Jack Rees Rider Interview

Thursday 26th January 2012

by Dan Smith

So, this is your 2nd year with Velo29, how have things been over the last 12 months?

I think on the whole we can class the season as a great success, we finished by far the best team in the North East, had some outstanding results, and sent a team to compete in a UCI tour (Morocco). We’ve also had a presence at the Premier Calendar races and have a brilliant starting point on which to build over the next 12 months.

How’s the Winter training going, have you changed the plan since 2011?

I spent most of January in Australia last year, and I don’t think it worked that well for me, with it being there Summer and everyone being race fit, I did a bit too much quality and neglected base miles, and paid for it later in the season, don’t get me wrong though it was a fantastic experience and I met some great people.

I’ve completed re-evaluated my training this year and put a lot more planning time into it, each session now has a definite goal and there are blocks of specific work during rides, as opposed to going out and just riding.

What’s the team’s goals for 2012, there are loads of big races in the UK now, must be a lot of travelling?

We’ve made some good new signings which has really increased the strength on the team. We will be looking to transfer our regional success into national success. We are sending a six man team to the 10 Day UCI Tour of Morocco in March, which is going to help set us up nicely for the bigger UK races, I know that just from a brief look at the calendar, May is a big month.

We are aiming to ride the Elite Criterium series which we didn’t this year, and also looking to fit another UCI tour in that mid season lull so that we can finish the season strongly. There are a lot of new E/1/2 races popping up particularly in Yorkshire, and with the strength of the team now we can realistically have a split programme sending two good teams to two E/1/2 races.

I think the travelling is just part of parcel of the sport, a lot of races are northern anyway so we are quite lucky. We’ve got the team cars as well which really help.

Any new Sponsors for 2012, have the old ones been retained?

Bike food has come in to supply nutrition and Vankru frames have continued sponsorship. We also have a physio on board which will help in the multi-stage events.

It’s a big team at Velo29 this year, what’s the selection process for the big events?

I think it will be pretty simple, whoever is in the best shape will ride the bigger event, the others will race another event on that weekend. We have different riders with different strengths so this will all come into play when selecting the team for races, and if riders are performing well week in week out, it might create a bit of a selection headache for the management, but I think that element of healthy competition within the team will help push everyone forwards.

You guy’s must win every race in the North East, is this a good thing for local Cycling?

We had a lot of success this year but we didn’t win everything. It’s helped bring the whole area on and there are still other strong teams, who have signed some good riders over the winter and will be more competitive this season.

Finally, I see you are putting on your own coaching sessions now, what’s the story here, how’s it all going?

I have a degree in Sports Coaching, and sport is really all I know, I have various different sports qualifications but I wanted to start a cycling specific coaching setup that I could build on and progress over time. The weekly sessions at Prissick have proved popular and there is a core group of riders who have been attending week on week and really improving. It’s also been a good opportunity for lad’s who are looking at getting into racing and are a bit daunted by it, each week I’ve been focus on different racing skills as well as building fitness, so that when the races come around the riders will be well prepared for it.

I’m a big advocate of quality sessions even during the base period, it works for the Australians who race all year round and also GB Track riders, so as well as catering for the novice racers, the sessions have been a good opportunity for the lads who already race to drop in get a quality 2h00 session during the week, when normally they’d be on the turbo or resting.

If anyone wanted to know more about the session, you can find it at www.achievecyclecoaching.co.uk

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