An Introduction to Theo
Theo is currently the Junior National TT Champion. We first met him racing around Lee Valley, London in the Tuesday 10s. heres a few questions to the young man.
What's your favourite type of racing?
My favourite type of racing is definitely long road races, I’ve raced a lot of track and dabbled in a bit of mountain biking - both of which are fun, but the road is where my heart lies and I dream of one day riding a grand tour.
What happened in your worst ever race?
My worst race ever was probably U16 national champs, it was a course I knew well and one that suited me, I wanted to win it and thought I had prepared as well as I could. On the day I just felt terrible and was in no position to fight for the top places. With races like that its best to take the lessons then forget the rest.
What happened in your best ever race?
One of my best races I remember was one of the National rounds this year on a course that I didn’t think would suit me so didn’t really expect much. I got in the early break which was caught and it looked like it’d come down to a sprint, which wouldn’t go well for me with tired legs. In the last couple of Ks I put in an attack after another rider and stayed away just making it to the line to get 2nd. It wasn’t a win but it was nice to finish a race having done better than expected.
Whats your favourite bike?
Favourite bike might have to be the Cervelo R5. It just looks nice, quite simple and no nonsense. My favourite bike I’ve actually ridden is probably the R3, it was light, robust and just did all the jobs well.
Whats your favourite ever team jersey?
Favourite team Jersey (not one I’ve ridden in) is probably Jelly Belly. Just quite a cool and original kit. (I also quite like Jellybeans).
Best place you have cycled?
The best place I’ve cycled is in France - not the Alps - but the less well know Auvergne. I go there every year for a bit of training. With absolutely no flat there’s no such thing as an easy ride.
How are you finding training with power?
I’m finding training with power really useful. I can now structure my training better and have a better idea of where my form is and where I need to go in the long term, and even just how my legs are feeling on a particular day. Also, there’s always that extra incentive during a ride to just push on a bit more and keep the average power up.
Do you see the benefits of using a power meter as opposed to relying on your heart rate?
I definitely am seeing the benefits of riding to power instead of just heart rate. Though you can do a lot with heart rate it does vary greatly depending on how you feel (how fresh or fatigued you are etc.). With power its clear cut and gives a much more dependable reading to ride to.
Are there any little surprises that you have found with the benefits of training in a power meter?
The power meter is also really good for just seeing how smooth you are - in terms of leg balance. It gives you some extra stuff to think about and work on. I was quite surprised by how visible the power difference was when in positions and with different kit.
Is there a scenario where, having a power meter you have been able to perform better in a race.
The biggest improvements in performance with the powermeter I’ve seen are particularly in time trials. I know what sort of power I want to hold, if I keep to that I know I’ve done a good time no matter the conditions. It also helps better with pacing, and in road races give an indication of when to back off a bit or push on.
Do you focus on your power number whilst racing? Or is it more of a training tool?
I don’t look at power too much in road races - I tend to race those more on feel. But in time trials its hugely beneficial. I use it mostly as a training tool, and it really pays off come race day.
What's your favourite type of jam?
My favourite time of jam… probably raspberry.