Category Archives: Sponsored Riders

Ashley June 2012

Hi there readers,
This blog update is a summary of my racing and training that was done in June. This month consisted of me finally leaving 6th form, sitting my A level exams and racing some of the biggest races to date!

My priorities for this month were obviously my a level exams as you cant do much in life without an education these days, hopefully my hard work and revision will pay off and I will achieve the grades which are needed for me to go to Chester university!

My last exam which was also my most important one was the P.E exam which was on the 20th June. Anyone in the know will realise that the 20th June was also date for the National circuit champs, which I had also entered… It was a very stressful day for me, I went out for an hour in the morning before my exam but I was struggling to even just pedal as I had my exam in just a few hours. Thank god it went pretty well and now that was out of the way it was time to get my head in shape for the evenings race at Otley. It was good weather and luckily the rain held off for the national champs. I always knew the race was going to be extremely hard for me as I am only 18, and the majority of people who were riding have been riding the infamous tour series which had been broadcasted on national television. I got a good start to the race, surprisingly I managed to get myself into the top third of the bunch for the first 6 laps, which I may add were the fastest! But my lack of experience of racing at this elite level showed as I lost a bike length going over the climb up Burras lane. This bike length suddenly developed into 5 bike lengths and I started to slip back through the bunch. I lasted another 2 laps towards the back of the bunch but it is true what they say, it is much harder at the back of the peloton. I soon slipped into the point of no return and then I was spat out of the back.

I was kicking myself afterwards because I knew deep down the bike length that I let slip, I could have made up if I was on the ball more. But at the end of the day, I accepted that it was the National crit champs and that for some riders, it will make their career to win this. Full credit to Scott Thwaites for winning the race though, he has been riding immensely all season and he is a great guy to chat to. A true champ who hopefully will move on to bigger and better things next season.

The other big race of this month was the Brighouse crit which was the first round of the National circuit series. I was looking really forward to this race as it is local to me and it has been resurrected after 2 years of it not been run. It is a pretty simple course but it does have some tight bends in it which suits my style. I had it a fairly descent start but the race rocketed off in the first third which put me on the back foot after an improper warm up. I managed to ride myself into the race with other riders which formed a group. We managed to catch the main bunch back up, but the race was over as the front 6 which had broke away lapped the field! I was feeling good though all through the race and I finished my first elite crit and came about 35th. Hopefully the only way is up after this as I will be racing Colne & Sheffield in July. Keep tuned in for next months report!


Ashley May 2012

Hello again everyone, this blog is a summary of a relatively quiet month for me as there has been various race cancelations from my calendar.
I only ended up getting about 3 races in May because by weekly circuit race league, Tockwith, was cancelled after 1 round due to various reasons which included something along the lines of a noise complaint!? Im not sure if this statement is correct, but if it is then I think that we need to invest in some quieter gears because they obvisously seem to be disturbing some people!
Due to there been few races for me this month, it gave me some time to just ride my bike and let my body condition itself at a slower rate, I think this helps me in the long run as it doesn’t knock my immune system as much therefore I feel less ropey and ill.

I raced up in the North East in a E/1/2 at Prissik park. The cycling development team up there are putting on a lot of circuit races in the region and they are a credit to themselves as the events they are organising are top class and they deserve to be more well known. They were some good riders that turned up including what seemed to be half a field worth of Velo 29 riders which made it a complex race for lone riders like myself. I tried my luck a few times but came to nothing, but in races like these, you have to try and get in every move as you never know which one is likely to stay away. Unfortunately, I missed the winning one which consisted of some really strong riders. It was annoying that every time you tried to bridge across to the break, there was a Velo 29 rider hot on your heels, but that’s bike racing!

Another race which was on at the end of the month was the Batley RR, this is probably my most local race which was around the Hartshead moor. Most of you might know it as the service station on the M62! It was a really warm day which makes it far more enjoyable to race in compared to the wet and windy Britain that we are most used to. Once again I tried my luck fairly early on to join with another rider, but I started on the climb with a lower pace than the chasing bunch which meant that we were soon reeled in. It was a very attacking race which led to small groups of escapee’s pinging off the front of a fast paced race. I wasn’t feeling the best as every lap, the climb took a little bit more out of my legs which in result hurt me even more on the top end of the course in a fairly blustery headwind. I finished around 30th which I was quite disappointed with as I wanted to do a lot better in this race but there was a fairly decent field of riders.

