Adam Lewis and three other cyclists are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Adam rides for the Dutch UCI Continental team BEAT Cycling Club this season, an innovative team that markets itself as a professional cycling team based on a club. This is Adam’s 7th journal entry…
I still feel I haven’t been able to show off my full potential so far this season
Looking in from the outside into any sport it would appear that we, the athletes, have a satisfying, easy life. This is in part true. I have, for example, had the pleasure of experiencing many different countries thanks to cycling. Just this year I have raced my Koga bike round the island of Rhodes, the flatlands of North Holland, all the way to the Vosges mountain range in Eastern France. I really enjoy travelling to these new places and experiencing the mix of cultures. It’s a part of the sport I see the most being part of a Dutch team: new language, different mindsets, a great all round life experience in my eyes.
However what most people don’t see is when all doesn’t go to plan for us, what do we do then? What goes through our minds? Surely we’re always positive, no?
For me it’s been a difficult past few weeks coming off the back of my elbow fracture in the National Road Championships at the end of June. Looking back at the first half of the season I think it was topped and tailed by my two most pleasing weeks of the season so far. I went into 2019 with big expectations for myself and it started well when we, BEAT Cycling Club, took the overall honours in Tour of Rhodes. A great team victory to be involved in, feeling like I’d really played my part and riding strong. Two solid races in the final week of June left me going into the ‘summer break’ positive and confident. A breakaway showing in Halle Ingooigem (UCI 1.1), picking up the KOM prize along the way, and then a 14th place in the Nationals despite a fractured elbow. It felt like things were coming together nicely for the second part of the season.
I took a week off the bike before I headed back out to Belgium for a mental break as much as anything, as well as giving my elbow time to heal. Back in Belgium the elbow was feeling a lot better, still a little stiff but bearable to ride on. Approaching a solid four-race block I was positive and raring to go, ready to pick up where I left off. But coming out with only a 12th place to my name [at the Pollare-Ninove Pro Kermesse] was a little disappointing and frustrating. Granted, my next race, the GP Pino Cerami [where Adam finished 96th] was run in record breaking (literally) 45 degree heat, too much for my British body to handle. But I had gone into the start of my ‘season part 2’ with high expectations and the disappointment was tough to take. After doing all the hard work in the preparation I was feeling pretty down for a while.
When things don’t go to plan in any form of life its difficult to pick yourself back up, especially living in a foreign country. Fortunately I have a good support group around me and am back on track. Looking back I think I put too much pressure on myself to perform straight away coming back from my injury and trying to over complicate things.
Now, with a couple of weeks between my last race (the GP de Perenchies) and my next, I have been able to take the time to reflect and look ahead to the rest of the season more positively. Out here in Europe, the season still continues for another two and a half months, until mid October, so there are still many opportunities out there. Currently I am enjoying a good block of training with Neo Pro Cycle Coaching, ready for a busy end of the year. From mid August onwards the race schedule begins to get very busy. With a number of UCI 1.1 races each week, mixed wth a dollop of pro kermesse races and I’ll be here there and everywhere.
I still feel I haven’t been able to show off my full potential so far this season. In the back of my mind I have a few target races which I know suit my characteristics down to the ground, so keep an eye out on the results sheet.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. HSBC UK National Road Championships, Men’s Road Race – Norwich, Norfolk, England
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #6 – success breeds success
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #5 – the behind the scenes work
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #4 – racing on home soil
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #3 – a winning start
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #2 – cycling to a new BEAT
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #1 – a postcard from Girona
Follow Adam on Twitter here.