course this lead to a few issues the last couple of weeks with a virus, and has seen my time racing in Belgium come to an end this month, there simply isn't enough time to find my full fitness back and aim for the result I want, of course I'm a little unhappy about this, but if I think how long I've held a good level for the last months and how my body has coped for the length and races I wanted it to I can't be too disappointed. 

So Tour of Britain, I started saying I wanted to be in the break away and see where that took me, a jersey for me in the points or Mountains (small bumps) classification was a realistic goal for me, so in the break away I went, and it was a pretty good feeling to be the one who kicked it off, and not just left chasing the guy in front of me and waiting to see if that was the move for the day, the first day, the first attack I made, the first break away of the tour, honestly it left me thinking "that came a little to easily no?) with some points along the way I thought I wasn't going to be going up the road that easily again. The next day I'm in my second breakaway and I've now drawn level with the leader of the mountains classification, day 3 I took a day in the peloton, and it left me thinking that to be up the road was easier, just go one pace most of the day, sprint a few times and see what the end of the day brings, but my biggest effort all week came from this day, it was a move for the last classified points of the day, I jumped away from the peloton with the aim of catching the leaders and taking full points which would see me move in to the jersey, I only however took 1 point on the (small bump) but that one point was worth the effort as with no contenders in the break away the next day on stage 4 apart from me I was able to take maximum points and move in to the mountains classification lead by 1 point, it was like a massive game for me, trying to work out where people are, what I need to do and where I need to be and then doing it, personally I enjoyed it, more so the first 4 stages where the legs felt like they were only getting better and better every day. 

The 2nd half of the tour wasn't as brilliant for me it has to be said, the TT was about saving as much energy as possible for the following day for me, but it was still a long day sat in the camper waiting for other riders and then waiting for the podium etc. Stage 6 was also another easy day for me, this day my legs felt good, there was no one in the breakaway to worry about and I made the front split in the end of the race, I knew the last 2 days had being easier for me and stage 7 was where I can do something again, and I did, I made the break away after riding across with one of my rivals, but he was not so close on the classification and I knew I was faster than him, unfortunately he did come to be the overall winner of the classification, but this day on Stage 7 after taking the first points on the climb more than convincingly he didn't wish to fight for the next and rolled over the line 2nd behind me, we were then caught before the last categorised climb of the day by the peloton. If your thinking like I was on this day "it's all gone rather swimmingly up to now, I have a strong lead in the classification, I know I'm strong, my competitors can see that and they know I'm ready to fight" then you'd be right. So stage 8, this was the where my leading position turned in to a chasing one, I was busy from the start, my game of chess some might say had back fired on me, I knew I had to watch 3 people with 18 points up for grabs on this day, and I could only let one of them go in the break away, but he was the leader of the sprint points and was being watched closely by his rival in 2nd place which was also 3rd place in the mountains points, it turned out that this wasn't going to be the move I had to watch for though, I was beaten in the end by having to jump across to a small group at the bottom of the first climb where the race eventually split because I thought it was possible to make the move and take more points that day, but when you enter a climb already on the limit you can't go much faster, and when the top guys start to attack and you can't barely follow with your legs from the last 7 days that is when you see a jersey disappear, and that's what happened. I worked hard for that jersey but I was beaten on a day where I thought attacking would be the best form of defence and it didn't work out for me, to go there with a realistic goal and lose it on the last day was a big upset, but I proved to a lot of people in a race that didn't suit me for an overall or stage result I was still able to aim for something and target an opportunity, and in the end I can look back on it and think, it's disappointing yes, but it was a flaming good week.

