Blog – Billy Oliver Gets a New TT Weapon


On a mission to find a perfect Time Trial set up in 2015, Billy Oliver has a new weapon as the race to be ready for event 1 continues

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Blog – Billy Oliver Gets a New TT Weapon

Juggling it all and the news I’ve been waiting for
What a crazy month December was, I had four days off the bike which I definitely needed as I was struggling to juggle everything, and ten days off work, which strangely I found it harder to train as I had all day and was outside of my normal routine. I would be putting it off till later in the day instead of my normal getting on it early and job done attitude.

January the first came and it suddenly dawned on me whilst looking at the race listings, that I have a potential warm up race in mid-February. Then the panic set in. I’ve no TT bike, no front wheel, no tub or cassette for my rear wheel, haven’t sorted out new overshoes or the shoes I want and a million other little details I thought were months and months away from being important.

Luckily I had a meeting with my sponsor Andy from Bike Science in Bristol in the newly kitted out store at the top of white ladies road. I had my list to hand so I didn’t forget anything and making sure that all bases were covered as I think it’s a two way street. No point me going in and saying I need this that and the other sorted without giving something back.

The bike for 2015 is ….

So, the bike for next year. Very happy it will be the Boardman TTE. Bike science have been brilliant as I’ve said before with making sure I have what I need to perform my best. The TTE is a work of art and I can’t wait to get it all fitted up in the next few weeks and test ride it. Its very good for me to have things straight in my head and this is another thing ticked off.


We have a few things to swap and change around but I know it’s all in hand so I can put it to the back of my head a bit knowing it’s all in hand. It’s weird though that someone has the confidence and belief in me to give me this support and the likes of Andy and Matt pushing me to give me everything both on and off the bike. I have just got to make sure I’m paying it back in results and will be giving it everything I have that’s for sure.

That was pretty evident to me on my last training session. This was the first time I was trying to say I can’t do it in my head but I pushed on through some how. I was in the middle of nowhere freezing headwind giving everything bugging myself to stop whilst looking at the clock knowing I had 25 mins of the session to go with the hardest bit to come. It’s at these moments I realise it’s a whole new ball game this year.

I can’t say I want to be right up there winning races and fighting against the top guys and then back out of sessions. It was getting harder and harder to hold my power but the more it hurt, the more I wanted it and the more determined I was to not back down and not go back having in my eyes failed.

I ran every excuse in my head to stop but when I finished the session and was basically rolling back home with as little use of my legs as I possibly could, with my chin on the base bar, it was probably the proudest moment I’ve had training this year. Way above smashing my FTP tests and having the knowledge that I can push that little bit harder just raises the bar again.

TT Extensions
I’ve managed to borrow a very cool set of adjustable TT extensions which will give me the chance to test different positions. Obviously this can’t give us any aero data as such but we can see what changes in bar angle make on overall frontal area etc and tie that in with whether I can get the power down in that position. I then need to field test it to see if it’s a improvement. It’s great to have these sort of things to hand that are saving me the old setting up the mirror in the garage and getting the wife to take multiple pictures from every angle which she bloody hated with a passion.

The hunt for a front wheel continues. This is such a mine field area. I think I’ve looked at every wheel going and I’m no further ahead than before. I like the tri spoke, either the old Specialized or the Hed 3, but I’m drawn toward the tried and tested Zipp 808 fFirecrest or the Hed S9. Ideally, I would like the ENVE 8.9 but that’s way beyond my budget even second hand. My head was turned by the Flo 90 but after shipping costs and taxes etc, I don’t know enough about it to say I could pick it over the cost of a second hand 808 etc.

Budget is the real beast here. The pot is empty and it’s not an area where I think you can get away with any old rubbish so I think I will have to make sure I’ve got everything else sorted then try and pull a miracle out of my ass regarding the front wheel.

January To Do List
The list of things to do in January is ever growing. Getting a handle on my nutrition is a massive thing for me this year. I’ve been trying hard to be pretty much gluten free and make better swaps in everything for post to pre training food, cutting down of sugar etc, etc. And the big word, GO ORGANIC!

Going out for rides straight from work, I was a nightmare. I would go up to the vending machine and get out a Mars Bar and a Double Decker and off I would go which is just terrible. After the ride, would normally be the same sort of thing with a coffee to wash it down.

Luckily, I was pointed in the direction of who made a selection of organic bars from recovery protein bars to a general snack bar but the great thing was it was all natural, all quality, gluten free and organic without all the crap stuff you normally find added.

I got home from a standard Matt Bottrill savage session to find the box had just been delivered so I ripped it open with my bare hands and dug around until the one with pea-protein recovery on it was found. It was pretty obvious as I got it out the box that this small company were all about the detail. Nicely folded in its silver wrapper with hand written writing on the top gave it a proper homemade feel.

The ingredients list was equally impressive. Organic pea protein, organic coconut oil, chia and Rhodiola Rosea (don’t worry I had to look up what it was as well) and a nice hint of ginger to give it a kick but pretty much everything was tailored for recovery. No fillers and no GM, dairy or gluten.

As I’m typing away, I’ve got the savoury eat bar and the coffee and ginger to take on the ride later which is a gruler so they will get well tested. I think it was how digestible after a ride the recovery bar was that impressed me the most.

Normally getting something down as soon as I get in the door is something I desperately want but struggle to do and I grab the crap stuff which leads to feeling even more hungry and unsatisfied. I was devastated when it had all gone but was left feeling satisfied I had given my body the supply it needed and wasn’t left on a cupboard raid 20 mins later. Defiantly ticked the pre during and post nutrition box for 2015.

Bike science have just started doing lactate testing which will be a great way to track improvements over the year and see where we are starting from. I will be getting one booked in so I will include it in my next blog. Not looking forward to the ramp test! Better get Andy to get in extra towels and a super-sized fan for that one.

With the race dates finally out for 2015, it gives me the chance to pre plan a bit and look at some key events. I really want to race a bit more locally next year and make some trips back to sunny Devon and mainly the North Devon Wheelers events. I have been pretty impressed by the depth of talent back in my hometown area because when I was growing up, the racing was not something I ever really noticed going on. I didn’t know anyone who did any sort of bicycle racing. Shame, as it’s a perfect area to ride and the roads are definitely a bit quieter than Bristol.

I really want to have a good showing at the National Events this year as I was very disappointing last year for a lot of reasons. Mostly changing things the week before the race or taking the wrong advice and riding the course totally wrong. The National 10 was probably the worst ride of my whole year and I put out 7w less for it than I did for a 25 a week later which was veryfrustrating. But hey ho that was the past and what feels like a whole different world.

I’ve already circled a few 18 min 10 and 48 min 25 potentials so will have to see how we can work them in. I think this year will be about securing times but more importantly making a jump up to the next level and scaring the guys I once thought where out of reach.

So January seems to be shaping up to be as mental as December but I like it that way. I perform better and get things done when I’m flapping about.

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