I thought I'd take the time to explain a little more about the package for those that are interested in applying or those that are interested in following the progress of the riders. Grab a brew and a biscuit and have a read!
So, Revolution closed down and that threw a bit of a spanner into the works. Autumn is a quiet time of year anyway so I took some time out, rode my own bike a lot and spent a lot of time thinking.
Sometimes we need something like this to take make us think about what we are doing and why we are doing it. In the early days of Dialled I was already friends with Stacey Fisher. It blew my mind that she would rock up to race on a second hand bike, no idea how to set it up, having done no training and expect to be able to compete with the best girls in the country - although she somehow did! I love to help people and through Dialled I was able to be a small part of bridging that gap between a total privateer and those with full team support. I've helped a good few people like this now and it's very rewarding.
On the other hand, I make most of my money from 'average guys'. So it's hard to find a balance.
With the reset button pressed I decided I would like to take a smaller number of riders and give them a lot more support. My thinking at the time was to try and find some willing riders and go testing in different conditions and on different tracks etc. These riders are like unicorns though! It's weird because it is definitely a defining feature of most top riders. From Dany Hart to Loic Bruni, one thing they all have in common is that they do a ton of off season testing. At UK and regional level, everyone just wants to ride their bike.
Anyway, I started running the idea by people and a few people quickly got behind the idea. Feedback was that discounts were not enough though and people want to know 'what is actually included?'
So it was back to the drawing board. I literally do this! I sit with a big blank piece of paper and map out my thoughts. I started comparing what those that are successful do compared to those that aren't. I thought about what you can do on your own and what you really need a professional to help with. This is where I ended up.
I see a lot of people throwing money at components. Obviously things evolve and new stuff is better than old but really, have handle bars, grips, even frames really changed much in the last year or three? There is a lot you can do with what you have before you spend ridiculous money on a new bike.
You can test a lot yourself too with a GoPro for timing and some basic tools. Lever positions, different brake pads, tyre pressures, tyre types, inserts/no inserts, stem lengths head angles etc. But some elements of your preparation need professional input.
I've identified what I think are the key elements of your race preparation based on my observations and put them all into one package.
So, the aim is to find six riders that could really improve their game with the right support and throw everything at them! You need to fully commit to it but by the end of the season you will know how far you can potentially go because you'll know what you can do if your put everything in to it.
Everyone involved in this is taking a financial hit in order to make it affordable. I considered literally putting places on eBay and auctioning them and considered a much higher price for just 4 riders. But, I want to help those that are funding themselves and don't have unlimited bank accounts. I think the price is at a good balance.
Details are on the website already so I'll focus on adding to what I've already said.
I currently use Motion Instruments as the bread and butter and will continue to do so. It is perfect to get on the bike very quickly, gives very useful data and it's very much used on the fly. It may not be true telemetry but we can literally be making changes mid run on a long track. It's as close as there is is right now.
But, there is more you can do if you are working closely with a smaller number of clients.
So, for this year I've invested in the BYB system. It gives more data on what is happening at the frame, comparison of speeds, insite to brake use, GoPro overlays and more. It's a real upgrade but probably not ideal for one day of testing as it takes much longer to get the bike ready and to analyse the data. For a second day it will be big addition in my opinion. THis will be included for the Perfomance riders but probably not something I'll offer to the general public.
I'm also part of Beta test group on a piece of equipment/software called Brake Ace. Brake Ace is the first system that actually directly measure braking power. It bluetooths to phone you carry and give us a stack of data on how you use your brakes. It collates key metric into one score called the flow score. It also identifies key places on track where you can make up time with better braking technique. It could be used to get quicker on a particular track in advance of a race but it's main aim is to make you more aware of how you use your brakes so that your all round riding improves. Performance clients and sponsored riders will be the first to have access to this.
Strength and Conditioning
Suspension/Bike set-up are important but not the be all and end all. You need strength, power and endurance. YOur strength and conditioning is also key to injury prevention. Good strength and conditioning will make you faster, more able to cope when things go wrong, less likely to spend time off the bike with injury and potentially recover quicker should you get injured.
I've been working with Becci's bikes for years and she's a good friend. She is also a far more experience PT than most people probably realise. She's a graduate Sports Scientist with about 15 years experience of training people. She can help with allsorts ranging from Olympic lifting to yoga! And if your a guy that doesn't think you can be trained by a girl, check out the vid I on the website! If you can do a one armed push up while balancing on a ring, fair enough! Becci has been running MTB specific training through her own business for a few years and has some serious riders on the books. She is also a top human and I'm sure that she'll be more than happy to offer racing/riding advice and even social media advice. This is a real opportunity. You'll meet by video call but train at your own gym so you can utilise the program wherever you are based.
You'll ge 8 weeks with an opportunity to continue. We thought 8 weeks was enough to see significant gains but not so long that your attention dwindles. She'll work out a totally bespoke program for each rider that takes into account your lifestyle. If you're out riding with mates, that can be built in as your cardio for example. It's not all gym work and you don't have to give your life up. She is very experienced at this because it's the way she trains herself.