So after divulging in a few treats after Britain and feeling a little bit not at full strength I stood on the start line of the Primus classic the following Saturday, with very little training the last 6 days I had already said in the team meeting before hand that I would sit in the peloton, wait for my legs to get going and then see what happens in the end, the thing about this race after never riding it before is that the last 40/50 km are on my training roads, and so were the climbs, so I already had a small advantage. On this day I achieved my most confident riding of the year, I was up there on every climb, and when I missed a dangerous move close to the end I never panicked, it was one of my best ridden races of the year, but with the lack of training I had no punch left for the end and finished in a very reduced peloton. Following the virus that was diagnosed 2 days after the race I have being only riding easily the last 2 weeks, a big change from the start of the month.

I can say now that I'm pleased with this last year. Not the beginning perhaps, but when I let a lot of the stress go later on and took more responsibility and raced with a view for my own result it turned out good, and I started to enjoy everything more, now I know I can do it, it's about working for next year to follow this from beginning to the end. 

First however I will return home for a couple of cyclocross races to bring my season to the end and shorten my winters training a bit. A massive thank you once again to the Dave Rayner Fund, Pedal Potential, and AnPost Chain Reaction, with out whom I would have not have being able to do what I've done the last 2 to 3 years in aiming to make a professional career possible. Now to see what next year will bring. 

Wednesday 30 August 2017


Racing racing racing this month, the month that I always said was my main focus turned in to a very reasonable month for me, one I am happy with, but also the one that left me a little disappointed in the middle. 

Starting in Het Hageland on the beginning Saturday of the month was very special for me, but to start somewhere close to where you live, when you've told people I can bring in what some might say is a half decent result is actually exciting, if not a little stressful, these races are the ones I know I can push forward with in my career, with the race close to where I live I was able to recon it a few days before, so come Saturday I knew simply, this is where I have to be in the front. Before these races every team manager will say the same things to there riders, simply stay in the front, or at least the way they say it is simple, I can do this, and in the final it left me a bit fresher than other riders, but with confidence for this race I got a little excited when I should have waited a few kilometres more, so when riders were able to bridge to the front, I was left dangling a little, but able to survive I came in 17th, I expected more, and knowing the mistakes I had made I decided to ride home, after all I also had a race the following day. 

So Sunday came Havenpijl, the only 1.2 standard race I competed in this month, the plan was for a sprint in the end with another team mate, that's normally the way the race goes, but you can't just sit back and expect that, it was fairly easy until the finishing laps where after trying to drag a small break away to take the pressure away from the team I found myself in a group of twenty or more riders, with most teams represented and some carrying more than two riders I knew I just had to roll with it, see how it goes, we took a nice gap over the peloton but after a couple of laps it started to come down, with some narrow sections on the loop I pushed through the corners and took a group of five away, we worked well together and held the gap until the line, the only disappointment was finishing 5/5, I simply had nothing in the sprint, but to do 2 nice results in 1 weekend was very positive. 

The next big goal was in Leuven, another local race, but a hard one with 4 reasonably difficult climbs In a 15km lap, this was to be the middle race of 3 in 6 days, before was Veenendaal on the Friday, I had a plan there to float reasonably under the radar and see what happened in the end, caught out of position I rolled in just behind the peloton of sprinters. So Leuven on Sunday, the legs were good, a break up the road under control, I was spinning around in the peloton feeling good, the speed was up a bit and I knew this would be the last opportunity for a natural break, from here I could ride straight to the front again coming off the momentum of the cars on one of the smaller climbs, or at least that's what I thought, on the way back through the convoy of team cars a commissaires driver decided that it was safer to let a motor bike through a small gap and slammed on his breaks coming to a near stop with me behind him, after heading for a seat in the boot of the commissaries car somehow I was able to avoid the incident, but after going very far sideways my rear wheel took a hit with the amount of pressure on it, not realising the severity of it I knew I had to come back to the peloton and quickly, let's say my plans to ride straight to the front did not happen, my legs were suddenly working so much harder and when we came to a flatter section I was suddenly getting dropped, knowing it could only be the wheel I opted to change it, but with a rampaging peloton and new wheel I was never able to come back, but for the kilometres I tired it was a lot easier with my new wheel, but that was race over for me. 

