Jon Mozley: Working, Training and Racing

Paul Burgoine talks to Cycle Premier-Kovert rider Jon Mozley who like many in the British peloton has to mix work with racing… 

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A hot topic of conversation at a lot of Tour Series races has been the gap in performance between full time Professionals and those riders who have to hold down a full time job. It’s not a matter of ability but more a matter of fitting in training etc while living an everyday life.

I got an interesting insight into this from Jon Mozley from Cycle Premier – Kovert RT. Jon’s cycling career ended temporarily in 2011 when the team he was in folded after the Tour Series, just at the time when he had reached a good level of fitness. With bills and outstanding debts it was impossible for him to carry on full time racing without any support. Jon’s final race of the 2011 season was the National Road Race Championships.

Then it was time for him to find a new job. With long hours, he spent a good few months living life as a normal person in their 20s would. After a long time out of racing it left him at a disadvantage for finding a team at the beginning of the 2012 season. Eventually, Rod Freeman of Cycle Premier – Kovert RT gave Jon a place in the team. Jon said Rod still had faith in his abilities to win bike races and make a difference to the team.

Jon’s come back was in the Eddie Soens race in March over 200 days since his last race which had been his longest break since beginning racing at an early age. Jon has been juggling work, racing and training for the past three years. He did ride as a full time professional in 2009 for Plowman Craven – Madison. He admits to not being a natural athlete and has to work hard at it, sometimes finding it mentally and physically exhausting. His form drops quickly because of this when his training and racing programmes are compromised, as he found out after his long break.

During the Halfords Tour Series and the Premier Calendar races, Jon can see the difference between his performances now and when as a full time professional. He now finds it hard to train at the same level as the full time riders as there is less or no time to get adequate recovery, and he feels you can only train as hard as you can recover.

On a typical race weekend, while the Professionals’ are relaxing in their hotel rooms close to the start HQs, Jon is finishing a shift at 10pm and either riding home in the dark or waiting for a bus home. After race day on the Sunday, he is regally up at 5.30 to start another working week on the Monday.

Again, after a pro completes a 150k training ride, they can go home eat, relax do there stretches while getting on social network sites and enjoying some rest. After Jon’s ride, it’s all rush, rush, rush…. food – shower – stretch – change and hopefully get to work on time for a eight hour shift.

This routine gets him very stressed and frustrated knowing that things can be so much different if he could be a full time professional. Jon is passionate about bike racing and sacrifices a lot for it. All he wants to do is train and race to his best ability and do his best for Rod and the Cycle Premier – Kovert Team, most of all to win bike races.

He is fully aware he’s not the only rider that has to work and race; there are many of them in the British peloton. British teams are attracting good sponsorship now and bringing in more foreign riders and more full time professionals. This is making it a lot harder for your average bike racer to get a result and more importantly a WIN… However, Jon remains optimistic and knows that in bike racing anything is possible.

Jon following the wheel of teammate Will Bjergfelt at Peterborough.

This past week has seen the Halfords Tour Series visit Peterborough and Canary Wharf. After finishing a shift at 14.00 that started at 5.30am, Jon was looking forward to putting his feet up…. that was until he got the call from Rod “Fancy racing at Peterborough tonight Jon”. Of course, he didn’t say no, and was home changed, picked up his bike and on the road in a flash, picking up a life saving 12 inch sandwich on route. The reason Jon got a ride was for the unfortunate reason that Australian Blair Windsor was knocked off by a car in the morning (he wasn’t seriously hurt) but his bike was.

The race went well Jon said, better than expected seeing that he had changed his training program, not expecting a race night. He said his legs were good – even having a few digs off the front and also managing to get up there in the sprint for a top 20 place helping his Cycle Premier – Kovert team to a fifth place on the night. The team has been finishing constantly in fifth or six position all through the series and their aim is to make it into the top three.

Canary Wharf again was a frantic race at blistering speeds Jon said. “The Tour Series is a level up on any critium racing I have seen anywhere in the world”. This is the fourth series he has competed in and says for the first timers, it’s a real shock to the system. He felt good again in the race around the capitals financial district and felt like he is getting stronger every race, although again, it was the big continental teams that controlled the race and got men in the break, leaving the one team that missed out ‘ Raleigh’ to do the chasing.

They weren’t successful though. Cycle Premier – Kovert again finished in fifth place with a rider in the top ten whilst Jon battled it out in the bunch sprint. It’s the thrill and the danger of the sprint that Jon loves and why he’s is still so passionate about his racing.


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