Last weekend saw the growing numbers now racing in Velo Club IVEAGH colours, continue with a debut ride at Scotstown for John Davison. With an extremely creditable 10th place finish in the A4 Category, we thought we would catch up with John and find out how he’s gone from giving valued background club support to riding competitive in a very short period;
VCI – Since deciding to take up cycling, how long have been riding John? JD – I have been a club member from the beginning but mainly as a marshal helping at the turns mostly and turned to cycling just over 18 months ag0.
VCI – Given that you’ve never even did a club race, what made you wish to race? JD- Watching from my marshaling duties has always given me that so called buzz and once I got used to the bike and gained a bit of knowledge on leisure riding with the club group rides I guess being competitive in nature this pushed me forward in a natural progression for me.
VCI- What training did you do over winter towards racing? JD – My training during the winter months was a mixture of the clubs well known hurt locker, were we do a designated number of hill repeats on progressive hills and then there was my dreaded turbo sessions, which I forced myself through when the weather was at it worse. #wintermilesummersmiles
VCI – With little personal experience to dwell on, what were your thoughts during the week as you came towards your first race? JD – My build up was a mixture of nerves and excitement while at the same time trying to make sure I was well organised with only some light training.
VCI – And how were you the day before and on the morning of the race? JD – The day/night before I took some time to double check I had everything required as per Neil Seffens guidance (See previous article). Kit was packed along with food/supplements and equipment. The morning of the race was an early start 6.30am wake up. I took a good breakfast to set me up for the day and with just over 1hrs journey ahead to the race, it was closing in with the nerves still there but no worse. Boom D day.
VCI – What was your target going into this race? JD – My thoughts throughout the week were merely to stay in the race for as long as physically possible, by that I mean stay with the main group. I had concerns about what seems to have been a lot of crashes lately (several witnessed and involving few fellow club members), so I was keen to stay well placed to try and avoid incidents if possible. So in my head my focus was to “compete and complete.
VCI – How did you find the pace and aggression within the race? JD – I felt the aggression within the race, over the 42 mile course,was fairly reasonable and controlled. The pace, I again felt comfortable and could cope with, I think we averaged 24.2 mph. It was important though not to lose the wheel in front and stay compact coming out of the slow corners.
VCI – How did you feel you performed? JD – With 80 riders in the field, my first aim was to stay in the front half of the group. With 2 laps completed I was were I wanted to be, sofeeling good I began to settle the nerves down and settled into the race rhythm. My confidence was building, but still I felt a need to be cautious as anything could happen at any time. Juggling my positioning around throughout the remaining laps with the final 3km closing in, it was still anyone’s call who was going to win. The final left turn had a bunch of 20 or so riders biding for glory. On the run to the finishing line, I was in those 20 and finished 10/11 place. I was absolutely delighted, firstly to find myself competitive and secondly complete the course. Im well pleased and with confidence that Ive got the pace I’m hoping I’ve something here to build on.
VCI – What have you learnt and taken away from your first race? JD – What Ive taken away from the race is a knowledge and expectancy that every A4 race is and will be fast & furious right from the gun. Anything can happen quickly and in a split second things can change for better or worse. Concentration has to be very high and you’ve got to dig deep and be prepared to hurt yourself, when its needed.
VCI -Who has helped you most? JD – I would say there’s been many, but in particular those members who I trained hard with over the winter months. I’ve picked up lots during club runs and the 9.03 club run, has helped me build my leg speed and maybe develop a comfort with riders around me at speed. There’s plenty of knowledge and experience in the club, after all many have “been there done that” as they say.
Hoping the season goes well for all at VCI and we can build on our early momentum JD.