Adam Lewis and three other cyclists have kept rider journals for The British Continental this season. Adam rides for the Dutch UCI Continental team BEAT Cycling Club, an innovative team that markets itself as a professional cycling team based on a club. This is Adam’s 10th and final journal entry…
It took my head a while to get accustomed to the Dutch language after two months without speaking it in the UK
2020 preparations are in full swing as we move forward into December. For those who haven’t seen the news, I am privileged to say I will be staying with BEAT Cycling Club for the forthcoming season. I am super motivated to say the least for next year and am already laying down some solid foundations through the guidance of Neo Pro Cycle coaching. The ‘RoadtoBEAT2020’ started for the road squad last weekend as we came together for a couple of days in the city of Rotterdam. I thought it would be a good insight to take you ‘behind the scenes’ of the busy schedule of events we had.
The weekend for me started a day earlier than the rest of the team as I had an evening travel to Rotterdam. Something overlooked by most is the amount of travelling cyclists have to do each year, whether that be to races, sponsor events or weekends such as this. It all adds up come the end of the year. Fortunately, travelling is something I enjoy, getting to experience new places and meet new people. Anyway, I arrived into Rotterdam around 10pm ready for a full two-day schedule.
Up bright and early we headed to the team meeting point where we’d be based for the next two days arriving around 8.30am for a quick coffee and catch up with the guys I’d not seen since the final race of 2019. First on the agenda was a ‘team dynamics’ session to help bring the team spirit together and help introduce the new riders, of which we have three, to the rest of the team. I must admit it took my head a while to get accustomed to the Dutch language after two months without speaking it in the UK. Fortunately by mid-morning I was dialling myself into it again. A short 60km loop on the bikes followed, nothing serious, just a steady cruise to get to know each other a bit more and a good chance for me to stretch the legs a little.
A quick turnaround after lunch and we were into the afternoon stint with presentations, photos and logistic planning on the menu. One of our partners, BinckBank, gave us an insightful presentation on dealing with our finances, something I found very interesting and helpful.
The first glimpse of the 2020 jersey meant new headshots were taken; keep your eyes peeled for this as I think it looks even better than the 2019 version. A low-down on how we would be arranging logistics for the coming season followed, as well as a look at the equipment we would be riding. Being in Rotterdam it would be rude not to have an evening out on the town; nothing says team building more than a few beers with the whole team, a relaxed way to get to know each other better. Nothing too crazy as we had another early wake up call, though some ended worse off than others.
The final day was based around an individual programme for each of us. Starting bright and early again it was a morning and afternoon of busy meetings. The programme consisted of performance planning; discussing our race programme, goal setting and how we were going to go about achieving them. It was something I took a lot from and am going to put into use for the coming months.
We met with some of our partners, in particular XLC, viewing the new components we will be riding and gauging measurements. As BEAT has a wider community and members rather, than just being a professional team, we were given an overview of how we can engage more with our membership and threw some of our personal ideas in to the fold. Safe to say, apart from our road racing programme, there may be some other very interesting events we will be taking part in next year, something I’m very excited for, so stay tuned.
Rider health and wellbeing is sometimes overlooked on teams where riders are just expected to be able to produce the training day in day out. Fortunately with BEAT we were able to undergo a full health screening courtesy of Prevermo. This ranged from the standard weight, body fat checks to eye, hearing tests and measuring our heart rate variability. A thorough process as well as a reassuring one knowing all is in check.
Before heading our separate ways at the end of the weekend another ‘teambuilding’ idea popped up. Based at a National Rowing centre water was in plentiful supply so with no further ado it was decided we would jump in, now being in December this was nothing short of an ice cold plunge so it certainly got the adrenaline pumping. A great way to end the weekend.
A short trip overseas for me but an important step in making 2020 the best I can. I’ll be braving the best of the British weather for the rest of December before heading to Calpe shortly after the New Year to really focus on getting into race shape.
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #9 – end of season review
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #8 – the season is still long
Rider journals: Adam Lewis #7 – the season, part 2
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.