Q & A: David Ogg (Godfrey Bikewear)

VeloUK quizes David Ogg, team captain at the Godfrey Bikewear racing team about 2017 and goals for 2017

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Q & A: David Ogg (Godfrey Bikewear)

VeloUK quizes David Ogg, team captain at the Godfrey Bikewear racing team about 2017 and goals for 2017

1. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
David: My highlight without a doubt was racing in some of the top amateur races in France over the summer when the British Elite scene was cooling off after an intense period of doing the Elite Series and weekend races.

I particularly remember AG2R-La Mondiale’s CCF amongst other top elite squads (e.g. World Cycling Centre, CC Etupes, VC Vaux en Velin whose rider Dorian Godon I raced against now riding for Cofidis) making some of the races particularly brutal. Another highlight was getting banned from one of the regional federations for doing too well. They’re not too keen on foreigners doing well in their small regional races.

2. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016?
David: The most enjoyable race was the Lincoln GP. I only got a reserve spot so I was racing during the week and didn’t gear my training up for it at all. In fact, I was racing a crit on the Saturday when my competitors were likely doing a course recon.

I went into it with quite tired legs but irrespective of that fact and along with the message from the Team Manager Mick Padley, I decided I would just get stuck in. There was zero pressure on me. Going up Michaelgate was electrifying with all the fans absolutely roaring at me with encouragement as I tackled the legendary combination of cobbles and a steep gradient.

It took me back to spectating the 2015 National RR Champs in the commissaire’s car when I was still a novice to the sport. Racing the event since had always been an ambition of mine.

3. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
David: My toughest race was the Grand Prix de Longes in Rhone – Alpes, France of which many past winners have gone on to win Tour stages. The course was pretty much a long rise followed by a technical decent finishing with a few short bumps back to the start/finish.

Nothing close to what you would get in any UK races. As soon as the race started, even before kilometre zero, the pace was red hot. I consider myself a decent climber but by French standards I was sitting tight in the wheels and moving past gadges that were dropping.

There was a constant stream of riders being shelled, like triathletes on a university cycling club run. I managed to just about hang on until the start of the decent. In hindsight I was too far down and as a result of my poor positioning I got caught behind people blowing up on the decent. I was out. Quickly a second bunch formed and we road tempo to the finish. It was such an epic race.

4. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
David: The one thing which aided me the most over the 2016 season was advice given to me by Godfrey Bikewear Team Principle, Bryan Steel. It was to just relax and enjoy racing.

I found if I got stressed and worked up about the race not unfolding how we had planned then it isn’t going to help the team win. I have a few other things I learnt but I’m not going to give all my secrets away!

5. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
David: The team kit provided by Godfrey Bikewear is the best racing kit I have ever had. We were trialling their new Elite range of kit over the course of the season and straight away in races I could feel the difference from other kits I’d owned.

It is all British, made locally in Nottingham. I’m very particular about the fit of cycling kit and their unique design enables the fit to be perfect. Equally, the team issue Oakleys from Vision Express (like for any cyclist) were a winner.
… continued after advert


6. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
David: I’m a bit of a free spirit when it come to a pre-race routine and have a very fluid approach to it.

If it’s expected to be a hard race or the plan is for me to work early on, I’ll pedal a little, jump on the rollers or ride a bit of the circuit. Otherwise my warm up will solely consist of riding from the HQ to the start line and in the neutralised section.

Music wise I don’t really need it to get into the mythical ‘zone’ but often the Team Manager Mick Padley an avid Jazz fanatic blasts out the smooth groovy beats of Jazz fm on his boom box. I haven’t been won over yet but I’m sure Mick’s crusade will continue into 2017.

7. What’s your favourite discipline on the road; road racing/crits/time trials and why!
David: My favourite discipline 100% is road. It’s the one which I believe is the most interesting and requires the greatest set of skills. Time trials I find are boring. I find it hard to see how people find riding to a set power so thrilling. I much prefer the whole road racing strategy, playing poker with the other riders and working out a plan to give the team the best chance of winning.

8. 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?
David: Being a student at Loughborough University unfortunately I haven’t got the time to spend the winter abroad. There are many cold rainy days over the winter months where I’m thinking as soon as I can afford it I’m off to Girona.

Sorry Britain you’re just too rainy! However, I’m having a short training camp (well, more of a holiday) in the French Alps over New Year where I plan on going full Euro style with cross country skiing.

9. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
David: Training for 2017 started with an off-season break! I find I need time away from the bike to let off a bit steam. It’s then been a case building up the mileage, taking the time to do conditioning work then replacing the conditioning work for intervals.

Our Team Principle Bryan Steel has an 8 phrase training structure that gets us in form at the right time.

10. Do you use a special winter bike with mudguards etc or using a normal race like training bike?
David: My special winter bike is my first race bike. It is a bag of nuts and bolts. Tris and the team at Long Eaton Cycles do their best to keep it running. The only original component left is the frameset.

The winter months absolutely torture it. I’m a dissident when it comes to mudguards. I truly hate the things, with exception for ass savers. My experience is that they constantly rub, snap or pose some other kind of inconvenience. They are not worth the hassle. Sorry folks on the club run but it’s an outdoor sport and if you’re worried your Rapha kit getting dirty, get on the turbo.

11. What are the goals for 2017?
David: The 2017 goal is place well at the Melton UCI Cicle Classic, a home race. Last year was such a disappointment to prematurely crash out the race before I had a chance put my face in the wind.

Other races I would be targeting would be Lincoln GP, Beaumount Trophy and the East Midlands Regional Road Race Championship. In the summer, where I plan on racing abroad, I hope to place well in Kermesses hopefully attracting the interest of continental teams.

12. What’s the best thing about being part of your team?
David: Godfrey Bikewear’s best asset has to be their development programme. The programme consists of immersing us in an elite race calendaring and supporting us in all aspects to the level of which you would expect from a professional team.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)?
David: Most of my early winter training is based on the bike to which I also include some gym sessions not only to perfect my T-rex like physique but more importantly to work on building a strong core enabling a more efficient transfer of power.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
David: The best way to deal with training on the winter months would have to be to train with a team-mate or friend. Even if you just start together then separate, I find it gives that competitive motivation to get out of bed and push a bit harder when the weather is abhorrent. Often I find if the weather is truly awful that we were both hoping one of us would bail but neither of us wanted to be the one to say it first.



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