Future Stars: April Tacey

When it comes to knowing the potential of a rider, trainSharp are in the perfect place with the numbers from training & racing – here’s a piece  from April Tacey’s coach Alex Welburn on this young star

Future Stars: April Tacey

trainSharp coached April Tacey is a name to look out for!

Alex writes … April is an up and coming talent who represented Great Britain in the 2018 World Championships. She also won the junior women’s Giro (Essex) in 2018 which was part of the British 2018 junior women’s road series, was 10th in the Junior national road championships and has raced multiple UCI single day races and stages races.

April has now gone on to claim a fantastic set of results in the recent women’s virtual Tour de France, two stage wins, a second and a 3rd place against world class opposition. What makes this more impressive is that April only returned to full time training around 4 weeks prior to her first Zwift race. This was due to an accident on a training camp back in December, which resulted in surgery on her kneecap.

April visited trainSharp in March 2019 for coaching and undertook a full performance assessment at our Centre of Excellence. This visit also enabled us to start developing the important athlete, coach relationship. We knew April was an upcoming talent and wanted to get a full insight into her physiological capabilities. This enabled us to identify her strengths and weakness, which then allowed us to optimise her training and allow her to maximise her performance improvements where it mattered most – in races.

Under our guidance April started using a power meter with her training for the first time. This enabled us to dive into her performance data and monitor her progression. In terms of training, we were not just looking at a single year in isolation, but across the next several years. This allows us to continually drive her performance and build fitness level by level as she develops through the U23 ranks and steps up her level of racing.

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April says of her time at trainSharp; “I had a year with trainSharp in 2019, I found I progressed really well as a rider. I was feeling good for the national champs and other key races. I work well with them. I like how they focus my training specifically to my power, before last year I never trained to power, so, it was a new thing for me. This has progressed me as a rider and made me stronger and given me that kick for the finish”.

At the end of the 2019 season after a strong year, April signed for DROPS ready for the 2020 season. “I am really happy to be riding for Drops Cycling Team in 2020. I feel this will be a great move to further my development as I take a step up into the professional peloton. I like the team’s ethos and fighting spirit, it’s what attracted me to the team and I’m sure I will learn a lot next season.” Tacey said. “I am looking forward to getting stuck in and playing a part within the team, it’s also great being a British rider on a British team. I am super motivated, and I will make sure I have a good winter behind me to be ready to give it 100% next year.”

However, as previously on a training camp in December, April had a terrible injury. “I broke my knee in December and I had three months off the bike. I did not get on the bike until March and then I was just doing a lot of steady miles to get a strong base back. Once I was back to a reasonable level of fitness trainSharp introduced some specific efforts within my training. This all took time as I didn’t want to do too much with the knee injury I had”.

The Zwift racing came very quick within April’s rehabilitation. We only had a couple of weeks full training prior to the Tour. In this short period, we performed power tests so we had a good gauge of where April currently was in terms of raw power. Luckily, we had April’s previous performance data from her lab testing in 2019. This allowed us to see where she was currently fitness wise and where we needed to get her to. We succeeded!

The season has just started for April, we will continue to build her racing form, ready for some races for the back end of the year. If you would like to talk about how we can help prepare you, feel free to get in touch with us via paul@trainsharp.co.uk.

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