The Team

 

Meet our Riders

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Gabriel Fowden, 17, Cambridge

Favourite piece of cycling kit: really negative stems.

Favorite cycling moment: Taylor Phinney’s solo win on stage 4 of the 2014 Tour of California. He’s always been my cycling idol, and just breaking away on a fast descent and holding the bunch off solo to the finish just stuck with me as a class act.

How did you get in to cycling: Originally I grew up in Greece, and sailed at a national level. When my family moved to Germany I was quite overweight, and my physics teacher took it upon himself to make me loose weight. He made me join his running team, and I got quite good, breaking several regional distance records. After moving to Cambridge I got a running injury, and while recovering discovered cycling. Somehow it stuck with me more. Probably something about hurting myself more, for longer periods of time.

Any pre or post race rituals: not really a ritual, but I like having a little piece of wood under my bartape so I can knock on it if I think something bad during a race. Weird I know.

Favourite café stop: No cafe stops. Don’t be soft… only kidding, the more stops the better. Probably Mocha in Saffron Walden. Best milkshakes going.

Favorite cake: Coffee cake.

Hopes and dreams for 2017: I have had a very on and off season so far. I’d like to get another podium in a NatB, and have a race where the team works to perfection to get the win. I think that would be very satisfying


 

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Liam Manser, 20, Ipswich

Favourite piece of cycling kit: My Oakley sunglasses, can’t race without them! Always got to look the part!

Favourite cycling moment: Winning Cannock chase XC national round (sport cat).

How did you get in to cycling: My dad riding in Wales together.

Any pre or post race rituals: I always have to wear the same socks and oil on my legs before I can race, forgot once to oil my legs and didn’t finish, only race I haven’t finished.

Favourite café stop: Somewhere in Suffolk with the pedal power crew and co. I’ll happily go anywhere but le tour cafe does some class cake! Thanks to chapperz for taking me there.

Favourite cake: Raspberry and almond bake.

Hopes and dreams for 2017: hopes- racing over in Belgium, 1st cat and national trophy for cross come 2017/18 dreams- good tan lines


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Josh Aiken, 22, Needham Market

Favourite piece of cycling kit: Had to be a nice pair of new socks all about the euro look.

Favourite cycling moment: Hmm a difficult one most likely my first ever points in a race that was a pretty great moment.

How did you get in to cycling: Originally started with running then started doing some triathlons then just gradually got more in to cycling.

Any pre or post race rituals: Has to be the morgan blue race oil even if your getting dropped at least your legs look great !

Favourite café stop: Not a massive fan of coffee stops…

Favourite cake: Gotta be coffee and walnut.

Hopes and dreams for 2017: 1st category is a big priority and getting it in a big way aka wins. Also a nat b podium is a big target this year.


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Ross Fawcett, 24, Woodbridge

Favourite piece of cycling kit: My favourite bit isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ bit of cycling kit, it is my Cube. The bike I started racing competitively on, the bike I won my first race on and the bike that has a lot of good memory’s.

Favourite cycling moment: Racing in the Tour of Wales last year is is certainly up there but winning the local clubs home race with a solo break has been the highlight.

How did you get in to cycling? With my best friend many years ago we decided to cycling to Ireland for charity and that’s when I really fell in love with the sport.

Any pre or post race rituals: I don’t really have any pre race rituals, but post race pigging out big is always a must. Afterall I’ve earnt it, haven’t I?

Favourite café stop: La tour in Ipswich is brilliant, so friendly and most importantly good coffee. The other one sharing the top step is Paddy & Scott’s out at Framlingham. Go there and you’ll probably see me there.

Favourite cake: Victoria Sponge @ LaTour.

Hopes and dreams for 2017: Result in a Nat B, 1st Cat licence, to race Nat A’s.


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Dougal Toms, 18, Norwich

Favourite piece of cycling kit: Skinsuit

Favourite cycling moment: National Trophy win in Ipswich in front of a home crowd.

How did you get in to cycling? Started off swimming and doing a few triathlons when I was young but soon got bored. My brother and dad both rode so I started to go out on rides with them.

Any pre or post race rituals: Not really. I hate racing on a dirty bike though, so I normally clean it and give it a check over the day before.

Favourite café stop: Can’t beat pancakes at the Angel Café in Diss.

Favourite cake: Chocolate (obviously).

Hopes and dreams for 2017: Top 10s in Junior Nationals, as well as racing some more National A crits and hopefully abroad. Beat Lloyd Chapman in a sprint at Trinity.

