..!! FIRST DATE !!..

WHAAAT?? A date, on a Cycling Blog!! You must be kidding,my son would say to me.

Not exactly a date but close enough.I am talking about my first experience as National Team Manager for the Mongolia Cycling Federation(MCF) at the latest UCI Road World Championships in Doha.

To cut the story short....

The morning after my late arrival in Doha,I had an email from MCF General Secretary Naran Zundui delegating me as Team Manager for the Championships...

WOW...

I was like a kid with his new favourite toy.I don't want to sounds monotonous.

 City of Great Architecture.

City of Great Architecture.

During the championships I had the pleasure to meet great new people,see friends of the past, attend meetings, visit the commissaires office & much more. We had long,hot & exhausting days but the ambience of the UCI RAOD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016 made it easier.

 6 hours late finally room service arrived.

6 hours late finally room service arrived.

The MCF represantation was composed by 5 riders,1 Coach and Me as Team Manager.I had the pleasure to be a DS(Directeur Sportif), Mechanic,Soigneur for the riders while they were training or resting and working alongside their coach.

 You can use anything to make a Coffee Bar

You can use anything to make a Coffee Bar

It was a great place to see the SD logo amongst the big cycling brands during the championships, but mostly important enabled me to meet some of our supporters around the globe.We are looking forward to see all of them again soon.

 Tegsee before the start of the Junior Race.

Tegsee before the start of the Junior Race.

 Under 23 waiting to start a training ride.

Under 23 waiting to start a training ride.

A typical day at the Championships:

  • 0530 Wake up call
  • 0630 Breakfast
  • 0730 Training ride for few hours before the temperature going up
  • 0900 Attend Meetings at UCI Event Hotel
  • 1200 Maybe lunch
  • Shopping for rider's food
  • 1600 Chillax by the pool
  • 1800 Meeting again
  • 2000 Dinner of course
  • 2200 Bed time
 Supporting(Shouting Tegsee) out of the car during the Junior ITT race.

Supporting(Shouting Tegsee) out of the car during the Junior ITT race.

 Tegsee con la nostra bella amica Australiana TIffany Cromwell

Tegsee con la nostra bella amica Australiana TIffany Cromwell

 The Cannibal(EDDY MERCKX) with Tegsee

The Cannibal(EDDY MERCKX) with Tegsee

 Belgian Fans walking to the Start Line.Behind one of stadiums for the FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

Belgian Fans walking to the Start Line.Behind one of stadiums for the FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

 Instructing Miga before the start of the Elite race, with the rest of the Delegation arrived for the main event.

Instructing Miga before the start of the Elite race, with the rest of the Delegation arrived for the main event.

 Desert Feed Zone #1.South Africa 

Desert Feed Zone #1.South Africa 

 Live Cam in the middle of the Peloton!!

Live Cam in the middle of the Peloton!!

 Team Germany had few DNF's.Doctors checking body temperature.

Team Germany had few DNF's.Doctors checking body temperature.

We are now working  to get the MCF team across for the CycloCross World Championships 2017 in Luxembourg.If you like to support them please get in touch with us.

 The Teams watching the last few KM of the race on the TV's

The Teams watching the last few KM of the race on the TV's

Jay McCarthy escapes late crash, takes the stage and the Ochre Jersey at the Tour Down Under.

STAGE 2 REPORT FROM JAMES RAISON in Australia at the TDU.

Photo credit: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

 Stage2a-Australian Jay McCarthy(Tinkoff) beats Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) on the Staging Connections Stage 2 finish line.

Stage2a-Australian Jay McCarthy(Tinkoff) beats Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) on the Staging Connections Stage 2 finish line.

“I definitely have the chance to go for the GC this week” says Stage 2 winner Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) who avoided the chaos of a late crash to take the Ochre jersey.

The second stage of the Tour Down Under (TDU) rolled out of Unley, just 2km from the Adelaide CBD, before heading into the eastern hills for five laps of a 21km loop through the towns of Heathfield, Mylor, Aldgate and finishing in Stirling. Ahead were 132kms, over 3000 metres (10,000 ft) ascending, and more 30°C+ temperatures.