Im now feeling generally stronger as a rider as now ill have more digs off the front in attempts to get away as oppose to just sit in, I’d rather be a hitter than a sitter inner!
June and July should make for more interesting reading as there is a larger bulk of races including the Brighouse round of the National circuit series… Hopefully this should all go well and ill have a good month report for you all!


Ashley March 2012

Hi again everyone!

I cant believe it has already been 3 months since I became the 1st rider for the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund, time certainly does fly!
Unfortunately I don’t have much to write about for my riding over April as I was ill for nearly the whole month! I raced the infamous Pennypot lane in North Yorkshire the 1st of April, needless to say I was a fool for it! It is a course where you are really exposed on the moors and climbing good old Yorkshire roads. The likes of Sean Yates has won on that particular circuit in the past so that just shows that it takes a real man to make his way around there. Unfortunately I was not on form for the day and it was the week that I came down with the typical sniffles, but u went in with a fresh head hoping for a good race. Once I arrived I was shocked to see how busy the road were wish parked cars, I thought I had rocked up to a premier calendar with the amount of vehicles and in particular the Motorpoint team car with 60kg twigs for men hanging out of the doors. I was always going to be a hard race where I was going to suffer as I am an all out sprinter. The break pretty much went straight away on the 1st lap on one of many hills and it soon found myself in the group with the riders that are more like myself with the 70kg+ builds. I slogged myself around in the group pulling turns but people were still attacking within our group which made it a really tough race for me. My energy levels started to be sapped rapidly and by 2 laps to go I blew going up the main climb to the start finish area as yet another attack went off. I was a bit gutted about not doing well but I knew that it was not my type of race, end of. I also knew that I could be coming down with an illness which turned out to be the case!

I had been sniffling for a few days after Pennypot lane but it soon started to deteriorate and I developed a nice cough to accompany my runny nose. This went on for a good two week and i really thought it was not going to shift, Its quite depressing that you’re seeing your season slip away at your fingertips just because of something that any non cyclist wouldn’t be too fussed about. I had to cancel two entries to races as I wasn’t in a great state to ride, but it has got better and I have been able to lift my intensity of riding in training to something above recovery rides! Hopefully the seasonal illness for me has gone for good now and that it will enable me to be stronger later on in the season when other people maybe wanting a bit of a rest because they have been going full on since the start of the season in early March.

Now for me it is about moving my levels of fitness up to a higher standard and for me to condition myself so that I am fully ready for my intense blocks of racing in June & July. For me, this is the business end of the season as I want to be able to get my face shown in the elite circuit race series as this is more suited to my style of riding! Hopefully I will have plenty more to talk about in next months blog as I have now got over this rubbish cold.
Over and out


Ashley March 2012

Hello again everybody! Im bringing you all my 2nd blog, much of it consists of the happenings which took place in March (yes, I know I have a boring life and it doesn’t consist of much) so put on your reading glasses and put the kettle on because it’s going to be some read!

So, the 1st race of the season for me was the Eddie Soens. It’s a race that ive now took part in 3 times and truly enjoy, a 180+ bunch which ranges in abilities and its on a car free racetrack (WHICH IS FLAT, WOO) It was an extremely cold and wet day, much to my surprise…

I was having a good race, had a little ride off the front of the group to try and be a hero by getting across to the front group but that soon was brought back and then soon enough the elite riders were on our tail. Now that the big guys had caught the other groups, it was time forme to sit and let the big teams pull the race along. I was still feeling good with around 10 laps to, by now the pace started to increase as the bigger teams such as Endura and Rapha realised it was going to come down to a Bunch sprint, this is how I like to race!

I had now paired up with my only team mate in the race, the legendary Alastair ‘Adge’ Wood. He is an extremely experienced racer who has won numerous National medals on the track and knows how to read a race. We were sitting on Tony Gibbs wheel with 2 to go as we knew that he was going to be a hitter in the sprint, but coming into the corner just after the Start/Finish (a sweeping left hander) the bunch squeezed up and Alastair’s supreme bike handling meant that someone else came off worse, right in front of me… I had to pull a quick dismount to avoid the fallen rider, but this resulted in me going to the back in the space of 10 seconds or so, great!

So it was race over for me, I was quite gutted as I was feeling good for the finish knowing that I have a good sprint on me (yeah, ive beaten Tom Murray numerous times in gallop intervals, no biggie. Sorry Tom!) but unfortunately due to a crash, it changed my race. Never mind though, there are plenty more races in the season!

