Blog: Llewellyn Kinch

Llewellyn writes … September and we’re in the last full month of the season.

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Llewellyn Kinch: Full-Time Cyclist for Terra Footwear – Bicycle Line

Admittedly, the final kermis race isn’t until mid October but anyone who’s raced all year should by rights be well on the way to doubling their alcohol tolerance and body fat percentage by then! Riders have been cracking every other day over the last week or so. Those who are still here are now to be found at the pub more regularly than at a race and doing a training ride that doesn’t include at least one coffee stop is considered an outrage.

With only a few weeks left the temptation is to race as much as possible to try and get that one last win. The problem is that after 6 months of racing flat out – including eight stage races – my body just can’t recover as quickly. If I don’t take enough time off between races my legs feel dead from start to finish. As I can still get into the breakaway and finish top 10 with bad legs there is a danger of thinking I messed up tactically rather than accepting I just didn’t have the power at the end.

I have, however, been feeling good in the last couple of races. At Izegem pro Kermis I got into the break and, as the only rider there on an amateur team, was casually swapping turns with the pros. Including Sep Vanmarcke(Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) and Robert Wagner(Radioshack-Nissan). Unfortunately, we were caught with about 20km to go and my legs were finished as I rolled home in the bunch gallop that ensued. Now I have to try and hold form for a couple more weeks and secure another win before the season’s out.

Outside of racing I have, along with the other riders, been at the pub a bit more than usual. I guess the end of the season is a bit like the Friday afternoon of a working week. The weekend’s so close you can taste it and it’s hard not to relax a bit already. I need to get my alcohol tolerance up a bit before I go home anyway; otherwise even my sister will be able to put me under the table!

Unfortunately it was working on this theory that I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore jaw, cut chin and chipped tooth. To be explained by a vague memory involving sausages, a damp grassy slope and a rather more solid tarmac car park at the bottom of it. This occurred in front of a large crowd of people but, as was kindly pointed out to me, it was later on in the night anyway so I didn’t have much dignity left to lose!

Obviously I’m looking forward to having some time off the bike when the season does finally end. What might seem strange to some, especially if not a cyclist yourself, is that actually I’m also looking forward to hard five hour rides in the cold and cruel British winter. Perhaps, because it’s so long since I was last doing it, I remember the crisp, dry mornings with the sun glinting off the frost, rather than the grey, wet ones when I’m soaked through before I’m ten minutes in. Either way there’s nothing better than the post-refuelling recovery snooze on the sofa, with the days training already done and dusted.


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