 Stage2c-Australian Jay McCarthy(Tinkoff) wears the Santos Ochre Leaders jersey

Stage2c-Australian Jay McCarthy(Tinkoff) wears the Santos Ochre Leaders jersey

Manuele Boarro took the points on the KOM, and the jersey with it, at Range View Road after 13.8km.  He beat out current polka dot jersey wearer Patrick Lane (UniSA), and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).

Orica GreenEdge then closed down the break immediately so they could lead out their GC man Simon Gerrans at the first sprint point. Gerrans took full points and bonus time ahead of teammate Caleb Ewan. Dimension Data’s Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg crossed third.

Peloton strongman Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) then threw caution to the wind and soloed away from the field in the post-sprint lull. 

 Stage2d-Lampre-Merida rider Tsgabu Grmay meets the local wildlife

Stage2d-Lampre-Merida rider Tsgabu Grmay meets the local wildlife

The second sprint point was taken by the solo Hansen, with an aggressive Gerrans second, and Ewan third. The TDU is often won by a handful of seconds, so those efforts by the Orica GreenEdge duo could be crucial come the final on Sunday.

Orica GreenEdge again took pace making responsibility as they did on Stage 1, allowing Hansen to hover two minutes up the road.

 Stage2e-Ochre Jersey wearer Caleb Ewan signs autographs for the fans at race start

Stage2e-Ochre Jersey wearer Caleb Ewan signs autographs for the fans at race start

The red BMC mist descended on the front of the bunch at 26km to go, protecting their two-headed climbing GC monster of Richie Porte and defending champ Rohan Dennis. 

Orica GreenEdge took control again at the final lap bell, swallowing up Adam Hansen 19km from home. 

Kiel Reijnan (Trek-Segafredo) made the save of the day as he flew off the road, brakes locked, with a double-puncture with 10km to go. It’d be a car convoy finish for the unlucky American.

 Fans at the start line

Fans at the start line

The lead of the race became hotly contested territory with Giant Alpecin, Trek-Segafredo, and Tinkoff joined forced to string out the bunch. Dimension Data sprinters Tyler Farrar and Mark Renshaw were among the big names sliding off the back. 

Sky swarmed to the front and lifted the tempo again, causing race leader Ewan to drop off the back. Ewan knew before the stage that he “can’t go through the whole tour wearing Ochre” but rode valiantly until conceding.

 The race start at Unley

The race start at Unley

The Sky lads dropped back soon after, replaced by Cannondale Pro Cycling Team, Giant-Alpecin, then Lampre-Merida.

A touch of wheels between an Astana rider and Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) caused a crash at 800m from the line, bringing down several riders including Simon Gerrans, and disrupting many others. Tinkoff and Cannondale took advantage and pushed on the front. 

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) was the first to open the uphill sprint. The Italian looked like he’d take the stage but young Jay McCarthy Aussie ground him down before winning with a bike throw. Defending champ Rohan Dennis (BMC) avoided the chaos to finish third.

 The peloton on the look-out for Kangaroos

The peloton on the look-out for Kangaroos

After the stage McCarthy revealed he “had an eye on this stage”. 

“This year I knew I was in really good shape,” he said of his aspirations.

Dennis was another beneficiary of the chaos but said he hoped Gerrans can come back. 

“I hope the crash doesn’t hinder Simon (Gerrans), because no one wants to win like that,” Dennis said.

 Solo breakaway rider Adam Hansen gets a tyre change

Solo breakaway rider Adam Hansen gets a tyre change

Gerrans was realistic after the stage. 

“It’s a shame to lose time bonuses, because a second counts for a lot in this race,”  he said. There’s plenty of reason for optimism, Gerrans efforts chasing intermediate sprint bonuses leave him in third spot in the GC. 

McCarthy was also realistic about the hard yards ahead.  

