Following a successful 2013 season racing Cross-Country MTB, National top 10 Junior rider James Davey approached Epic Coaching with the intention of transitioning to road racing. After an initial meeting discussing racing and goals for 2014 we devised a suitable winter training plan focusing on racing for a longer duration.

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Due to James joining Epic Coaching in December, training began a little later than is usual. We kicked off with a block of low intensity long rides to gauge his current performance levels. The training was then tailored to develop James’s strength and fitness in order to begin competing at the first few races of the season towards the end of February.

Having never raced on the road before James had to begin racing as a 4th category rider and opened his season with the first Springtime Pursuit. With the organizing club knowing James’s MTB race history he was placed in the scratch group, starting 4 minutes down, but raced hard to catch all but 1 rider and take second place. The following weekend saw the second Springtime Pursuit where the time gaps were increased to 6 minutes resulting in part of the front group staying away. 6th place for James and straight into Cat 3.

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With step-by-step help and guidance from Epic James quickly got to grips with race tactics and strategy, ascending to cat 2 in just 4 more races. The summer saw a step up to higher level racing (E/1/2/3) with good results at key races such as Totnes-Vire, Regional Championships and the Ras de Cymru the jump to Cat 1 was achieved by the end of July, just 5 months after his first road race.

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James has responded really well to his coaching plans throughout 2014 and has made great progress in his first year on the road. As the season draws to a close it is now time to begin setting next year’s goals and the training required to deliver those goals in order to continue the progress and take his racing to the next level.