Published on 11th August 2017 | By Chris Walker

My season started with a couple of training camps, with my team SEG RACING ACADEMY. One in January and one in February. These camps took place on the coast of Greece in Loutraki, this was the perfect place to prepare myself mentally and Physically for the first few races. The first camp was more of a General, long rides with a little bit of work on z3 and threshold, with the second camp high intensity and specific efforts (lead outs, sprints, climbing).
My first race was GP Lillers in France, this was flat windy race, not suited ideally to me, but these races are perfect to find some speed and form. I targeted Tryptiue and Circuit Ardennes shortly after, but with a lot of illness at this time it wasn’t ideal, which was a shame as I had to miss Liege Baston Liege. After a short spell at home, I then prepared myself for Tour De Bretagne, this was a tough 7 day race which put me in perfect shape for Fl├Ęche Ardennaise (1.2) in Belgium a couple of weeks later, where I finished 2nd, I was disappointing I wasn’t able to take the top step of the podium.
The next phase my season was the start of the u23 Hilly stage races, the first one was Ronde De L’isard, in France, a mountainous 4 days, after the first stage getting cancelled, due to bad weather and heavy crashes, it was left to the climbers, I finished 6th on the summit of hospice de France and 6th on Plateau De Beille on stage 2&3, after making difficult work of the final stage I finished the race 11th on GC.
I then headed back to Girona to get ready for Baby Giro, one of the biggest races of the year for the team. This was up and down for myself, after crashing hard, the race did not go the way I wanted, although it was a great experience and it’ll be good to race there again next year.
National championships, Isle of Man. I head over with team mate Gabs, we raced the TT, but I focused it all on Sundays road race, after making the key move over the mountain first time, I found myself in a group of 12 chasing the break, this was a hard chase, once hitting the mountain second time I hit the wall and got spat, I was happy with how i rode but not to happy with the outcome.
Next up was Giro Valle De Aosta in Italy, another race perfectly suited to my abilities. A positive start saw me finish 13th in the opening 8km Individual Time Trial, I was full of morale, stage 2 began and I suffered a bad crash early on, which ended up in me fracturing my wrist, after finishing the stage, I wasn’t able to start stage 2.
I have been recovering now, and I now prepare myself for Czech cycling tour from the 10th of august, then I race some one day races in Holland and Belgium.
So far it’s been a very up and down season with some good luck and bad luck, there’s been lots of learning for me and still a lot more to go. But I’m happy with what I’ve done, and I look forward to the rest of the season.

Stephen Williams