Lockdown Q&A with Kieran Savage

The lockdown quiz series continues (I have more!) with Kieran Savage of Cycling Sheffield who is based in Kippax (pronounced Chipesch) near Leeds, winner of the ‘Magnificent 7’ last month.

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Lockdown Q&A with Kieran Savage

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Lockdown Q&A with Kieran Savage of Cycling Sheffield who is based in Kippax (pronounced Chipesch) near Leeds.

Q: Your last race was and how did it go you?
Kieran: My last race was the alternative calendar ‘Magnificent 7’ which is basically seven mass start Hill Climbs in Sheffield. I managed to get the win despite having a bit of a (not CV-19) cold so I guess that went well.

The ride at VO2 max for a few minutes up an extremely steep hill then kick is my dream finish to a big race if I can last until the end so it was good practice. The Mag7 is a mint race with great comradery, better prize money than a lot of Nat Bs despite being spread equally amongst men, women and vets so I would thoroughly recommend it.
In terms of BC races, the day before I tried to defend the Roy Thame Cup. A break of 12ish got away whilst I was mincing at the back and I rolled in 14th so was pretty disappointed in making such a basic error.

My only other outing was in the Tour of Rhodes 2.2 where I had a crack attacking on the first KoM on the last stage but unfortunately we got ridden down in the long run in so I finished 20th on GC but the same time as the winner.

Q: With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Kieran: A typical week is now a lot more based on the weather. So my ride distance is usually proportional to how nice it is. I tend to set out targets at the start of the week of the time I want to achieve in each zone but the way I distribute this is a lot more off the cuff. The one thing I always do is a 10-20 second max sprint for the Kippax town sign at the end of every ride. I’ve been doing more ‘Mega-rides’ recently, to places I’ve never been such as the Holderness coast which provides a bit of motivation and I think a lot of my friends on strava have similar ideas. To keep some intensity, I’ve been really sweetly chasing certain strava koms but it’s hard to get close to the satisfaction of a good race.

Q: Enjoying the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Kieran: I WAS enjoying the turbo, until my Zwift kept crashing and I kept getting flagged on rides. At the moment, the weather is too nice for me not to go outside and with the lack of traffic it’s a lot easier to do sustained efforts which is one of the main turbo advantages. When Storm Gertrude or whatever returns, I’ll be back but until then me and the turbo are no longer friends!

Q: If on the turbo, what’s your favourite distraction.
Kieran: Zwift is a game changer and allows me to do way longer on the turbo and it also means you can see your data without straining your neck. I do also consider Zwift to be a game and I particularly enjoy that crit city course (even though my peak power on the turbo is about 500) because you can use the powerups you get every lap tactically.
I also love having some bangerz on whilst I train – my standard turbo playlist is a strange mixture of dance and hard rock with maybe some punk-revival sort of stuff thrown in. A song which you wouldn’t think of, but is actually a surprisingly motivating turbo tune is ‘the village green preservation society’ by the Kinks.

Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lock Down?
Kieran: My rock hard abs! No, the hardest things are, firstly, my recently started part time job been cancelled so the lack of extra money (although there’s nothing to spend it on). I miss seeing certain people and obviously miss the racing.

I think the very hardest thing is having no idea of when this’ll be over. The easiest thing is that everyone is in the same boat. I think that there are people in the cycling community hit particularly hard such as second year Juniors but then there are obviously people in the wider community who are struggling a lot more.

Even within sport, cyclists and runners are extremely lucky that they can still partake in their sport. This is probably the most interesting question that other people have answered and I want to defend anyone who’s answers may seem selfish in the context of the situation by saying that VeloUK is a specific cycling journal and that these interviews are simply for a bit of entertainment and interviewees aren’t required to give an in depth social commentary. ;-)

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Kieran: My biggest distraction is my Diabolo skills (subscribe to @savage250597 on instagram to see some tekkers and other prime content). I also like playing with the dog and we’ve done some family jigsaws and stuff. We’re lucky enough to have a backgarden so I’ve been in charge of keeping the lawn in pristine condition.

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Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and why what is the best thing about it?
Kieran: My Giant TCR Pro. I love the stiffness of it. I spent five weeks in Calpe on my Kinesis which you can feel flexing all the time, so I always feel a lot safer descending on the Giant. This in turn also makes it better uphill because there’s less energy lost which is especially good for me because I have a bad trait of climbing with a lot of torque always in and out of the saddle (but if it works for Contador)….

I think it’s an attractive bike and I’m not someone who develops much fondness for inanimate objects. It’s also lightweight and has some nice aero features for a climbing frame. Back to the descending and I really, really rate our Wolfpack Tyres. Before Roy Thame, I was trying to make them skid in some damp patches but they weren’t having none of it.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began?
Kieran: I haven’t seen this in person but on Facebook: a man doing 450 laps of a roundabout to avoid spreading corona in the peaks. Not that strange but quite annoying is people walking and riding right in the middle of the road all the time. Maybe I’m just sulking because it stopped me from getting a KoM the other day ;-)

Q: What’s the most used clothing on the bike?
Kieran: I always wear our Megmeister baselayers year round, they are excellent in all weather’s and almost asmr-like against the skin. I also rate the Bioracer Tempest which is basically a thick short sleeved jersey ideal for when it’s about 10-15C or maybe if its a bit warmer and windy. It’s race fit so I’d be wearing it in some of the colder races around this time of year. Our Mamnick socks aren’t particularly technical but they look sexy as – a great compliment to a recently shaved and freshly oiled pair of calves.

Q: Finally, where you do you enjoy riding the most in this country or abroad?
Kieran: I do love the Peak district, particularly the Strines where you could get 1000m climbing done on a summer evening cruise all on lovely roads. But my absolute favourite place to ride is Bronte Country in West Yorkshire .

I love how brutal all the climbs are, many way above 20% with cobbles. I also have quite a fascination with the industrial heritage of the area and think that the stark contrast between the moors and the Cotton Mills provides the perfect back drop for some pain.  I’m immensely jealous of my teammate Matt and other’s who live in the area because it’s a fair trek of not great riding for me to get there. Other places I’ve been where I really liked riding are the Yorkshire Wolds, The Dales, Nidderdale, Forest of Bowland, The Mendips, Surrey Hills, Snowdonia, The Brecon Becons, Northumberland, Shropshire and ‘Cambs’ (which I was forced to add).

Good luck to everyone in this time of crisis, I’m here if anybody needs any help.

Thanks Kieran for that interesting Q&A! Stay safe and stay healthy …

 

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