Festive Period – Keep it Consistant

With the holiday period approaching, this brings Xmas parties, nights out and of course the feast on the day. Together with this though is also more time off, your opportunity to combat the over indulgence with more hours on the bike and good quality recovery.

It’s also a busy period with the family but it’s worth taking the time now to plan out this period. Ensuring you make room for yourself, to take care of both your waist line as well as boosting your mojo on the bike. That Xmas morning blast, some more consistent structure or just riding more miles with friends, it’s all vital holiday season planning.

‘Consistency is King’ is a core principle here at VC and so this is a very busy period. As part of the quality 1-2-1 service, all riders receive their customised training sessions fully adapted around their own plans and availability. So get in touch if you would like to discuss a specific coaching requirement and make sure you keep on target into 2017 this year with Velocita Coaching.

Tim Shoreman – Accepted on Scottish Cycling MTB Junior Performance Program

Exciting news from Velocita Coaching rider Tim Shoreman as he is accepted onto the Scottish Cycling XC-MTB Junior Performance Program for 2017.

Since starting with VC in 2013, Tim has won the Scottish XC-MTB series 3 times in succession, with numerous 1st place podiums as well as 2nd in the 2016 Scottish National MTB Champs. National success has been top 5 positions in the British XC-MTB Series and placing 5th in the 2016 British National XC-MTB Champs. He has also been part of the winning Scottish team for the UK Inter-Regional XC-MTB Championships.

Moving onto the SC Junior Performance Program means that Tim is now taken on full time for all his development by Scottish Cycling. Whilst I’m sad to see him departing VC, this marks a huge success in our coaching time together by achieving the next step forward, and I wish Tim every success as a Junior in 2017!

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New Kit for 2016

Just taken delivery of this super bright Giro Aeon 2016 helmet in fluro. Just the ticket for my coach led road sessions, not to mention good viability in poor weather conditions…of which we’ve had a fair bit recently!!

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Clatto Park Youth MTB and R.A.C.E Session

A very wet and muddy day down at Clatto Park, Dundee this weekend for the Big Tree Campervan Youth MTB series, with Tim Shoreman taking a comfortable win in the U16 category.

Following on in the afternoon there was a good turn out for the delivery of the R.A.C.E (Regional Academy of Cycling Education) session to the aspiring racing youths. We made full use of the slippery conditioning to coach weight shift effects on cornering as well as grips points on berms in the skills park. A superb day and got pretty mucky too with the riders, in the on-the-bike demonstrations!

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Posted in MTB

Shoreman Cleans Up at Youth Dirt Racing

Velocita Coaching rider, Tim Shoreman took the over all win this weekend in the U16 category at the MTB Youth Stage Race. Held at Glentress forest by Peebles Cycle Club, the event consisted of 4 stages. These included a Hilly/Technical XC race, Hill climb, rooty DH and a short & fast Dirt Crit. Congratulations to Tim who won 3 of the 4 stages to take the overall.

Tim’s next target is the National MTB Inter-Regional Competition in a weeks time, held at Hadleigh Park in Essex, where he has been selected to represent Scotland North.

Ellon Town Centre Youth Criterium – Pryde Storms the Win

Ythan CC put on another great Youth event this weekend at the Ellon Youth Criterium. The short 700m town centre circuit giving spectators a fantastic insight into the hard and fast pace of youth racing.

Velocita Coaching rider Struan Pryde (DTCC) got the top result in the U16 race. Firing the pressure cooker round the last lap and tasting a chicken dinner, his position ahead out of the final turn saw Struan first to stop the clock.

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Fraser Steps it Up at the Feew-side Womens Road Race

This weekend was the Feew-side Women’s Road Race, an event I organise every year to promote women’s cycling in the North East. It is also part of the Scottish Cycling National Women’s Road Race Series so attracts a competitive field. Also up for grabs, as well as the race win, is the title of Scottish Cycling North East Grampian Region Women’s Road Race Champion.

Big thank you to the support team for your sterling work on the day, and well done all the riders. The win was taken in the sprint by Julie Erskine (IKON – Mazda) from Ashleigh Fraser (Deeside Thistle CC) in second and Ellen McDermott (Team WattCycle) third. Velocita Coaching’s Ashleigh Fraser was also delighted crossing the line, taking the title of the North East Women’s Road Race Champion.

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Arctic Race of Norway 2015 – Scottish Junior Team

Last weekend I travelled over to Narvik in Norway as Team Coach, with Peter Clark as Team Leader and the nine riders of the Scottish Junior Team.

Mens Team: Alistair Merry, Danny Hedley, Grant Martin, Jordan Stronach, Zak Loney. Womens Team: Ashleigh Fraser, Emma Borthwick, Lulu Bartlett, Sara Bradford.

Sponsored by Statoil this is a hugely prestigious event for Junior racers with an fully international field, tagged onto the professional stage race that weekend of the same name.

Flying over Friday, we arrived late in the evening to the university accommodation and    preceded to get the bikes built and checked. Sat then involved a pre-race ride to open up the legs and together as a team we reviewed the 8 Km circuit. Contained within Narvik it was steep and challenging with leg busting climbs opening up to fast & technical descents. It was going to be a good race for sure! That evening a seminar/workshop was held with Thor Hushovd, the race ambassador, giving the junior riders insight and aspiration into what is required to become a professional bike rider.

Race day on Sunday was a huge fanfare with massive crowds gathered for roll out of the Pro race. Keeping everyone calm, relaxed and focused on the task at hand was key for Peter and myself, as well as ensuring they were well hydrated in the hot conditions!

Both our men and women’s team rode strongly in a very competitive field with our highest placed finishers being Ashleigh Fraser (12th) and Sara Bradford (13th) showing the true nature of team work, riding together and crossing the line side by side.

