Q & A: Tom Grigson (Radeon-Bike Science RT)

The next Q & A and the first of many this week, is from Tom Grigson who rides for Radeon-Bike Science RT.

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Q & A: Tom Grigson (Radeon-Bike Science RT)

The team is based in the South Region, with most of the riders based in or around Bristol or Chippenham. When asked what the best thing is about the team, Tom says “we all get along, and we have got a great mix of male and female, younger and older riders”.

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Tom: I was a decent rugby player in my day, but the injuries took their toll in the end. I’d always ridden a bike, but never seriously, so my wife decided it was time we did a sport we could do together. I signed myself up to the Tour of Pembrokeshire sportive in 2013 and got riding. By the end of 2013 I’d got into racing, got my 3rd Cat license and never looked back!

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Tom: Definitely road racing. I love the tactics and the rolling terrain. Crits are good fun, especially town centre races when the crowds are out.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Tom: Competition, camaraderie, pushing yourself to your limits, exploring new roads, and the honesty of bike racing – there’s a whole different atmosphere to other team sports, no hiding place, and you really get out what you put in to it.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Tom: Probably taking my first road win at the South Cerney round of the Steele Davis Cotswold League. It came the day after the National Masters Road Race, where I’d had a great ride but a disappointing finish.

With 138km in my legs I wasn’t sure what I had left for the race, but I managed to don my invisibility cloak and slip away from the peloton on the penultimate lap and stayed away solo to the end. It was an amazing team effort on the day – we bossed the race, and had three riders in the top five, and it felt great to take the applause over the line.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Tom: Favourite race other than South Cerney was probably the Veloton Malmsbury RR in the Steele Davis Cotswold League. I love the course, suits me perfectly, and I’d always had bad luck on that course in the past – I’d been in the break on two previous races but been hampered by punctures and tractors!

This time I managed to setup the break, stayed away all day and finished third. Proper chuffed with that one.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Tom: I think the toughest race had to be the Bristol Grand Prix in the summer. It was great to be on home roads – loads of my workmates were out on course cheering me on – but the course was brutal, and the field was so strong, I got spat out the back very very fast!
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7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Tom: Enjoy riding your bike first, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned. I had a rubbish 2015 and looking back it was because I was too focussed on my goals and didn’t enjoy what I did. I got my mojo back in 2016, and it really gave me motivation to ride an enjoy riding for what it was.

8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Tom: My bike – Canyon Aeroad. Great fit, climbs well, lets you put all the power down you want. Great bike.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Tom: Rollers, to get the legs spinning at a higher cadence than maybe normal. No music, I like to listen to the bike and make sure there are no unwanted noises. I’m also very partial to a good bit of dynamic stretching – I always used to get ribbed for doing my “yoga” before races!

10. Will you stay in the UK to prepare for next season during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Tom: Hoping to get away to Gran Canaria for a week in spring, but will be mostly based in the UK. I tend to get away to my folks’ place in Swansea to work in the mountains for a bit, there’s a definite benefit to riding on rolling, heavy UK roads to prep for UK racing. I’d love to get a good block in overseas, but I work full-time and our busy period covers December to March, so it’s hard enough to get time off.

11. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Tom: I tend to start in November properly, and stick to a routine of efforts in the week on the turbo and steadier miles on the weekends. With work, I’m pretty much limited to getting 1-1.5 hrs in at 5am, so I mix up some sweetspot and shorter efforts, do some gym work and run a bit during the week, and then do the miles over the weekend. Aerobic fitness comes back pretty quick after a break. On the longer rides I’ve got into doing lots of over-geared work to get the strength back in my legs, and add a good cadence/technique workout in the week.

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Tom: National Masters RR – need to crack the top 10 this year, and I want another crack at some races in the Steele Davis Cotswold League. I’m also hoping to get a ride in some more National B’s next year and really challenge myself.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Tom: Gym, walking, running – it all counts. Plus it keeps you mentally fresh; there’s nothing worse than that feeling when you get so bogged down in the bike you just want to give up – that’s when you crap out of intervals and workouts.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Tom: Keep it fresh, keep challenging yourself. Embrace the weather – if you only ride on dry, non-windy days, then you’ll probably ride 10 times a year in the UK. Stay safe, no prizes are given for hypothermia or flu. And enjoy it, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned in my time racing.



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