Once again this update is a little bit late. To be honest I won’t point it out again- just expect when you’re reading it that it’s probably late!
The middle to end of May saw me finish of year 3 of my Law and French Law degrees at the University of Exeter. Only one more year to do- this time in Rennes, Brittany- and I will at last have graduated and be done with education. Well, for a time. I still have a sneaking desire to do a Masters of Intellectual Property if I can find the right course.
The exam period was fairly uneventful and not too stressed. Dr Hill, my coach, was (probably wisely) insistent upon binning nearly all form of structured training for 3 weeks so the only obligations upon my time were revision and the exams themselves. We worked out a cool system of fixed sessions from which I could choose if I had the time/inclination to manage it. It worked quite well. Despite only managing about 40-60 miles a week for that period I was surprised by how little (if anything) I’d lost when I got back into things.
My last exam was May 26th. I walked out of the exam hall and into my car (packed the night before) and drove to my Parent’s house. Switched my kit into Dad’s car and we then drove to Henley-on-Thames for the Jaguar Academy of Sport presentation day. I was extremely lucky to have been put forward for this select group of athletes by British Cycling, and even more lucky to have been picked by Jaguar. The JAS is basically a group of the 50 top young athletes in the country today- from all sports. We are each given some funding to help with performance expenses- but far more importantly the JAS is the only sports bursary award around which also provides ongoing education, mentoring and workshops to the young athletes on their roll.
It was a great day and extremely interesting- with workshops on Media Skills and Anti-Doping, and presentations by the Academy’s ambassadors Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Steve Redgrave and a host of other luminaries. I felt very proud and privileged to have ‘got in’ as it were, and am looking forward to future events. Huge thanks must go out to Jaguar for having the foresight and genuine interest to properly support British talent. Many companies talk the talk but I can say that Jaguar really do seem to back it up. For more details on this fantastic scheme have a peek at www.jaguaracademyofsport.co.uk and also ‘my’ profile at http://www.jaguaracademyofsport.co.uk/the-academy/rising-stars/2011/thomas-staniford.aspx
After getting back from there, I had 3 days to get my affairs in order before driving up to Sheffield to see my girlfriend Alice. 10 days there getting some cracking rides done in the Peaks whilst she finished her exams, then onto London to see the Cyclefit UK boys. I spent the day at their secret Covent Garden Lair sorting out some epically bling Lake CX401 custom shoes with Speedplay Zero pedals, before driving on to Portsmouth to see my coach Dr Chester Hill. One night there, plus a ride the next day, and then the final drive back to Exeter. 3 days there, then back to London- which is where I am now!
I’m currently working the 9-5 with the great guys at Rapha , whilst fitting in an absolutely horrifically intense track camp around it. Training is basically 3 solo track sessions a week at Herne Hill Velodrome , plus an 18-mile commute every day, with the odd evening sweetspot session around Richmond Park and longer rides into Herts at the weekend!
That is basically everything for now. Working hard at the office, on the road and on the track. This Saturday is the National Para Crit Champs at Hog Hill and I’m hoping to put in a solid performance to see where I stand at the minute.
That’s all for now!
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