Jeremy is dedicated to his training and racing and his approach to improving his performance leaves no stone unturned. He has a measured and clear understanding of what he is trying to do and is highly organised and will be a welcome addition to our winter cyclo-cross team. Inspite of his performance focus, Jeremy is relaxed and easy to be around too, and I hope you will get to know him over the coming cross season. Here he introduces himself with the help of a few questions from me…
How long have you been riding? What is your background (mountain biking/running?)
On and off since I was 6. In my teens I always enjoyed heading out towards Eynsford on the mtb and more often than not getting lost in the middle of some woods in the pouring rain. In the days before GPS and mobile phones we’d rely on the sound of the traffic heading over the M25 as a navigational aid! I stopped cycling in my late teens when I passed my driving test and sold my Marin Palisades Trail to fund a car. At pretty much the same time I stopped exercising completely for a couple years until I joined a company gym when I changed job when I was 21. I got back into the exercise lark and did a bit of running finishing the London Marathon when I was 22 then again the next year. But I was, and still am, crap at running… At around-about the same time I was working with a guy who used to ride as a junior for Orange back in the mid 90’s. It didn’t take much persuasion to get a cheap mtb and enter the next Gorrick mtb event. I’ve been competing again on and off in various disciplines ever since.
Why do you like cyclo-cross so much?
It’s a great mix between the various disciplines and in many ways is much fairer as the best rider usually wins. Road racing rewards lazy riders who can shelter from the wind, do absolutely nothing all race, then make the effort when it counts. MTB’ing is much more about the bike and riding technique. In cross it’s a full on effort for the hour. You need to be able to sprint out of corners, maintain speed on flat sections, move your body weight about for corners and obstacles and have a good feel for the grip the bike generates underneath you. In fact if you didn’t need to jump off and run for those hurdles it would be a perfect sport! The atmosphere at events is far more welcoming and relaxed then at your typical road race as well. Newbies are encouraged regardless of previous experience or if they are riding an mtb. Oh, and it hurts less falling into stinging nettles at 15mph then concrete at 25.
What have been your best performances in recent years?
Nothing to shout about unfortunately but the potential is there. Last cross season was all about getting used to the discipline on a specific cross bike and also seeing whether I could push myself again after a few cardio issues earlier in the year. A few mid 20’s at regional level was all I had to show for it results wise but I learnt what areas I needed to work on over the summer.
On the road this year I had 6 top tens in the first 6 races including a win at Hog Hill. Seems I can climb and have pretty good leg speed. I haven’t really achieved anything yet at 2nd cat level.
What do you hope to get out of the cross season this year?
I hope to do a full season competing at regional and national level and hopefully start getting some good results to put to my name. Being able to be compete at the pointy end of regional races is an aim rather than just being pack fodder (if the term can apply to cross). I’d love to see what I can achieve at national level as well. Anyone who competes half-seriously in any sport would want to know exactly what they can do when pushed to their absolute limit. In my case there’s no way I’m going to ride a World Champs or World Cup race but I can do the trophies and National Champs. A top 40 in any national event would make my year!