My next big goal was Schaal Sels, I started the month off roading in Hageland, so I decided to finish it off road around Antwerp. With a couple of races in between which didn't bring amazing results I knew with luck hear I can come to the finish strong, the beauty of these races? There a whole lot of fun and it's not just about riding as hard as you can, but generally the stronger riders come to the end, but you also have to be technical and tactical, with gravel roads and cobbles it's a difficult race to even finish, and with the sectors so close to each other it becomes relentless, I knew I was strong so I decided to attack early, one guy came with me and I knew that if we set a nice tempo that we could get over the next sectors and come in the front when it split later, thankfully I was correct, and with the peloton in pieces after 70km I was sat happily in the front with a very reduced peloton, sector to sector the peloton was slowly reducing, and with different riders attacking but always coming back I knew I had to make sure I was in the front, but not on the front, there was no pressure on me other than to be in a good position. The winning move was eventually made around 40km from the finish, but there were points where it looked like the peloton could come back, in now an even more reduced peloton I knew I had a chance at a good result, and finally I remembered that I didn't have the sprint that I had in the earlier point of the year, so with 1km to go over some less brutal cobbles than we had previously tackled I attacked, this saw me come to the finish in 12th, a minute behind the winner, In a field almost full of world tour/ pro continental riders I was happy with the result, and happy I could take the confidence to attack in the finish, rather than waiting for others I took it up, and even if it was for the lower places it was a small reward for me, knowing that I can compete in these races. 

Next comes Britain and I hope that the form can continue and hold to try and make a nice result there. 

Saturday 29 July 2017


Training camp in the beautiful La Molina (Cerdanya) with the teams amazing sponsor Cenit took up the first part of this month for myself, along with the rest of the AnPost Team. 

It has to be said that Altitude treat me fairly well this year, the first days were hard as always but the rest of the training went better than I expected, with the knowledge of Marti from Cenit and how he made sure we weren't over doing it while we were there, but yet getting the correct training to bring us in a good condition was second to none, from blood tests every few days, to weight, to food, stretching and core sessions, turned this in to the most professional training camp I was ever apart of, I personally need experience with such things as altitude, going from last year riding easy around Livigno, to this year doing specific efforts almost daily was a bit of a change, but with everything that was being done for us from both Cenit and our brilliant staff I knew that to commit fully to the training wasn't going to be a problem. 

On return from La Molina it was a case of a few days rest, time to take in a lot more oxygen, spending most of my time in Belgium that was really not an issue. A few days later the teams first pro Kermisse in Ninove, last year this was a race to find back the speed after altitude camp, this year it was a race to win, and so we did with our team mate Jonas Bokeloh, with every move covered it was a text book team effort, after covering a lot of moves early on myself trying to force them away I was pretty much over my limit when I found myself in the 7 man winning move, we never established a really big gap to play with so we were constantly pushing, on the last lap my legs gave in close to the finish, thankfully I was able to hold off the chasing peloton in what I can only describe as survival mode, no doubt coming from a mountain somewhere in Spain, and Jonas was able to take the win.

The next race for me Westrozebeke pro Kermisse. A race the team won last year but on a slightly different course, this year wind played a massive part in the race, I'm not sure everybody felt as good as they did in Ninove but it was a completely different race, after most teams had a rider in the race winning move the gap went out quickly, however lap after lap riders were puncturing from the move, we were hoping our rider wasn't one of them, eventually this turned out to be the case, with only 5 of us that day, 3 guys rode the front to try and bring the move back, with myself sat up the front waiting for a possible counter move the team was nearly there, but others weren't willing to make it, with a hope of still making it across to the move myself, I attacked, hoping others would follow and we could bridge to the front, it wasn't to be and we in the peloton were to fight it out in the wind until the end, it was a good race for me but I made no result from it, disappointing, but there were still signs that the altitude training is working and I am in a good condition.

My next race is on Monday, another Pro Kermisse in which I will see what I can do towards finally getting a result I can be proud of this year. 

