After a season of wins and podiums in Europe, Llewellyn Kinch is on the road to becoming a better bike racer
This has been my first year cycling full-time and committing to the ‘athlete’ lifestyle. Just in case I had any doubts, the improvement in my results this season confirmed that the typical student lifestyle doesn’t optimise performance on a bike!
I started road cycling when I was given a steel frame – which was older than I was – by a family friend. To be honest, I probably spent more time hack sawing out the rusted seatpost of that bike than actually riding it, since for my sixteenth birthday a few months later, I was given another bike.
I rode a little over that winter and did a couple of races over the following 2006 season; enough for me to catch the cycling bug. I was a final year junior for the 2007 season and intended to do a full season’s racing. However, during a snowboarding trip in April of that year, an argument with a large signpost resulted in a broken leg.
That brought an early end to my first season of bike racing. Having missed an entire summer, I was keen to compete as soon as possible so come January, I hit the local winter race series. In four races, I took two wins, a second and a seventh place (I crossed the line with snapped handlebars when I came seventh).
These results secured me a place with the GWR Team, a local development squad for younger riders, with whom I rode throughout my time at university. During my university years, my training was compromised by socialising and studying, but I steadily improved. This was demonstrated by my results in Belgian Kermesses during the month I spent racing there each summer.
With the support of the GWR Team, my best results during this period each season improved from two ninth places to three fifth places and then two wins last season. My team mate, Doug Dewey, was there to help me with both those wins and then took his own well deserved victory the following week.
The end of the 2011 season, including the National time trial and track championships, did not go so well. The time trial began with a thirty second time penalty, followed by a race spent looking through a small drill hole; as torrential rain meant I had a completely steamed up visor. I finished the race without feeling very knackered – not ideal for a time trial.
I finished fourth, just a time penalty away from a medal. To be honest, my head and my legs wanted the season to be over then and there. However, having said I’d race the team pursuit there was no way I could let the guys down so I continued to train hard.
I turned up at Manchester velodrome not entirely sure of my form. That uncertainty was quickly dispelled during the individual pursuit qualifying when my team mate, Douglas Dewey, overtook me. It looked like swapping turns with him in the team pursuit would be painful! Luckily, we’d had a full 20 minutes of track time together so our technique was down to a tee.
I managed to mess up a change with just under a kilometre to go and didn’t quite get on the back. As we were already a man down I had to keep going flat out with the guys getting gradually further ahead. It was not pleasant. Luckily we still made it through to the semis but just missed out on a medal. After the track, I got drunk.
This season has taught me an enormous amount and helped me to discover my potential as a rider. Previously I thought of myself mainly as a one day classics type performer, as I usually have the power to cope with the tough sections and the engine to take me the distance. However, I have recently found form in stage races, having taken third on GC in the Tour de la Manche and 6th in the Tour du Loiret, as well as winning stages and wearing jerseys in other races.
I have quickly developed the ability to go hard each day and get stronger as the race progresses, as demonstrated by being in the break during every stage at the Tour de la Manche and the Tour des Pays de Savoie. Admittedly, however, I didn’t manage to stay with the breakaway riders who survived to the finish at Savoie. Certain large mountains got in the way!
Although I have developed both physiologically and tactically, I still have a lot more to learn. Like not going with two-up attacks a long way from home during UCI 1.2 races or missing the split in stage races and trying to bridge two minute gaps solo (not fun, even when you do manage it).
I believe that having experienced a full continental season of racing tours and long, tough classics, followed by a solid winter’s training, my 2013 season will build on what I have achieved in 2012 with some really significant results. I am a racer at heart so I just need a higher level of racing next year to really push my performance towards my full potential.
For up to date news on the crazy life at Trot 3 follow me on twitter: @llewellynkinch
Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)
- Result: Sheffrec CC 25 mile TT
- Results: North East Division Road Race Championships
- Results: Condor LVRC Road Race
- Live! Tour Series – Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire)
- Report/Results: TLI National Criterium Champs 2013
- Results: CDNW Youth League Round 2
- Results: Scottish RR Championships
- Result: Westbury Wheelers CC 24 Hardriders
- TT Result: Andover Wheelers Open 10
- Result: Stockport Clarion CC 10
- 2013 George Samuel Memorial Hove Park Crits Race 2
- TT Result: Tyneside Vagabonds CC 45
- Results: RTTC TT Series Rd 4
- Results: East Midlands Region Road Race Championships
- Result: High Wycombe CC 25
- Results: North West Divisional Champs
- News: Final Championship Prep for Bottrill in Melton Olympic 10
- Report: South Region Road Race Champs
- Result: Beacon RCC Open 10
- RAS: Conor Dunne wins stage 1 of the RAS
- Result: Yorkshire Divisional RR Champs
- Result: St Budeaux CC 16 Mile TT
- Result: South East Road Race Championships
- Report/Result: Central Divisional Champs
- Result: CC Ashwell Primavera Road Race
- Result: Wessex 50 TT
- Results: Steve Jones Memorial
- Result: Eastern Region Road Race Championships
- Results: Thoresby Park Circuit Races
- Result: West Midlands Region Road Race Championships
- Result: Sri Chinmoy CT 10
- Results: Knowsley Track League
- Results: Week 2 of the Tor 2000 Circuit Series
- Result: West Wales CL Mountain Time Trial
- Report/Result: Sotonia 25
- Result: Southern Counties Cycling Union 10
- Result: Peterborough CC 10
- Results: North Road CC Memorial 25
- Result: Stone Wheelers 25
- Result: South East Women’s RR Championship
Other News on VeloUK
- Giro: BMC’s Evans Assesses First Two Weeks
- News: Olympians and World Champions ride Aberystwyth Cycling Festival
- News: Johnson Health Tech GP Series is go!
- Alex Dowsett: Giro – “It’s about surviving”
- Team News: BMC’s Evans stays 2nd in Giro
- Team News: Win for Netapp-Endura in Calfornia
- Team News: Fourth win in 2013 Giro for Cav
- Team News: Shutt-sponsored Squadra Donne racing GP series
- News: Wiggins abandons Tour of Italy
- News: 100th Victory for Mark Cavendish
- Team News: House at Home in Durham Tour Series
- News: Scotland Gearing Up for ‘Grand Depart Weekend’
- Team News: Solid Start for Rapha
- New Event: Hafren CC Road Race, Mid Wales
- Team News: Bobby Julich Consultant For BMC
- News: Magpas Cambridge Cycle Challenge Sportive
- News: Gas Hill Gasp Returns
- News: Scottish Road Championships
- News: George Samuel Memorial Hove Park Crits Series
- News: Riders go for Gold at Pearl Izumi Tour Series
- News: Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series calendar amended
- News: Kalas Cup
- Tour Series: Riders & Teams
- Team News: Tom Boonen Returns to Racing in Tour de Picardie
- News: East London Velo’s Races
- News: Racing returns to Elveden this weekend
- News: Jon Norfolk lead coach for GB Paracycling Team
- News: Thoresby Park Festival of Cycling
- News: Veterans Dragon Two Day at Resolven
- Team News: Josh Williams First Win
- Event News: Albarosa Circuit Races
- Preview: Pearl Izumi Tour Series Coming Soon
- News: Sciandri Declines the Italian Job
- News: Lincoln GP Looking to the Future
- Team News: Win for Handley in Devon
- News: Win for NetApp-Endura in Poland
- Preview: The Stockbridge Down Road Race
- News: Eastbourne Cycling Festival, Sunday 2nd June
- News: Team NetApp – Endura wildcard for Vuelta
- Feature: Bottrill’s Top 5 Training Sessions