Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Catch up with our reader team as they get started on their training schedules

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week Andy takes on the Discover Rutland Sportive...

It was good to see Leicester get 3rd place in Cycling Plus’s Top Cycling Cities.  It has its problems, same as any city, but there are some real strong points. I live close to the city centre, yet within 10 minutes I can be cycling through lovely rural lanes. On top of this, the city has set up a new initiative - the Ride Leicester Challenge, to try to get more people out on their bikes, by stimulating some competition between local organisations. I also recently discovered that in 1970, the World Road Race Championships took place near Leicester – I fancied a ride on the route, and googled it, but it’s 18 laps of a 9.4 mile circuit, not the best way to spend a day cycling!

This weekend I took part in the Discover Rutland Sportive. 100 miles of the lovely rural lanes I mentioned above. Rutland may lack a Mow Cop or the killer hills of the Peak District, but it makes up for it with lots of short sharp climbs. These came fairly relentlessly, and judging by some of the language I heard on the hills, caught some riders unawares! Ben Simmons, our coach, had advised me to keep it steady, and we took it reasonably slowly, enjoying the countryside, the banter and the odd unscheduled cake stop. It’s a different way of riding than I am used to – I normally try to ride as fast as I can all the time, but I’m sure Ben knows what he’s doing. He’s suggested 10 hours of cycling a week, which will be a struggle to fit in with work and family commitments, but within that there are only 12 minutes of intensive work, the rest being done at a more steady pace. I’m not sure he intends me to pace myself by fitting in more cake stops though.

Who are Team Cycling Plus?

Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page.

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