Cheers All

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Part 2

It's being a strange month, with no Nationals for me it was a case of getting fit for almost 1 or 2 races in order to then have a small break from the bike, the Month started with Mayenne, a 4 day race in France, with a few world tour teams involved it was a case of trying to find back some power, strength and speed for the 1 days to follow afterwards, the thing with a 2.1 UCI race means that normally it's more controlled until a certain point, and then everybody decides that it's time to destroy half the field, for me it was a case of getting the team in a good position and then leaving it too them for the last Km's, it's nice to feel your getting stronger with in a race, and although I'm always a racer I don't always have the racing legs. 

Next up was a double weekend in Belgium, finally I could race in Belgium again, I did so many weeks racing in France that it was nice to be back racing where I know I can, but the race in Saturday didn't go so Brilliant, the Vlaamse Ardennen was not a brilliant place for me to be in that weekend, suffering from Km 1 to then trying so many times to be in a none existent break away I blew myself up and out the back door fairly early on, DAY OVER. Sundays race started off nearly the same way, but after a relaxation period in the peloton it was heading in the right direction for me, the next speed bump however happened to be a puncture directly before the first of 5 defining cobble sections, due to a brilliant set of Judges however I was able to Join the reduced peloton after 15 + km's chasing both in the convoy and sections on my own, it was certainly a leg burner, after coming down to the finishing laps I thought I had used all my energy, I found my self near the cars again, but
Managed to hold on to then join the front group with 1 lap to go, deciding that the best option would be then to attack, I thought if I had done all I had done before hand that maybe I am actually Super Man today, it turned out not and with 3 km's to go I exited the reduced group again with a big bunch of guys and rolled over the finish line to not Score anther DNF for the weekend, but what a difference a day makes. 

The next event was later that week involving my Birthday, normally another day for me, a good meal with friends and a nice evening, but now I'm 22 somebody decided that it was time for my first ever dog, a wonderful gift and an amazing surprise, and I never imagined that something would give me so much of a push in order to help care for it "soppy I know"

The last race of the month was Halle Ingooigem, a 1.1 with again more prod tour teams and almost every single rider absolutely flying for Nationals, a televised race in Belgium I saw this as an opportunity to Broadcast myself a little bit, in a 200km race and a hefty fight for the break eventually 2 guys were let go over a climb, and after feeling good and seeing a gap I thought "well it's not very nice to let them go all that way a loan" ok so I didn't, In fact I was rather hoping it was going to be a race harder than everyone thought with the heat of 35 degrees, that there would be a reduced peloton catch us with the small climbs and wind, but instead it caught me out, usually in those conditions I can do everything I need to have the energy in the end, but a few mistakes lead to my ending once again, but a bit of time on TV got me more that day than anything I had done the last few weeks, and also for the team. 

So again a rather up and down month for me, but now I look forward to Part 2 of the season. With full motivation this is what I believe to be my part of the season, the races in Belgium that I know suit me, and that big push towards the Tour of Britain, and to prepare for this we head to Altitude camp with in the next week for a 2 week block, I am very excited for this period and with work I know I can make it a good Part 2.

Monday 29 May 2017


So this month went from good to bad. After Bretagne I felt a little low health wise, but I had a little cold and knew I could race the next weekend in Holland, Overijssel, after all, the legs felt good, I felt good, so knowing it could go 1 way or the other after the race, I chose to start, I knew the course, I knew it was my sort of race, I had that confidence there that I could do well, and that's what I had being searching for through the early part of the season.

