Charlie Chief

A marker for the future

Success at Junior level in Cycling is pivotal to gaining opportunities at U-23 level and subsequently the chances for those who dream of Professional careers. So when EPiC Coached Charlie Meredith won the overall GC and Queen stage of the Junior Tour of Ireland it was a prime target which had been carefully planned by the entire team at EPiC and executed perfectly by Charlie himself.

Whilst EPiC coach Kenny Wilson, who is based in Ireland himself is Charlie’s coach the entire team have had a hand in helping him get the best out of his training, tactical development and overall conditioning. At EPiC we are proud to match every ounce of the true desire this rider has to get as far as he can in cycling, he’s truly an impassioned young man.

A winter preparing for key targets

Last summer it became clear to us that through Charlie’s growing TT abilities and climbing skills that there was an underlying engine to work with towards GC results at Junior and even Senior Stage races. Throughout the winter we pushed this forward in carefully selected endurance and Peak Power blocks to aid in developing a growing young man. We believe the platform to make a strong rider in early spring comes from being able to push the pedals hard and fast. To some, pushing this hard in early to mid winter might seem very strange but Charlie embraced and continues to embrace and believe in the ethos that we have at EPiC. It would be unfair to attach ourselves to the idea of a reverse periodisation but we feel that you can only make a bigger cake by sourcing more flour, bigger eggs and then letting it rise just in time for the party. To arrive to the oven each year with the same mix will provide the same sized cake. Racing well in GC and climbing well requires a rider to be at an optimal weight and importantly increasing their Lactate Threshold: both to produce higher power aerobically and to have a better chance of recovery from stage to stage. With this in mind working to improve Charlie’s Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is something we give our fullest attention through key blocks and sessions.

On the limit but within himself

Within the race itself the key powers markers for Charlie came from his power in the Stage 1 TT where he produced 343W for 8:41 at 5.61W/Kg; and his final attack to the top of Gallows Hill in Stage 5 where he produced a power of 388W for 2 minutes at 6.37W/Kg from an already high power setting to drop his challengers for the stage win. Tellingly both are still within his peak powers for those time periods. However being able to carry them out both under intense race pressure and within a stage race is outstanding. What is important in racing isn’t what power you can produce for a specific time but what you can produce after a longer period of racing before. To point out that he only had 28.4% of his riding time at Threshold (Z4) or above for the whole race, where he and his team had to defend a yellow jersey from day two onwards is further reinforcement of why he needed a high cruising speed. For him to be constantly over threshold absorbing attacks would have had a huge effect on his ability to recover day to day.

Having a total percentage of his riding in a recovery zone (Z1) of 46.4% for the entire race is testimony to his excellent positioning and bunch craft which he has learned and expanded himself and with our guidance. By finding the areas where it was most viable to recover he was able to charge his battery for the times he would most affect the race.

To sum it up, nothing in this race was new to Charlie. He had lived every attack and difficult period of the race prior to it in his training both physically and mentally. With this preparation and an equally resolved team at Giant Halo CC the stage was set for this new star to shine.

Everyone at EPiC Cycle Coaching is utterly delighted to see Charlie achieve the first of his many goals. And now it’s

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