I ran the full package past a very experience Pro rider and asked if there was anything else he'd include. He said the only other thing was nutrition (at that point) and pointed me to Chris Lowe. Chris is a Sports Nutritionist who has worked with pro rugby players, football player, track cyclist, boxers and many more disciplines. He's a keep mountain biker himself though and he's really interested in breaking into the UK racing scene. So, it's a perfect opportunity for us all to benefit.
Becci will lead, she'll provide the training program (If you already have a strength and conditioning coach you'll have to speak to them about this). Chris will work out a diet that gives you optimised nutritional content. I'm no expert but check out his post. You need to put the right nutrients in in order to have the energy to train properly, build muscle and to recover. It's a matter of timing too. This really is next level stuff.
Most top athletes in any sport these days will work with a mental coach. I think this sport is particularly demanding mentally. You could spend months preparing for a race and it all goes out of the window because you overshoot one corner. Having a performance coach will help you set and stay focussed on your goals, deal with nerves and pressure, build confidence, keep composure and when necessary deal with failures.
Ciaran King (Peaking High Perfomance) is an Elite racer himself that I've worked with the last couple of years. He's pretty low key but one of the fastest guys in the UK. He was 5th overall in the 2021 National series and took the overall Elite title in Gravity Events. He was the highest ranked rider that wasn't on a UCI team. Last season he focussed on stepping up to IXS cups. First round was an eye opener and he took 44th. By round three he'd figured the pace out and put himself on a podium. Amazing progress. Injury scuppered the season shortly after but he'll be back for more this year.
The point is, that like Becci and Chris, Ciaran is a rider and racer and knows the ups and downs of the sport and pressures you face. He will be a great addition to your preparation for sure.
There is always more you can learn even if you have a coach you work with already. I wanted a really experience racer for this particular package and couldn't be more happy with who I've got on board.
Joe Smith spend a long time as Sam Hill's team mate at Nukeproof-Chain Reaction before they left the sport to focus on Enduro. Joe stayed with DH and spent time with Norco Factor Racing and Propain Factory Racing before 'retiring' to spend time with his new family. During that time I believe he raced around 60 World Cups and qualified for finals in 58 of them and the two he missed were because of injury - an insane record. He represents Vitus now and still pops out for some National Races, Enduro's and Redbull Hardline! Joe's been in the top 4 of Harline 3 times.
Joe will deliver 2 sessions. His brief for the first is to focus on race specific skills. Getting off the start quickly for example. He is the man though and he'll take the days as he thinks you'll benefit most.
The coaching is a group session and part of the reason for only taking 6 riders is so that this group is not too large. All the riders will be very capable though by the nature of the program.
You will need to get yourself to Wales for this and dates are not confirmed yet. We'll try and get them as soon as possible for obvious reason. They'll be weekends and they won't clash with National Series races.
A few good people got behind this right away and I'll thank them first.
Rockguardz are offering a big discount on their products and I'll throw in a custom mudguard as part of the welcome pack too. You'll get discount on all of their products so that's your down tube protection, mudguardz and number boards. They'll do 35% off.
6Seven Factory racing stock a nice range of off mtb related casual cloths. Hoodies, beanies, caps and more. You'll get 25% off everything.
Freeride UK are the UK's distributer of Title and Reverse Components. They'll also give you 25% off all of their stock.
The big one though, Silverfish UK!!
If you don't know already Silverfish UK are the UK's main distributor of Fox products. If you have an aftermarket Fox fork or shock, it has come into the country via Silverfish. They are also the UK's only official Fox servicing centre. In additions they are major distributors or 100%, Peaty's Products, Race Face, Cush Core, Michelin tyres and many more.
You get 35% off everything (except complete bikes). So, you could save the price of this entire package by buying a Fox 40 - the maths is that simple! Or, sell your Rock Shox and switch to Fox and you probably won't lose anything. Or, consider how much you'll spend on tyres through the season and work out 35% off Michelin. Then there's your helmets, pads, body armour, goggles the lot and it's no compromises either - choose between Fox or 100%.
This is literally mental.
So there we go!
There is a lot in this and I can't even count the hours I've put in already (it's certainly over 100!) so please don't ask for discounts or throw in an application that you knocked up in 5 minutes. It says everything about how our work ethics align.
I need people that will represent us well, that will engage in the process and that will be receptive to learning.
I'm not interested in people that pitch themselves by belittling other or seeking to be critical of others. I like to focus on what I'm doing and let others do what they like. I want ambassadors that do the same.
It's a high end package. It isn't for people setting out on their first season. You probably don't have enough experience to really benefit from the package fully. I'd say I'm looking for Seniors moving to Expert, Experts moving to Elite, Elite looking at IXS or World Cup, fast Juniors looking to get teams.
Everyone is on Instagram. It does not set you apart from the rest. Think carefully about what you can offer. What edits have you made or are you involved in, what skills do you bring - can you make edits, can you offer something to the package and so on.
So there you go, that's a bit more about it. I'd like to offer more and hopefully it will grow and develop as the season goes on and when I know who the riders are. At this stage, this is it!
If it sounds like you, get on it!
Thanks for reading,