In the Team motor home the morning of the race I was surprised to be told that I would lead the team that day, or be the protected rider, it's something I wanted for that race and for a while, but I never expected it. The race went fairly easily for me, fairly standard Holland actually, fields, straight road, cross wind, head wind, cross wind, tail wind. I was in the first split most of the time in the race, but later on more riders came back and it was fairly calm with a very reduced group, my 2 team mates that had made it in to the front group McKenna and MacKinnon decided to go in a 5 man Break with around 40 km to go, I never had such a feeling in a race where I felt I literally had to just sit there and be in the front when it mattered, knowing the back end of the course I knew where that was, with a few teams trying to split the race further and more guys dropping out the back of the peloton we were then on the finishing laps, after riding across to the front group earlier on in the race I knew I had the legs for a good finish, and I could be up there in the end, after thinking attacking on the finishing circuit would be best, I saw there were to many teams with more riders looking to control it, so down to a sprint it was, it wasn't such a technical finishing lap but to be at the front is always the best place, or at least near it, learning from mistakes from the last few races I went later and in an easier gear and I only went forwards, the problem with sprinting is that a lot of people want to be in the same place and that's a busy place to be, but I found my way through the gaps fairly well and claimed a 6th, not a brilliant result but I knew now that I could lead a race now for the team when the form etc is there.

The day after however the feelings weren't so good, I could feel the cold going the wrong way to What I had hoped, I thought with Saturdays race I would have sweated it out, and Saturday night I thought I had, but Sunday I went sharply down hill, and Monday I dropped off the edge. With a visit to the doctor I had a viral infection, there came the flash backs of last years early season, knowing I had to take time and rest that is exactly what I did, but it wasn't helping, it had got worse so I was now on antibiotics with rest, my body just needed that rest. That was 3 weeks ago now and I am now a week or so more back in to training, I feel with a lot lost, but hungry to get back and go, I know that the one thing that brings me on more than anything is racing, and then when I'm fit I can train well. So fingers crossed I'm back in to racing soon and can start to focus on my targets for the rest of the season. 

Tuesday 2 May 2017


I don't have a Vlog to show you this month, truth be told I've being flat out from the start, between training and resting it was the last thing that sprung to mind between moving from the sofa and getting on the bike. 

I felt after Normandie in March that I needed rest, and it was never planned to happen, but perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that I came a little ill after Normandie and I made the call to have a 2 week build up towards Loir Et Cher, the 5 day stage race, to be honest I spent one week cafe riding, and when I say one week I had 2 days off, between sickness etc I felt I needed it. In Normandie I wasn't really climbing well, I was strong but not fighting or finishing strong. Now results and races can make you go 2 ways, but luckily I had 2 weeks after until my next race, one week feeling a little sorry for myself, and then 1 week + with Long hours and training between the hills etc, I'm not the best climber at all, but I also don't have the attitude that when I see or know there's a climb that I think, "oh well, today is over for me" it's a fight until the next people on the road have caught me, and with racing I don't get to train in the Ardennes as much as I'd like, so to work on it is difficult at times.

My 1st race this month was Loir Et Cher which started on the 12th, the day that saw the teams first win of the season with Damien Shaw, we spent 4 days defending the jersey before we lost it, that sort of gave me free reign for the final stage, because it was such a short stage around a town the classification was not going to change. My confidence to say to people and myself that I can do a certain performance or fight for a victory didn't come until this race, I was able to get the confirmation I was looking for between the stages that I needed too for myself to push. Everything in this race was for the build up towards Rutland Classic back in the UK, when I go home I always want to perform, better yet I want to win, and I thought that was possible in Rutland, here I was able to  create the break away for the days race, and it was absolutely perfect in my mind with all the top teams in the UK represented, and my team mate Kasper, unfortunately with some bad luck we lost the person who we needed in my mind to survive to 2 punchers, his team then had to chase and we were left with 4 guys from the original 10 or so with around 20-30 km to go, Kasper eventually pressed on over one of remaining sectors with another British rider to try and take the win with me returning to the reduced peloton, that attack also did not survive, it ended up with a combination of 2 riders from British teams attacking on the last lap to fight for the win, eventually myself and Kasper went 6th and 11th after hanging on to the finish line. 