“Now I have to go back, recover for Corkscrew. There’s plenty more work ahead of us.”

Stage 3 begins by the seaside at Glenelg, 12km south of Adelaide, and finishes in the Adelaide suburb of Campeltown. The stage could be decisive with Corkscrew road guaranteed to blow apart the race.

What were they thinking?

The non-Orica-GreenEdge teams with GC hopes were caught out twice letting Gerrans and Ewan take the sprint bonus seconds. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Great job Orica-GreenEdge, that tactical nous could see you win the TDU.

 Adam Hansen Lotto-Soudal,was the Alpecin Most Competitive Rider of the day

Adam Hansen Lotto-Soudal,was the Alpecin Most Competitive Rider of the day

Stats:

Santos Tour Down Under Classification Leaders after Staging Connections Stage 2 

                Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey - Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)

                iiNet Sprint Jersey - Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)

                Subaru King of the Mountain Jersey - Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff)

                Alpecin Most Competitive Rider - Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal)

                Wilson Parking Winning Team Competition - Cannondale Pro Cycling

Thank you James and "THE LEAD SOUTH AUSTRALIA".

SD TEAM


Alex Jones and the National Para TT Championships

Our guest writer/rider Alex Jones talk to us about his last experience at the National Para TT Championships.

National Para TT Championships

 As soon as I returned from Manchester it was time to start preparations for the National Para Time Trial Championships. Time Trialling is not an area where I have had a lot of experience but I had not done badly in the World Cup so I was motivated to keep training hard.  The course was a rolling 36kms in the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside. We travelled up the day before so I could at least drive the course a few times and get familiar with the tricky bits and try to make a plan.  We were lucky with the weather on the day, with bright sunshine and next to no wind.  I was slightly nervous to see that the current National Champion was setting off a minute behind me so I knew that I would have to be strong mentally as he sailed past me and resist the temptation to chase him down at a speed that would be unsustainable and make my legs die on me before the end of the race.   I put everything into my performance, with GB coaches there watching our every move once more,  and at the end of the race I had no idea if I had medalled or not as the times seemed very close for 2nd and 3rd places. 

Checking the results board I was genuinely over the moon to see that I had come second, earning a silver medal, proving that every second of effort counts.  I went away inspired by the other riders and whilst I continue my physio exercises I know that I can continue to overcome my muscle stiffness to improve my position on the bike for next year.

It has been a very long and exciting season for me but it is not quite over as my first ever Track International competition is coming up in November so I have been training every week at the London Velodrome so I can attempt more pbs and improve my racing technique.

The SD Team thanks Alex for sharing his cycling experiences with us and all our followers. We wish well and we look forward to hear more interesting stories.Good Luck for the rest of the season.

SD TEAM.

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Alex Jones,our guest blogger

We are pleased to have Alex as our guest writer for this week,where he will tell us about his last 6 weeks on a bike.

Sainsbury’s UK School Games

It’s been a busy few weeks with a long awaited return to the indoor track, starting with the Sainsbury’s UK Games in Manchester.  The competition brings together the best able bodied and para cyclists from each region of the UK, including several GB development riders, and is run to mimic a major world event with opening and closing ceremonies and the athletes travelling as a team and accommodated in the athletes village for the 3 day duration – a fantastic opportunity all round.

The mixed para cycling team competed against each other with ‘factored’ results, the complicated UCI handicap system used when they cannot separate men/women, ages and classifications for each group.  The placings were given according to which of us beat our individual time targets by the largest percent so as a junior male C5 rider I was given the toughest times but rose to the challenge!

My events were the standing lap, the 500m TT, Flying 200, Kilo and 3000m pursuit. Encouraged by my coach, the crowd and keen to put some good times down, I managed to beat all of my targets and came away with 5 bronze medals and some PB's which I was happy with as a basis to start my track season with.

It was a really great experience living and racing with such a large group of para and able bodied riders my age and having to organize myself as independently as possible over the competition.  It gave me a good benchmark to work from and was fantastic preparation for my first Para Track Nationals at the end of the month.