 


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Gemma Melton, 26, Ipswich

Favourite piece of cycling kit: I really like my Rapha base layer. At first I wasn’t sure about a string vest, but now I love it underneath my race jersey.

Favourite cycling moment: Every moment on a bike is a good one! I did make some great memories on a training camp with Bex Johnson in February 2016, it also included some of my worst memories of gale force winds on mountain roads. Anyway, racing-wise, I enjoyed taking the win in a two (wo)man break away at Cyclopark Kent. I was pretty chuffed with the Women’s Eastern Regional Champs last year finishing 12th overall and 3rd woman in the East. I’ve had some nice podium finishes in the Eastern Cyclocross league too.

How did you get in to cycling? We always used to cycle to school and stop off at the shop for sweets. I used to cycle with my sketchbooks and cameras as an art student. We used to go to the forest and ride off-road and always had petrol motorbikes as kids, so I am quite happy on two wheels and going fast. My brother was in to trials bikes and used to set up obstacle courses in the garden. I didn’t get a road bike until my beloved Bella (MTB) was stolen and I decided to buy a road bike instead. My boss at the time was a keen roadie so got me in to it.

Any pre or post race rituals: Weirdly, a squirt of my perfume (COCO Mademoiselle) on my kit, makes me feel good. It might explain why everyone likes to wheel suck too!

Favourite café stop: Pancakes from Pump Street Bakery in Orford, with a strong black Americano and maybe even a smoothie if I’m pushing the boat out or Fletch is buying.

Favourite cake: Carrot cake is a firm favourite, I am a massive cake snob though and love baking. I make a mean banana cake.

 Hopes and dreams for 2017: I’m looking forward to gaining a few more brothers with the support of the Pedal Power boys. This year I’m in it to win it.


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James Fletcher, 47, Felixstowe

Favourite piece of cycling kit: I love my Castelli Race day bag. I need to be organized and know I have got everything together and my bag has lots of pockets to put all the bits and pieces I need to race and keep it in one place.

Favorite cycling moment: There are so many moments that are special to me. One of the most recent was at the end of the summer, when I went to La Manga, Spain with team mate Liam.

We rode out on our last day and came across a group of 20-30 Spanish riders who welcomed us to ride with them. Joining the group, we rode a few miles at a good pace before hitting the mountains. I had never seen anything like it. There were riders 3-4 abreast taking up the whole road. Cars just accepted the group was there and sat behind us, happy to cruise along.

Once into the mountains with about three big climbs ahead the group started to split into different abilities as the speed and intensity increased. Liam smashed it in the lead group of about 10 riders and I followed in a smaller group of about seven. The climbs were brutal but the descents were amazing, reaching speeds of around 72kmh in a group along a windy coastal road was exhilarating.

The final climb of about 1.8km with average gradient of 7% was looming. My group diminished to four. My lungs were desperate for air and my legs lost all feeling as I matched the speed of the final two Spanish riders from my group, who were turning a huge gear and obviously wanting to give me a race to the top.

With about 200m to go I gave it everything and increased my cadence. I passed the final rider and left him standing to reach the top of the mountain. We left the riders and waved goodbye with a knowing nod of mutual respect.

Liam and I descended into La Manga resort recounting our experiences. He had also had a bit of a race and was the first person in the group to make it to the top. The riders he was with patted him on the back, clapped and cheered him. Great way to finish a cycling holiday and push yourself to achieve a personal goal. Loved it.

How did you get in to cycling: When I was 12years old I loved looking at all the shiny bikes in Halfords. I wanted a racing bike like the cyclists I saw on TV in the Milk Race or the Tour de France. My parents bought me a steel framed Raleigh and I started cycling everywhere! Wanting to be like my hero’s, Bernard Hinault, Sean Kelly, Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond, I joined Ipswich BC and started to race. This continued until I was about 21years old when I stopped until 4years ago I rekindled my love for the sport.

Any pre or post race rituals: I didn’t think I had any. Then I started thinking about it and have realized I have a couple. Last year I started to wear a nose strip (because any marginal gains I will take at my age) This has become a bit of a habit and so now I try to make sure I always have one. I’m sure it makes a difference. Doesn’t it?

Favourite café stop: Honey and Harvey in Woodbridge.

Favorite cake: Coffee and walnut.

Hopes and dreams for 2017: My hopes and dreams for 2017 are for the team to build and become even stronger together than they already are. A couple of wins would be nice. I would love it if everyone achieved their 1st Cat. Personally I would like my 3rd Cat and to finish the season in one piece.


 

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