Hi guys, welcome to my first blog of 2019! I hope you all had a great Christmas and happy new year; may this year bring you many a good time on your new bicycle that you didn’t tell the missus about….right?
So you may well have read my last blog where I introduced my partners for coming season - well things have been continuing behind the scenes over the past few months and I am stoked to welcome aboard two new partners to my roster, topping off an already awesome list. In addition to Halo Wheels, ODI, HT Components, TORQ Fitness, Dynamic Rides, Ison Distribution & Schwalbe Tyres UK I will be supported by Santa Cruz Bicycles UK and PD Financial Management.
Nearly all of you will be aware of Santa Cruz Bicycles (www.Santacruzbikes.co.uk) who will of course be supplying my 2019 race machine, more about that below! It gives me great pleasure to be associated with a company I have followed since the early days of my cycling career and one that supports some of the top athletes in the world with market leading equipment.
PD Financial Management (www.PDfinancialmanagement.co.uk) are a UK financial management company who offer wealth management for both individual and corporate clients. They will be supporting me by helping cover some of the additional expenses that come with racing at my level - investment and support that I am very grateful for and will make a real difference to my racing programme.
It goes without saying I am absolutely over the moon with the team I have been able to put together and I cannot thank each and every one of them enough for their support. Their support will make a real difference to the level at which I am able to train and compete at this year and beyond.
New Dream Machine !
My Christmas came early with my 2019 bike and parts arriving from the guys at Santa Cruz Bicycles UK and Halo Wheels. As you may have already seen from the images on my website and social media posts, I will be riding aboard the brand new Blur CC. The Blur is the Santa Cruz Bicycles XC specific full suspension mountain bike, with full carbon frame set and 100mm travel front and rear. Although there is TR version which offers slightly more for the none-racing snakes.
The bike comes with a pretty top build out the box, but of course I swapped some of the parts out with those supplied by my amazing partners for 2019 to make the my dream machine! I have ridden this bike a few times now, getting things bedded in like the brakes and doing some fine tuning of my suspension, and wow, what a machine. With the Fox remote lock out on, it climbs just as well as the superlight hardtail I ran last season, but the magic really happens when you get to the top and hit the unlock button. The bike descents so well, the VPP linkage combined with Fox suspension really tracks the ground, providing you with more grip for faster cornering and later breaking! I really was blown away and I cannot wait to get this thing on a race course.
This season, as I move up from the Sport Category into Expert, I am switching my focus away from the Regional Series over to the National Series. The National Series doesn’t kick into action until the end of March with the first round at Sherwood Pines, so there is still a while to go.
In the meantime I am going to get the year started in style with a holiday/training camp abroad and this year I am heading to Sierra Nevada in Spain. I will be heading there with some guys from my cycling club Dynamic Rides CC and other local cyclists to get that final preparation in before the season really kicks into action. I will also be striving to get those coveted cyclist tan lines, a badge of honour amongst cyclists.
As well as the entire National Series I am going to be doing select regional races; the Malverns classic is on the list for sure. This is a true mountain bike festival, and not only is there racing from all mountain bike disciplines, there are also 100s of retailers, a bar, parties and even a stunt show so it’s a real top weekend. I will also be endeavouring to support my local MTB XC series, The Midlands XC series, as I think they do a great job putting together challenging, well organised racing for all ages so I will be picking the races at my favourite venues to attend for that extra bit of fun!
My season will be building up to and topped off by the National Champs which this year will be held at Cannock Chase. Not only are these my local trails and regular training ground, it will also be my first Senior Champs XC race where I will be competing with the best Elite athletes in the UK. I'm not quite sure what to expect at this race or where I will place against such competition but it will definitely be a good learning experience and gauge as to whether I will be ready for the Elite category in 2020 which is my main goal for the coming year!
Throughout the year I will be writing regular blogs to keep you guys up to date with what’s happening and how I am getting on which will be published here on my website. I will also be posting regular images and videos on my Instagram (@t.e.knight) so if reading's not your thing give me a follow on there or even better do both... After all, a picture speaks a thousand words!
Also, if you are attending any cycling events and you happen to see me around, don’t be afraid to pop over and say hi!
All the best for the coming year!