Bretagne was up next, the 7 day stage race in France, I again thought it was possible to do a strong result here, and if anything a reasonable result came from where I least expected it, a bunch sprint, with 200 meters to go I thought I can win this, but I paid for my efforts in the early part of the stage and I was only able to hold on to the line and not push forward, again it was a 10th position for me, I'm never happy with these results, it only leaves me wanting more, that's normal for cycling, but again it's a lot more and a lot better than I was achieving in the UCI races before this. This week saw are 2nd win of the season with Kasper, the guy with the most race days in the team, he just keeps going, and finally he got what we all believe he deserved. The whole week was the element of team work, we didn't go in stupid break aways to ruin our selves, we went with the ones that counted and the ones that had the most chance of bringing a result, everything was covered, and on the one day the result we worked for came from the work we had done before hand. Although the over all basically went very far South for us on the last 2 stages I could only walk away thinking that things were changing, things are more consistent and the work for and from the team is finally starting to show. Now it's just a case of holding this feeling and fighting for a real result myself. 

Saturday 4 February 2017

Nationals 2017

Something caught my eye last night over Facebook, I like to have a little scroll before I go to bed to see if there is anything new etc. last night I saw the head line of (as if British Cycling doesn’t have enough problems, riders revolt over 2017 National championships being hosted on Isle of Man)

Revolting I don’t know about, a little complaining maybe, but heres not my complaint about the matter, heres my view.

After reading through this first I would like to push the point I am 21 years old, and I am talking from my very individual perspective. So why even bother to write? its a rest day, I’m not doing much, theres so many one sided views on this subject, and I need to practice my english.

Let me confirm first of all that I am not a writer, and I am not wishing to step on anyones toes here, from my point of view I want to cover this subject on all angles, WHY? Because this is something that can possibly effect me directly, that Nationals is something that is always a target on my Calendar, to possibly have the chance of winning a white jersey in my last year U23 is something that would be very special.

Lets start with the Isle of Man its self, an amazing, beautiful and scenic place, simple as that, its close to the scenery of Yorkshire, but nothing comes close to that, of course I am a fan of my home county and that might be very one sided. I myself have visited the Island on possibly more than 6 occasions, I lost count to be honest, I’ve won 2 races at National level on Ramsey Promenade, I’ve trained there over the winter with friends when its being freezing cold, wet, windy, and its still a lovely place with a great cycling community at these times.

I’ll get to my point very quickly so I can talk around it later. The nationals in 2017 might already be crossed off the calendar for me, for one my Team of AnPost Chain Reaction has a very good Calendar in which I can race against selected World Tour teams almost every race, secondly, I am 21 years old, I decided 2/3 years ago now with the very helpful support of The Dave Rayner Fund and Pedal Potential that I could take the financial stress off my parents, after all I’d quite like them to have a nice retirement at some point, this is not against the people who support me or my team, but to take the money out of my account to pay for the Nationals myself, the money that I receive for racing and housing in Belgium does not make financial sense to me, I am grateful for every penny or pound I receive and do not demand or ask that people pay me more, for my year in Belgium, I do not have to ask for anymore.

A quick break down looking at the prices today (4/02/2017) . 21st - 25th June, British Championships.

. Ferry/car - 232.00 pounds / Hotel - 200 euros / food - 100-150 pounds total: 500 pounds give or take

. Flying is no option with 3 bikes, 3 bikes is obviously my option, but to compete that is the least I need, mechanicals etc - TT bike. Turbo trainer is also hard to fly with.


. Foot passenger - 74 pounds for 2 people, that way I could take all bikes needed, if it was ok to put 3 bikes somewhere on the ferry, I’ve done it with 1 before? Hotel - 300-500 euros. Food - 100-200 pounds for 2 people Total: 550 + pounds. Not including how to get around when there.

so to conclude the car would be the best and cheapest option for me at 500 pounds, not the 1000 pounds that has been hinted at, although I could be wrong.

For comparison its costs me over 600 euros + for standard living in Belgium a month. Sometimes a lot more with medical bills etc. 