I kept pushing on through the week with my set training from Greg at Vitesse coaching and sooner or later the weekend came around. I had originally planned on racing at Darley moor on Saturday but in short notice I found out I had a University open day up in Newcastle so I prioritized and put my education 1st. My trip up north wasn’t so bad after all as I still managed to get a race in at Middlesborough. It’s a small circuit which suits my kind of racing. I was the 1st one to attack in the race and stayed away for around 5 laps, where 3 others joined me, but as circuit racing goes, it was inevitable that it was going to come back. Unfortunately I had being suffering with a mild cold through the week so I wasn’t feeling the best so I battled on through the majority of the race but my energy levels were quickly deteriorating and with about 10 laps to go I blew my doors of the wagon. Again, today was not my day as the cold took its place on me but once again, there is plenty more races left in the season!

Through the week I was resting more and trying to treat my body more like a temple by treating it to all the good stuff that is needed. It seemed to work as by the next weekend I was feeling much more fresh and fighting fit.

On the 21st March was the 2nd Darley Moor, I was looking forward to this race as we had the best weather for March and there was little wind so this meant that it should be a ace days racing! Quite a few Herbalife and RST-trigon riders were present along with 2 Sigma sport riders so I knew that It was going to be a good quality race with lots of attacking so it was vital that I rode defensively as you never know which move may stay away. The race was straight into full swing as we were smashing down the back straight at over 35mph so there was no easing up. I managed to get in a few splits and chase the majority of moves down but around 6 laps from the finish, I dropped back after getting in a move and sure enough the race winning quartet got away with the best riders in it including Tom Murray and Jamie Shirlaw. My finishing position was around 18th which I was not the most happy with but at the same time it wasn’t too bad as I was riding pretty hard for 90% of the race.

So, i hope you’ve had a brilliant read, I know its not your average novel or Sunday newspaper but im sure it doesn’t read that bad, does it? I will be keeping you posted in next months blog with more races and antics ive been getting up to which I am sure you will itching to read…
Over and out



ashleyHello everyone, I’m Ashley, I’m representing the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund for the 2012 season. First of all, I want to say that it is a true privilege to be awarded this funding. It means a great deal for me to have the opportunity to be the 1st rider to have the backing thats in memory of an amazing rider. Lewis was, and still is a real inspiration for hundreds of young riders across the British isles and I feel really honoured that I was chosen to carry on the amazing memories that Lewis brought in his years with us. I want to thank Jacqui, Kevin & Natasha for all their support that they are offering me as if it was not for them, young riders like myself may not have the opportunity to show their colours in such a demanding sport. So, back to the nitty gritty of this blog.

It was a Saturday afternoon, I was deep into my ‘cyclists nap’ after 6hours in the saddle in the morning. Normally if you were to be woken from your well deserved sleep, you would be quite annoyed as your body is craving the shut eye, but my phone was ringing, much to my disapproval. On the other end of the call was Natasha, telling me that the Lewis Balyckyi trust fund was wanting to interview with me on the following Tuesday. This certainly woke me up as after a couple of months after applying, it was not what I was expecting! Tuesday came soon enough, and in the evening I had the knock on the door where Jacqui, Kevin and the big grin of Natasha stood. Once inside, it was straight down to interview business, non of this teenager mumbling that everyone is used to by now from me! On hearing that I was the only rider to have been selected for the trust fund, it put a big smile on my face! I wont lie, it was some of the most uplifting pieces of news that I have heard for a while. After signing the contracts of agreement, I was officially the 1st rider that was to represent the trust fund, HAPPY DAYS!

We know as cyclists, the winter times are about getting long miles in on your trusty old steed. Although, sometimes your trusty old steed needs some TLC as the winter weather does its best to damage your pride & joy. Therefore I had to purchase some new wheels & tyres to see me through the training that I am doing. With the trust fund, I have been able to purchase these parts, so now ive got no excuses not to be out training! Also, as part of being a cyclist, you have to give your body the fuel it needs and after a lengthy training session, it needs its protein! As I had just ran out of my previous stuff, the trust fund was able to help me purchase some more recovery powder, now it means that I don’t get home after a ride and then suffer for the next few days as I didn’t get a good source of protein. As the racing season is just around the corner, I will have plenty more to write about as my calendar is pretty much full for most weekends, all I can say for now is watch this space!
Over and out