This was a massive learning experience for the team and we were delighted to learn that Statoil have signed up to support the event for another 3 years. Plans are already afoot and I’m looking forward to developing the Scottish team for 2016.

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Evans Conquers the 25TT Hour

Another success this week, this time for Time Trialist Les Evans. One of his primary season goals was to come in under the hour for a 25 mile TT and together we’ve been building his training to his target event. Last night at the club 25TT, Les rode a solid 59.06, smashing his PB, well done Les!

Hard As Nails – Sarkis Rips up the ‘Celtman’

Massive congratulations to Laura Sarkis for a stunning performance this weekend at the Celtman, gaining 4th woman and 27th overall in a time of 14hrs 47 mins. No stranger to the super tough event, Laura has been training hard all season with Velocita Coaching and her hard work has paid off, beating her previous time by nearly 2 hrs. Top effort Laura, time for a well earned recovery!

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Shoreman Takes Top Spot at Laggan

Velocita Coaching rider Tim Shoreman rode a dominant race at Round 3 of the Scottish Cross Country MTB series this weekend. Breaking away early in the race with one other, the duo put minutes into following pack. Attacking near the end, Tim then pulled ahead to take the win by 11 sec. Congratulations on another win Tim!

Arctic Race of Norway – Media Launch Day

The sun shone for Thor Hushovd’s visit to Aberdeen yesterday for the media launch of the Scottish junior team for the Arctic Race of Norway.

STV were present taking a number of photo’s of the team and Velocita Coaching’s Ashleigh Fraser also got an STV interview along side Thor, making the evening news. Afterwards we rode out west with Thor and the team, with everyone chatting to the former world champ in the rotation. Obviously we couldn’t resist a final sprint finish and Peter had the chequered flag ready 🙂

The whole day was a great promo for cycling in north east and its a fantastic opportunity for the young riders which I’m delighted to support. Plenty to be done now and my next steps will be the organisation of a series of coaching sessions for the team to get them prepared for August. Exciting times ahead!

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Youth Tour of Scotland 2015

This Easter weekend I accompanied the North East Scotland youth team to the Youth Tour of Scotland, in the role of coach & team manager. The event was hosted at Strathallan school in Perthshire for the full 3 day event. The best youth riders are attracted with teams from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland & Isle of Man and the quality of rider is top level. It was a really great experience for the team and a big learning curve in fast, technical racing with large fields of up to 80 riders. I was kept busy attending team manager meetings, producing the daily schedule, planning the race tactics, keeping the lads on time with their warm ups/down, logistics and 101 other jobs that makes it all come together.  Couldn’t have asked for a better team though and had a real sense of pride seeing their organisation and enthusiasm. Well done!!

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – Cobble Capers

This morning was an early assault on the old cobbled roads of Aberdeen with Alick. We spent a 1-to-1 session learning the technique to riding cobbles, staying relaxed and smooth. Plenty of variety around town with cobbled climbs, descents and energy sapping flat segments. Just the ticket to prep for his Flanders Sportive event next weekend and with wind and rain on the cobbles, it was perfect ‘Classics’ conditions.

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Youth Tour of Scotland

In two weeks time I’m delighted to be accompanying the North East Scotland youth team to the Youth Tour of Scotland, in role of coach & team manager. A fantastic event for youth road racing, this is the highlight of the calender. The program incorporates a long circuit road race on the Saturday, a Perth city centre criterium followed by a Time Trail on the Sunday, with the weekend finishing off with a short circuit road race on the Monday. All stages are closed roads as per youth racing and its promises to be a fantastic weekend for the riders battling for stage wins as well as the GC overall. I’ll be keeping everyone up to date with the results as happen through the ADCA Youth facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ADCAYouth

Technical Climbing – What Goes Up…

Cracking technical session this morning with low winters sun on the Pitfichie trails. We had looked to continue round to Cairn William but ice was still present higher up, which although was ridable, didn’t make for an effective coaching environment. So working up Green Hill, the session focused on developing technical climbing skills, the low temps having nicely bound the terrain giving great traction. This is always a hard climb though as you need good stamina to survive to the top, as well as your core weight shift skills. Naturally we also worked on technical descending, as what goes up must come down…..

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Posted in MTB

Power Meter Calibration – Getting the Best From Your Equipment

Met up with Simon, one of my riders, this weekend to work through calibration of his different power meters. Simon has three power meters all on different bikes, 2 No. Stages (Ultegra & 105) and a Quarq (SRAM Red). The session was not to look at the absolute powers from Simon, but instead to determine offsets between the power meters for when training/racing on the different power meters. Its accepted that for most situations the difference would not be noteworthy, but the results were useful to correct for, when doing very controlled training sessions and racing.

My Wahoo KickR was used as the control device, as it can hold you at constant power adjusting in real time for variations in cadence and pedal torque. The testing was performed in as controlled conditions as possible, including that all devices were temperature stabilised and calibrated, same recording head units, and the same range of power and cadences were used for each of the power meter tests.

It was expected that the two Stages would read similar to each other with the Quarq at a different offset to them both. All of the power meters were expected to differ from the control KickR. The outcomes however were surprising….The Quarq, Stages 105 and KickR were all with +/- 2 watts. However the Stages Ultegra read about 8 watts lower.

Without going into detailed review of the products themselves (plenty online!), the surprise and the key point to take from the testing was that the power meters from the same manufacturer (Stages), using identical calibration protocols, produced different measurable results. The other power meters all from different manufacturers experienced minimal offset. As stated above the offsets are not significant for general power zone training, but were worth correcting for to get the best out of the (expensive) equipment and to optimise training and racing.

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