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Climbing into January

There's just 6 weeks left until my first race of the season, the off season is a distant memory. I'm looking forward to return to competition, I'm throwing myself in the deep end, Andalucía Bike Race attracts the best of the best but it's an event I've always enjoyed and I'm motivated to arrive in good condition.

Training has been going well, I've been doing a lot of tempo, sweet spot and lactate threshold work along with the endurance miles. I've started under over style efforts and micro sprints earlier in the year, these efforts improve your ability to respond to changes in race intensity and changes in terrain, both import factors in mountain bike racing. My climbing ability usually arrives a couple of months into the season but this winter I've been clocking up the climbing meters around my new training roads. There might not be any mountains in Southern England but repeated hill efforts are making a difference and should put me in a better place to start the season.

Loving winter adventures and finding new places.

I've been training on the mountain bike through the winter, I took advantage of the dry trails back in November to mid December and since then have been using the nobly tyres on the road. The lanes round here are no place for a skinny slick tyre road bike in the winter so my SIMPLON Pavo 3 is being saved till the spring. One of my favourite things about winter is having the opportunity to go exploring, checking out roads or bridleways I'd normally just ride past. I've also been downloading and riding GPS routes for events that have taken place locally, it's a great way to find new roads or trails. One of those routes was a CX sportive, I rode the route on the last dry weekend before the weather got wet, it was a complete blast, I smiled for the entire 4 hours and returned home to message all my cycling buddies about this amazing MTB route we are going to being riding all summer.

In my last blog I announced the new sponsorship from BKOOL and Castle Royle Golf and Country Club. The Ben Thomas Coaching - Vauxhall Cycling Team is also now sponsored by Magura who'll provide their German engineered brakes, electronic remote adjust forks and dropper seatposts. Also RH+ Helmets have join as a sponsor, the brand has a history on the road, in more recent years they've become winners at the mighty Cape Epic and their product is now available in the UK. I'll be using the RH+ Lambo and ZY helmets.

The 2018 Simplon Cirex complete with Magura TS8 forks and MT8 brakes

Ben Thomas Coaching has been going from strength to strength. With the new branding and future advertising it's an exciting time. The 2018 coaching clients are already making quick progress as most of them approach their first races.

In just over a week I fly to Gran Canaria for winter training camp, I hope to write my next update from there. Good luck with all your training! Wishing you many happy adventures for the year ahead!

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