Thank you Alex, we are looking forward to hear more stories from you tomorrow.

Have a good week everyone and stay safe on the road.

SD Team

Supporting the New Para National Road Champion

SaddleDrunk Team is pleased to announce the start of an amazing relationship with Alex Jones the New Para National Road Champion.

We have asked Alex and his mother few question about Alex's cycling career.

Introduction

What an amazing trajectory it has been for 17 year old Alex Jones, since he started cycling competitively only 3 years ago! Having been spotted by British Cycling's Talent Coaches winning gold at the London Youth Games TT in 2012, he has been on the Olympic Talent programme Regional schools of Racing,  learning the trade on track and road - and the levels of hard work, sacrifice and discipline that it takes to succeed.  Born with mild cerebral palsy, last year he caught the eye of the Great Britain Cycling Team para coaches and after a successful first Road World Cup in Italy in June he has gone on to become 2015 National Mens para Circuit series winner and National Mens para Road Champion, a remarkable acheivement for a Junior rider. He has also medalled in each of 5 track events at the UK Games and is looking forward to competing with Paralypmic greats at the National Track Championships at the end of this month.  

History

Alex always enjoyed sports as a child but developed an interest in cycling at the age of 14, joining the Kingston Junior Cycling Club. The coaches there advised him to trial for the London Youth Games, (where he won Gold for the following 3 years) and he was spotted by revered British Cycling Talent and Regional Development coach Graham Macnamee who remains an influential mentor and voice of experience.

Mac nominated Alex for BC’s prestigious Regional Schools of Racing, part of the Olympic Talent Programme where over the next 2 years Alex learned the foundations of competitive road and track cycling and the high standards and hard work expected not only on the bike but off the bike too including nutrition, organization, preparation, discipline and the dedication required to be a top rider. Along the way he was supported and encouraged by his clubs (Twickenham CC, HIllingdon and Prestige), family and school, particularly by his PE Teacher and International Triathlete Mark Yeoman, who showed unwavering belief in  Alex’s potential.

Alex’s passion for riding grew, fuelled by fantastic experiences such as meeting the Team Sky riders and Shane Sutton on a training camp in Majorca where he rode up Mount Lluc with them and being taken behind the scenes at the Tour de France with Chris Boardman, Ned Boulting and Gary Imlach.  Off the bike, Alex is a BC level 1 coach and regularly helps teach young riders at Hillingdon CC.  His other interests are cars and music.

Alex did well in regional events but due to his mild cerebral palsy affecting his performance at an elite National level, he missed out on a place on the Olympic Apprentice programme. However, in a stroke of luck for Alex, he had caught the eye of his current coach, Andy Pitt who offered to take him on a one to one basis in July 2014, starting a fantastically motivating working relationship.   BC’s para cycling programmeidentified his potential and  nominated him for his first para Road World Cup in Italy in June this year where he was classified by an International panel as a C5 rider.

Following an impressive performance at his first World Cup, Alex went on, under the effective guidance of Andy Pitt, to win the National Men’s Para Circuit Series and after an amazing season has become National Men’s Para Road Champion in his category.  He has just returned from the UK School Games having medalled in each of his 5 events and is looking forward to the National Track Championships in Manchester later this month where he will be competing with Paralympic multi-medallists such as Jody Cundy and Jon Allan Butterworth.

After an exciting first year competing as a para cyclist alongside his regular racing commitments, Alex is now undergoing assessments  and training with the Great Britain Cycling Teamand his fierce ambition is to continue to learn and improve and earn the opportunity to ride for GBCT at the 2016 World Cups and World Championships and start BC’s four year preparation cycle for Tokyo 2020. Alex is also a Level One BC coach and spends his spare time teaching young riders at his old club.

From next month Alex will be wearing the national champion colour cycling kit made by SaddleDrunk after being approved by British Cycling. 

Good Luck Alex.

SD Team.

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