Lockdown Q&A: Bryn Richards (Brother UK/Onform)

New! We have another Lockdown Q&A from the Brother UK/Onform team, this time with Bryn Richards, a first year junior (17) from Spalding (Lincs) who races road, cyclo cross and some time trials

Lockdown Q&A: Bryn Richards (Brother UK/Onform)

Q: What was the highlight from 2019
Bryn: I am based in a little Lincolnshire village called Spalding where there’s practically no hills, but horrible headwinds wherever you ride to. My main highlight was I got 11th at the Crawley National Series and 16th at the National Championships in Shrewsbury as a first year Junior.

Q: What has been your career highlight so far and why?
Bryn: Racing away in Belgium for the MI racing team was arguably my career highlight. I really enjoyed the racing even though mechanicals let me down throughout the stages. We raced in the Tour of West Vlaandria. I think it was a highlight for me personally because it was a real eye opener to what makes a good racer and it was my first experience racing abroad.

Q: Your last race was and how did it go?
Bryn: My last road race was in Oundle. It’s a fairly local race for me and has a rise towards the finish stretch which suited me. It was a handicap style race for Cat 3/4 riders. I was in the last group to leave (scratch) and we started working well together but it soon separated into me and two others who then rode through the field. It came down to a bunch sprint with about 20 riders we’d caught and who’d latched onto our wheels. I managed to get second in the bunch kick, but turns out there was a rider up the road who we didn’t catch. So I got 3rd. It was a very solid race and my first open road race which I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait to get back to racing more.

Q: With racing outdoors cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Bryn: I normally now do endurance style rides with efforts in the final third of the ride. I always find in a race I tail off towards the end but am solid through the start. I wanted to take this time with less school work to really focus on improving my weaknesses, which is being sharp after two hours of racing.

Q: Are you in lockdown at home?
Bryn: Currently I’m still doing my A levels at the local grammar school and so I stay at home and keep up to date with the work we get set on teams and emails. I’m surprisingly preferring the idea of working more independently with less classroom distractions around me.

Q: Are you using the turbo for e-racing?
Bryn: I have began to start racing e-races a lot more recently. I was put off them at first because of the stories I’d heard about them and how bloated they sounded. Now that I’ve manned up a bit, and I aim to race around twice a week.

Q: If you are e-racing/riding, what are the biggest things you have had to learn during this period of no racing outside?
Bryn: Staying motivated by internal factors instead external has been a big learning curve. Now that there are no races to create an external goal, it is key to keep motivated somehow. I’ve found that focusing to improve my weaknesses has really kept me motivated as I know I’ll be a better rider when we do finally start racing again, once lockdown is over.

Q: Where do you do the majority of your training outside?
Bryn: In Spalding, we are surrounded by around 15 miles of flat fen roads. The majority of my training as a result has to be around these roads. There are some nice rolling hills around Stamford, so I also quite like to head over there and Oakham way, mainly to get some elevation in my legs, but also to keep me partially sane and not just riding on straight flat roads.

Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about this Lockdown period.
Bryn: Not riding in groups has killed the social aspect of riding and made the longer rides seemingly more painful. I have been listening to podcasts and music when riding to keep me going however. Obviously as well as a cyclist, I have struggled with the closing of cafes to get my caffeine in halfway through.

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Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction during lockdown?
Bryn: My school like to set a lot more work now that we’re in lockdown funnily enough. This takes up a lot of my time at the moment. In a way though I welcome it as it’s created a routine that I can easily stick to. I’ve got a thing going now where I say to myself I can’t go out on the bike until I’ve done my school work. It’s been working well so far. If I’m not doing school work or cycling, you’ll either find me sleeping or eating. It’s a simple life!

Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and what is the best thing about it?
Bryn: I’ve got a Giant TCR road bike. By far I ride this the most as there aren’t many off road mountain trails to go climb around Spalding. Also, I ride my road bike on the turbo as this is what I’ll be mainly racing in the 2020/21 season. My favourite part of the bike is the fact that it’s stuck with me for so long. I bought it around three years ago and have been riding it all year round. I’ve had to replace a lot of components on it, but the frame itself has withstood a lot.

Q: Do you ride solo or with some one from your household.
Bryn: I ride on my own all the time now. It’s not that me and dad can’t ride together, it’s more the fact I couldn’t bare it if I was to be dropped by him. He’d never let me live it down! Granted, it’s quite unlikely to happen but it’s just a precaution I have to take.

Q: What has been the best ride so far during lockdown?
Bryn: I did a 200 km ride around two weeks ago where I went and explored the lanes around Lincoln and Horncastle. I really enjoyed the freedom I had when finding and riding new roads as well as the personal satisfaction of completing the epic. The only downside to the ride was that I didn’t pre plan wind direction and had to ride a head wind home. I did the full ride with an average of 29.7 kph too.

Q: Finally, what race will you miss the most if there’s no racing outside in 2020?
Bryn: I would be gutted to not see the Cicle Classic go ahead. The mixture of off and on road surfaces would of created an amazing race. The roads are within 30 miles of my house as well and so I have ridden over there many times on a Sunday social. It would of been nice to have been able to ride in front of home support.

Also, I would be gutted to miss the Tour of Ireland and Tour of Wales. I’ve always felt like I’m more suited to the longer stages races. Also racing in a completely different environment would of been a really good experience for me to improve myself further.

My thanks to Bryn and good luck for the rest of 2020 and stay safe

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