Ed Laverack and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Ed rides for the new UCI Continental team SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling this season. This is Ed’s 6th journal entry…
I’ve been a part of many successful races in my short time but this was one of the most pleasing
The feeling of success is a rare one. I’m referring to the recent Tour of the Reservoir.
I’d earmarked this race as the end of phase 1. Phase 1 being the first part of the season where I would build and maintain a certain level of form before recovering for a few days and then moving on to the final few months of the year. I’ve made the mistake a number of times, going from race to race and training and not really thinking about the accumulation of fatigue.
Coming in to this race I’d had a considerably better ride at the Circuit of the Mendips. A performance I was happy with. It could have gone better for us if i’d made the final selection over the last climb so that James (Shaw) would have someone in the chase group behind him to fall back on if needed. It is what it is, I put my neck on the line by taking the initiative on the final climb, and this has become a theme.
Around 10 days before the 2 day Tour of the Res, I began my ‘cut.’ There isn’t really a better way of putting it but I basically take out certain things in my diet that aren’t needed. The odd biscuit, cut down on milk in my teas, increase my intake of vegetables. The small things. For us top level riders in the UK and abroad I believe that many of us are always somewhere between 10-14 days away from our best shape. In 10 days of balanced training and tracking my macronutrients I went from 62.5 kg to 61 kg. I don’t really enjoy talking about my nutrition as I know its an extremely argumentative topic but it always ends up being the finishing product for me. I train and train and train and then when the time comes I dial in my food and get down to whatever weight I feel will benefit my performance the best on a certain race.
For this race I said anything under 61.5 kg would do me. You would be surprised to hear just how good I feel just from losing 1 kg. You probably wouldn’t be able to tell, but I would. Mentally it plays such a key role knowing that you are in the best shape.
The queen stage, 177 km long and 3000m of climbing, was the deciding stage at this race. A big day out, it would probably make for a great National Road Championships course if it wasn’t in such a difficult place to get to. With so much climbing, it would be attritional. Knowing this, I saved as many matches as possible for the final 50 km. I was dropped in the crosswinds over the top of the 10 min climb on all 3 occasions. However, in the situation I found myself in, it was far smarter to find myself 10 seconds off the back, but in a group of 10 getting shelter and not losing time, than it was to be on the back of the front group of 15 but being in the gutter fighting the wind.
When the crunch time came I actually felt really good. It was like a scene from a mountain stage in a grand tour. A team mate up the road who I bridged to. He rode with our little break to maintain a healthy 1 minute lead until the bottom of the final climb and then I launched at the bottom. Once at the top the race had ignited behind and, as if scripted, James came across with a select group. Now the race was in our hands. Driving on to the finish and being able to work right up till the line is a real confidence booster. James taking the win: that was special. We had 7 riders in the front group of 35ish that day. 3 of us in the top 10 overall. A 2nd and 1st on both stages. I’ve been a part of many successful races in my short time but this was one of the most pleasing. I couldn’t contain my happiness as I crossed the line seeing the final sprint unfold in front of me. So thats what it feels like.