Bryan reports on his recent ride in Varese and forthcoming plans for 2019.
2018 has been a big year for us with the start of Bryan Steel Racing and the group has been focussed on getting riders ready to compete at the Grand Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy.
Through qualifying at the Tour of Cambridgeshire, myself and 4 other riders took the trip to Italy to ride with some of the best cyclists in the world.
I was there for 5 days working on the Godfrey Bikewear stand who I am ambassador for and Sportive Breaks where I was the lead rider for their training rides, helping their 100 riders to be ready for the big day.
I travelled out to Italy on the Wednesday and spent the Thursday looking over the 130km route. I rode over the first 40km and then the last 50km to see where any potential problems were.
In the afternoon was the Time Trial where I had Jack riding and even though he was in the youngest age group he did a brilliant ride, finishing just out of the top 20.
On the Thursday we had amazing weather but overnight everything changed with thunder storms which lasted until Saturday afternoon, which meant the planned lead ride on the Friday had to be cancelled and the Saturday morning ride had to be moved to the afternoon.
We managed to get to ride the first 30km of the route on the Saturday afternoon but the main thing I wanted the group to ride was the first hill, which was only after 20km and was the biggest climb on the route. For me this would be the first and most important selection of the event, coming from a wide road down to narrow road where a car would have just been able to pass.
So, the big day came and with a 7.50am start everyone was down early for an early breakfast before heading up to the start area with plenty of time. To see the whole 5,000 riders in their age pens was an amazing sight and as the start time approached everyone was starting to get serious.
In my age pen was Simon who I coach and was good to get some good pictures together with all the other nationals riding.
The start time came and we were away on time, heading out of town in a group of around 400 riders – I was trying to make my way to the front but there were two short tunnels to go through before we hit the first hill. I was in a good place but in the second tunnel which wasn’t lit someone near the front came together and stopped the whole group, and it was only when I tried to start off again that I noticed that my rear brake had been moved and I had to stop again to stop it rubbing on my wheel.
It was only a few kilometres to the first hill now and even though I got back onto the first group I was at the back so I spent the hill and then most of the ride moving through the groups. I finally ran out of steam after 100km, having to sit up with cramp before having to try to push on again, but with the last 3km uphill, once I hit that the cramp came back.
I crossed the line doing the ride in 3.49.50 which I was pleased with but I would have liked to get below 3.45.
On the whole was pleased with my ride and Simon did an amazing ride despite his front mech stopping working and did the whole ride on the big ring (not sure how he managed this!).
With the success of the event and working with Sportive Break over the next few weeks we will announcing the British Grand Fondo Racing Club where we would like to get people read to do their very best at 10 selected events in 2019.
We will be send you some information over the coming weeks and if you would like to find out more then please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.