All I want for Christmas is form - 53x11 Mckay

I had been looking forward to a fortnight’s training in Calpe for the whole of the Yorkshire winter. After the end of term, I took a break from studying and flew out to Alicante to live the dream for a few weeks. Initially the weather didn’t disappoint – waking up to views like this certainly provided ample motivation for long hours in the saddle.

However one weekend was a complete write-off. Stormy weather and 50mph winds meant going out for a bike ride probably wasn’t for the best. But all in all it lived up to expectations: sun, sea & cafe bombons. Not to mention catching glimpses of Sagan, Boonen & Contador, who I’ll only be able to see in cycling weekly for the next 12 months.

After enjoying a little down time over Christmas & New Year, training has really started again back up in York and so far I have seen great progression in power which probably has foundations in the block out in Spain. Since the start of this winter I’ve put on a few kilos but it has been slow and I feel like a natural development of my body. I’ve been still fairly lean but am certainly the strongest I’ve ever been so I’m sure I’ve put on a fair amount of muscle. There have been significant increases in both my peak power and also 5 minute power which will be useful for domestic racing. As much as I enjoyed riding up 20 minute climbs in Calpe, I won’t need to be built like a Spanish climber for racing in the UK.

I had my first race of the season a few weeks ago up at Croft Airfield and managed to place 6th in the E1234 handicap which was a pleasant surprise considering I haven’t been feeling particularly race ready of late. It was also a nice way to start the season representing TBW Bottechia Wigmore U23 (www.tbw23.com), my new team for this year. I’m really looking forward to racing with other young guys at bigger races in 2017. It looks like a mint setup and should be an exciting year. I’ll be fine tuning my race form for the start of the road season proper in March with Yorkshire’s finest reliability rides, the occasional Croft crit and VC York’s weekend club runs.

Thanks to:

The Bike Warehouse – http://www.thebikewarehouse.net/

Bottechia Bikes – https://www.bottecchiauk.com/

SiS – http://www.scienceinsport.com/

Chapeau – http://www.chapeau.cc/

SH+ – http://www.shplus.com/