The Edge Racing Team raced as 'Shutt Velo Rapide' again in 2017, the team has an exciting new sponsor for 2018 so the name will change again. More on that in another post.
With the 2017 season drawing to a close, the team is ranked 6th place in British Cycling’s Central Region. Our best year to date with a record 7 riders now racing at 2nd Cat level.
Here are a few rider highlights...
Simon Smith made a return to competitive cycling this season after a 12year absence. A major injury in 2006 curtailed his age group world championship triathlon ambitions, and eventually lead to total retirement from cycling. In 2014 he had a full hip replacement and this year set about training to return to time trialling. Now a vet, he targeted the hilly courses of the Classic Series with two simple goals. Firstly, to learn how to ride a time trial bike again, and secondly to give a reasonable account of himself in the series. The first seemed simple, but with many years of biomechanical issues to rectify, good cycling form came slowly.
“People were asking me at races, what kind of times I was expecting. I was just so happy to be racing my bike again that I would smile and say I was just pleased to be there at all!”
By the last race things were slowly starting to click back into place, and he finished 8th vet overall in the series, followed by a steadily improving set of times on the flatter courses later in the season. Now coached by Team KGF rider Jacob Tipper, Simon is keen to make up for lost time, and has set his sights on a podium place in the 2018 Classic Series and aims to start challenging at the head of the field on the longer flat courses later in the season.
In his first full season of racing Leason began with the goal of attaining his 2nd category license. While points from circuit racing didn’t come easily, Billy quickly found his riding style much more suited to road racing. With a string of podium placings he attained his 2nd category license in July – with all points gained as result of breakaways. Following this Billy turned his attention to time-trialling, and the RTTC National 10. With 10 time trial wins, and 3 course records already under his belt, Billy arrived in the lake-district for the final race of the season. Good form resulted in Billy placing 8th U23; a decent result considering a first senior national championship.
In 2018 Billy looks to achieve his 1st category license, and expand upon his strong climbing and time trialling with the hope of attracting attention from UK domestic teams. He comments: “Having just moved to north Wales to study sport science at the University of Bangor I’m really enjoying the riding here. The terrain really suits my abilities well, and there are a lot of strong guys I’m able to train with regularly. After the team training camp in February I should be carrying some great form which I hope to show in the North Wales road race series”
Junior Rider George Day joined Shutt this season hoping to grow into his road legs following a stint of racing on the track. Being his first full racing season his main goal was to get experience racing within the senior peloton. In the early stages of the season George was very successful, gaining his 3rd cat license and his first road win within a space of 2 weeks. This early success however was unfortunately followed by several months of crashes, punctures and just bad luck... although George considers these important lesson and experiences on the path to success. Towards the end of the summer he came back into form and managed to squeeze a few podium performances out of his legs at the notorious Hillingdon cycle circuit. George is looking forward to be representing Shutt again as a rider in 2018.
In only his third season of racing Phil’s main goals were to retain his newly acquired 2nd Cat license and to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo Masters World Champs. The season started well with a number of top tens in Masters events culminating with him securing qualification with a podium finish at an attritional Tour of Ayrshire in April.
“It was a very tough day, with brutal winds over the moors ripping the race to pieces early on. I’d learnt the hard way that Masters races rarely come back together so was determined to stay with the leaders. I had to dig very deep but eventually found myself in a great race for 2nd place which I managed to win. Definitely a highlight of the year for me.”
The rest of the season focussed on preparation for the finals in France, with plenty of racing and decent results. These included several top tens, a couple of podiums and a top 15 finish in the National Masters Criterium championships (which gave him enough points to keep his 2nd Cat license). At the UCI finals, in a strong, global field of ex-pros and strong amateur racers, Phil managed 9th best Brit from 120 in his age group.
“This year I’ve learnt a huge amount about race craft, race preparation and general mind set. I was often competitive in 2nd Cat and Age Group races and aim to build on that and bag a win in 2018.”
After a promotion to 2nd cat last year, Jered has been competing in higher profile national B races including several top 10s racing against Elites at the Milton Keynes National Bowl. While his criterium racing game has been strong, his open road campaign has seen frustration and setbacks throughout the season. Enlisting the help and skill of coach Jacob Tipper, Jered has made leaps and bounds in his strength and abilities and is aiming for a very successful 2018.
"This season has been so much of a learning curve racing with the top boys but next season I'm taking them all to school"
Jered's top result from 2017 was finishing 2nd from a breakaway group in a regional B race at Stourport racing circuit and he finishes the season on 71 points overall.
“My highlight of the year has to be the team’s trip to the Alps. I love a bit of cycle-touring and our Venice to Geneva ride was epic. We blogged the ride on Shutt’s website. Racing wise, I had a couple of decent results, with podiums in the Redditch Road Race and at MK Bowl, but didn’t get the win I was hoping for. Excited for 2018 with the new bike sponsor.”
Ian started the season with one goal; to become a 3rd racer, and in May this year he picked up his first win at the Bowl. With just two more points to go Ian easily achieved his aim. Speaking of his victory, Ian said, "What a amazing evening taking my first win in front of my family and team mates."
Ash’s season started on a high winning the first round of the winter series at Dalton Barracks. His two targets for 2017 season were to win a race and to be promoted to 2nd Cat, both those targets completed, gaining his 2 Cat in the last race of the year at Birmingham where he placed 3rd.
Ash comments, “Travelling with work nearly every other week makes it difficult for me to be consistent with my training, so this makes the results feel even better when they come. Here's to another strong winter and getting stuck into next season!”