Let me explain my recent nationals since turning u23

  • Abergavenny: Bad TT, a small cold in between and a good road race, was awarded a DNF after being pulled out while still racing for 30th/40th position.
  • Lincoln: Bad TT, was on top form a few days before where I was 4th in a Belgium National cup race, came in fatigued and followed the TT up with a bad road race, was pulled out with 50 other guys. On returning to Belgium I had 2-3 weeks off the bike after burning myself out.
  • Stockton: entered both races and never made it to Britain after illness struck 1 week before the event.

My point? its a lot of money to spend not including the race entry to possibly DNF while still fighting for a position, to be sick before, to have a mechanical say on the last lap or in the beginning of the race without having a designated team car, some would say thats a gamble.

Also I’m not that daft I’d like to think, I understand that for one is bike racing, so they say “shit can happen” but for me I can live and spend a better month in Belgium or even Girona for that cost and Focus on something else. Those who are reading this thinking, well maybe he doesn’t care about Nationals then, or the Jersey doesn’t mean that much too him. The truth of the matter is I could talk you through every National championship I have competed at since I started bike racing, thats how much a stripy jersey means to me.

Its been very one sided so far on my side. So to the Island now and the cyclists who live there, I am certainly not one of Envy towards them, and to there parents etc that have paid to get them to National races since I don’t know what age, I can imagine the money they have paid, hotels, boats, fuel, food etc have cost them more than they are willing to add up, or could have paid for several holidays not to the main land of Britain.

So is it deserved that the Island gets a Nationals etc, I would swing towards yes, would it make more sense that they had a longer stage race for bigger riders/teams, I also think so, they already have the Isle of Man cycle fest (one day race), they have the junior and youth Tour, they used to have the International cycling week I believe, and through the years I have never heard a bad thing said about one of the races, they are races that bring people back, ones that people remember.

The difference? You are racing every day for these other races on the Island, for 5 - 6 days at the National championships you race twice, for me I could race lets say 236km in total those days, at the price I worked out that would work the best for me with out entry fees included would add up to 2 pounds 11 pence of the British realm a km, I wish I had travel expenses that paid like that, of course without sounding like a moaning young man, first of all I am from Yorkshire, and I am trying to make this as light hearted as possible. In Belgium, I am based here, I can enter a 180 km pro kermis for 10 euros, the entry fee of one race in Britain can be upwards of 25 pounds. 

I know a lot of Manx people, I know the struggle to get off and back on to the Island to race, or even train in my case, I know also the late nights and the early mornings, I also believe to know however that there are certain benefits from the ferry company to help young riders travel to the main land, however I could be wrong on that point, that is something I overheard once, there are also designated trips where you can form a group and it is cheaper to get off the Island more for the youth and Junior riders. That’s just not going to happen for nationals unless your on a British domestic team, and I imagine that some team mangers as mentioned by others might not be sending there full squad there, which would be disappointing really. its expensive, most things in cycling are. For those who I know on the Island I also know that riders park there cars in Liverpool etc in order to knock the cost of travel down, like I said, I’m not envious of that. There’s also the case of thinking here that us people from the mainland are being hard done by here, thats also not true, switch it around and try doing those trips from the Rock most weekends.

When I think of the Nationals for the moment I am trying to work out the best way to try and be there, I don’t think its necessarily over for me as of yet, I don’t believe in just saying ok its over, but I also think in the summer months to even start from Belgium to get to the Isle of man, it will cost me upwards of 100 pounds to even get to Britain, however I choose to to be here so that is my issue, I don’t like to talk about money, but to explain my position I’ve had to, and I understand that if the parents of such Manx cyclists were to add up the costs of there trips to Britain I would be most likely shot down in Flames, so for those reading from the Isle of Man I really hope I have not said anything untoward.

the smart thing here might be also to miss the TT, to cut my days down and just focus on the road race. Like I said, its just not over.