It’s been an exciting few weeks for Ribble Pro Cycling; firstly, finalising the riders for the 2019 season – Welcoming Chris Sherriffs and Jake Gray. And, wait for it… being invited to compete in Zwift’s new KISS Super Series – the First E-Sport Pro Cycling League.
Tom Timothy, Team Principle, “At Ribble Pro Cycling we’re always seeking to be at the forefront of innovation and that’s the reason our riders are some of the fastest in the world. Zwift’s launch of a professional E-Sport Cycling League is revolutionary, propelling a traditional training activity into an accessible and exciting new arena through virtual reality and we’re delighted to be a part of it.”
A host of World Tour riders are on the start list for the British National Time Trial Championship which will be decided in Northumberland on Thursday. Steve Cummings defends both titles (time trial and road race) he won twelve months ago on the Isle of Man.
Team Ribble’s vlogger ‘Biker Lawrence’ takes us inside the 63rd Lincoln Grand Prix and the Ribble team. Enjoy.
The latest Lawrence Carpenter’s vlog has landed and gives us a great (and rarely seen) insight into big race day through the eyes of a rider. For the final round of the national Spring Cup road race series (formerly the Premier Calendar) Lawrence and the Ribble Pro Cycling team traveled to Lincoln.
The Lincoln Grand Prix is one of Britain’s biggest one-day races and as the longest established has an illustrious roll call of former winners including Malcolm Elliott, Russ Downing and Peter Kennaugh. Team Ribble also has history in ‘the Lincoln’. Two-time British road race champion John Tanner won the race for Ribble in 2001, so watch Lawrence’s edit to see how he and the team got on.
More Lawrence vlogs…
Want to watch more of Lawrence’s great vlogs? Here are two from earlier in 2018. The Klondike Grand Prix in April and the Jock Wadley Memorial road race where Lawrence made his debut for Team Ribble.
Jack Rees – Ribble Pro Cycling team manager – takes us through the teams recent pre-season training camp.
Given the tough conditions faced by riders training through a typical British winter, warm weather training camps are almost essential for today’s UK professionals.
Spanish cycling hot spots such as Mallorca, Calpe and Girona offer generally dry, sunny and warm conditions in which to rack up pre-race season miles in the saddle.
Continental training camp hot spots usually also have far longer climbs than those in the UK on which to build fitness levels and form.
“These climbs are important as they offer a platform on which structured training efforts can be performed.”
Team training camps also provide the perfect opportunity for riders to test themselves and their new equipment ahead of the first races and get to know each other, both on and off the bike.
Y Viva España
In February, the Ribble Pro Cycling team took their Ribble Aero 883’s to Calpe on the Costa Blanca in Spain for a ten-day camp.
For many years now, Calpe has been the chosen destination for the majority of the World Tour pro cycling team pre-season camps.
With its quiet, smooth mountain roads and warm, sunny climate, it was the ideal place for the Ribble Pro team ahead of the first major races of the 2018 season.
The training camp schedule comprised of two, three-day training blocks which included a range of structured efforts, with two recovery days, and finally a four-hour ‘race simulation’ session.
The rides would also give the team the opportunity to practise sprint lead-outs, ride as a chain gang and feeding , utilising team car support, to take on board nutritional products from Secret Training.
After a three-hour ride on day one which included three, five minute VO2 max hill repeats and four sprint lead-outs, the first real challenge of the camp came on day two in the form of a 20 minute all out FTP test effort.
BUT with a catch!
Riders would set off at 15-second intervals based on their power numbers from the previous day’s session.
This meant that not only did each rider have a ‘carrot’ to chase ahead of them, but they too were being chased by a teammate behind them.
The results of the test were very promising. Most of the squad produced personal best 20-minute power numbers, the strongest of which are considered as world class.
A long endurance ride rounded out the first, three-day block of the training camp.
Riders were rewarded on the ‘rest day’ with a relaxing spin along the coast to a local coffee shop run by a roasting company.
“Good coffee (and maybe some cake) is high on the priorities list of most riders!”
The second block of the training camp began with a gruelling series of intervals forming part of a three-hour ride.
Using a local climb the riders performed a series of high-intensity interval sessions.
Riding 30 seconds ‘on’ and 30 seconds ‘off’ for ten minutes is tough but doing this three times is a horrible, especially when the ride is three hours long.
This was backed up the next day by a solid four-hour training ride which included four, ten-minute sweet spot hill repeats.
These sweet spot sessions aim to build the riders’ threshold power ability.
“As we came to the end of the second block, we all started to feel the training stress. We were ready for the rest day.”
The final day of the block saw the team really empty the tank over five hours over some tough Spanish terrain.
The ride culminated in a long chaingang effort and a classic town sign sprint (would any British training camp be complete without one?).
After a slightly chillier recovery spin north along the coast road to a cafe in Moraira, the riders rolled out for a final, four-hour race simulation ride.
Kitted out in full race equipment including their new Giro Vanquish helmets, Santini skin suits and aero socks, the ride tested both the riders kit and legs.
“The team averaged 40kph over the four hours of rolling terrain which saw more than 2,000m of climbing accumulated.”
All Good Things
With that, the training camp had reached its conclusion, and the riders flew home to begin their race campaigns and add the finishing touches to their training preparations.
In total, the Aero 883 Team Bikes were ridden 970km in 27 hours. The riders left in excellent condition and highly motivated to pin a number on and kick off the 2018 race season.
We can’t wait for what is surely set to be a great year for Ribble Pro Cycling’s riders, staff and sponsors, so stay tuned!
To see other stories from our pro team blog… Go here
Like all stories, we need a beginning, in this case, the Ribble Pro Cycling story began with a meeting at Ribble HQ to discuss the creation a professional cycling team for the 2018 Road season.
It was an easy discussion, we’re all cyclists here, so after some excited conversation, everyone was in agreement – For the first time in a number of years; Ribble Cycles was to have it’s very own professional team competing at the highest level once again.