Perfs Q & A: Chris McNamara (Nunn-Sigma Sport-London)

Trainsharp coach Chris McNamara (Nunn-Sigma Sport-London), 9th in the Perfs talks us through his race

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Perfs Q & A: Chris McNamara (Nunn-Sigma Sport-London)

1. How did you feel your race went at the Perfs Pedal?
Chris: I was happy with how my race went. I felt good on the day and warmed up thoroughly as I knew the first 10 minutes of the race were the most critical. My personal goal was to make the selection then hopefully save the legs a little and be able to go with the second wave of attacks .

Chris (left) and trainSharp coached rider Elliott Porter (right)

2. How did that first lap of the course go for you when the hammer went down?
Chris: The first lap started fast even behind the commissaries car. You could move up ok but as everyone is thinking the same thing you tend to get swamped. Canyon rode very well as a team unit and hit the climb hard (from my ride data, I had a peak one minute of 572w and over 400w for 6 minutes). The race immediately lined out and I think everyone was riding close to their limit – I know I was !!!

3. Assessment of Bike Channel Canyon?
Chris: Bike Channel Canyon rode a very aggressive race and as with any Tim Elverson team, were organised and motivated. I’ve seen riders/managers on social media asking why the other riders in the break worked with them but you can’t just expect to get in a move and have them tow you round. Had we done that, they would have attacked the hell out of the group and blown it to pieces. I’m not sure they would have known how good Jacob and Jack are ( I know I didn’t ) and so Jacob/Jack gave them a real run for their money.

4. How was the finale of the race for you?
Chris: Jack Billyard attacked hard up the climb much earlier than I was expecting which split the break. After that we rolled through but had Mitch and Rob sitting on waiting to jump across . We worked until the finishing circuit then Rob attacked on the climb and the race became just stop start attacks all the way to the line.

5. How has your winter training been before the race – in the UK or camps abroad as well?
Chris: My winter has been good. No training camps. I train indoors during the week (very early mornings at trainSharp HQ ) with longer rides on the weekends. After last year, I focused a bit more on 30s to 1 minute efforts to be able to deal with the climb and also tried to do a lot more sprint drills as mine is awful!

6. Was the Perfs your first race of 2017?
Chris: Perfs was my first RR – I did a New Year’s Day 10 and the Southdown Sporting TT the week before. I personally think you can recreate the efforts of racing in training by looking at the race files from previous years .

7. Were there riders in the race that Trainsharp coach you were able to keep an eye on?
Chris: We had Elliott Porter (10th) and Jesse Yates (13th) from trainSharp in the break. For Jesse, this was his first time being in a move with riders of that calibre. Sean (also a coach at trainSharp) has been working him hard all winter and you could see he gained confidence as the race went on. Elliot was very strong but maybe didn’t use it in the right places!

8. What is the next race goal for you?
Chris: I have a TT on the Perfs circuit this coming weekend and then we are off on our Nuun – Sigma training camp in Majorca the following week where we will hopefully get some good miles in the sun. When we get back it’s full on into the season with Jock Wadley and Wally Gimber.

9. Which events are your season goals for 2017?
Chris: My own personal goals this year are later on in the season. I would like to go well at the Bec RR as it’s one of those selective races where tactics don’t really come into it. The finishing circuit is crazy hard so if you have the legs, you will be up there. I really like doing the Masters Tour of Majorca which we won as a team last year. I’ve been 3rd on GC for the last two years and would love to win it .

10. Finally, how did you get started in cycle racing and what’s the best thing about it for you?
Chris: I’m not from a cycling family. My twin brother Simon (who also rode the Perfs) and I bunked off school one day, went down the video shop and hired “American Flyers ” and just thought I want to do that so we joined the Worthing Excelsior. I like in cycling that you get out what you put in and it’s a sport that rewards hard work .

I think there must be a part of you that really likes to hurt yourself if you’re going to stick with it. I guess I must as I’ve ridden a full season every year since I was 14.

Roy Chamberlin is my cycling hero. He’s ridden just about every race you can think of and is tactically a brilliant rider – always in the right place at the right time and knows just when to attack , he’s over 50 now and still competitive in decent races – legend!




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