Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Season 2015 over and out!

So thats a wrap on another cycling season, the first of WIGGINS. With thoughts already turning to 2016, its time for a brief review of the season gone. My last post was way back in March and with things already rolling nicely having had a good couple of weeks training/racing for the Great Britain National Team in Mallorca and kicking off my Belgian campaign with the first Pro Kermesse of the season.
However from the moment the Tour of Normandy began (the week after previous blog post) the body turned far from right. Not to dwell too long on the negatives, after my spring campaign was heavily disrupted, eventually the problems were identified and with the right action the body thankfully soon got back to normal. July onwards saw my expected level of performance return. As always big contributions in the domestique role, 2 wins in my own right in the UK at the Peterborough CC RR and Victor Berlemont RR and some very nice performances and results in Belgium, in particular 3rd in the Grote Prijs Gemeente Kortemark and 5th in the Memorial Fred De Bruyne Berlare.
After this it was onto the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour. Finally an opportunity to do such a race, something i've ofcourse wanted for a long time and want more of in the future. The 4 stages gave a somewhat balanced view of the all-round rider I am, both in terms of my eagerness to ride aggressively and be representing out front and being the loyal work horse leaving it on the road for the team. It was certainly a nice race to be part of and WIGGINS represented well across all 4 stages. You can check out coverage of each stage here:
Alongside my racing its also been nice to work with sponsors and friends alike for other events, meeting a lot of new faces, visiting new places and adding a few more km's along the way. In particular with Sky, which included taking part in one of the many 'Sky Rides' this year, this one in particular being in Bristol aswell as having a very nice and informative day at Sky HQ itself and ofcourse getting to see the incredible and inspiring 'My Hour' of Sir Bradley Wiggins at the Olympic Velodrome in London. Also new to this year was joining up with Yellow Jersey Cycles and in particular joining them on there 'Saturday Social Rides' when back home in Essex. Popularity of the sport is increasing all the time and its another nice way to offer my insight and share experiences throughout the season. When both in Belgium ive been jumping on Polocini's rides around the famous and familiar roads of Flanders, again offering my insight and sharing my experiences, always a pleasure for me and those involved. And most recently contributing to a 15hr 'Spinathlon' in Tonbridge in aid of The Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal, a pleasure to contribute towards such a special cause and a great job done by all those involved. All ofcourse looking forward to more of in the future.
For now a big thanks to all that have supported me during this 2015 season, it's truly appreciated as always. A winter of training awaits and then its onto the next one...until next time y'all!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


WIGGINS begins!

So yet again its been a while since the last blog post (December 1st). Writing that the last post I was already in the knowledge of what was going to be happening in 2015. And that is ofcourse WIGGINS!! It was a nice secret to keep until the official announcement was made early in the new year. That official announcement coming on Sky Sports News and as a long time fan of Sir Bradley Wiggins himself, Sky/Sky Sports/Sky Sports News and 'Sport' as a whole, simply the best way for the news to break!

Sir Bradley Wiggins breaking the news on Sky Sports News!

Sky Sports News..simply the best way for the announcement of WIGGINS!

It goes without saying I am extremely happy to be riding for WIGGINS! It's a huge privilege to be working with and learning from Sir Bradley Wiggins himself and all in this exciting new team. A new team with great plans and a team that is uniquely different. No surprise from day 1 it has simply felt right, a great fit and im looking forward to the season ahead. Special mention to Simon Cope too. Having known Simon since coming into the sport, its great finally getting the chance to work with him.

A great way to start the season, training & racing with the Great Britain National Team in Mallorca! 
And ofcourse continuing to put the hours in at the end of the garden!

Those that know me well know its the kind of opportunity I have been working towards for a long time. Through my cycling years and even way before them in my athletics years. A rider with good testing figures such as a VO2max of 83.8ml/kg/min, a rider with wins every season, a rider that has unquestionably rode selflessly for others year by year and at the same time rode aggressively to excite races, I have always been looking for that bigger opportunity. However like every walk of life that dosn't always happen. Having also gained a Sport Science and Management degree from Loughborough University, maybe others would have stopped before now. However knowing myself and the passion and desire I possess and satisfaction gained from the sacrifice the sport requires, I simply couldn't stop. With WIGGINS I feel im getting a great chance, a chance to show and that chance I feel I have earned. A team that is uniquely different and a team of opportunity!

Kicking off the season in Challenge Mallorca!
A privilege to be racing for Great Britain!
And training with the National Team too!

Yes it will be a year of new opportunities and new opportunities have already arisen having spent a two week training camp in Mallorca with the Great Britain National Team, including racing 2 days of the Challenge Mallorca in the colours of Great Britain. It was a great 2 weeks, a great way to kick off the season and quite simply it felt right! We have recently had our first official WIGGINS team get together in Manchester, where riders, management and some sponsors got to come together for the first time. Yet again, it felt right! Ofcourse another thing that has always felt right to me across these years is Belgium and last week I was there training and racing the first pro kermesse of the season, all in preparation for the Tour de Normandie, our first WIGGINS team race which kicks off next week!

Back racing in Belgium!
And back training on the classic Vlaanderen roads!

So now its time for me to pack a bag and hit the road again. I look forward to keeping you up to date throughout the season ahead. Many thanks once again to Sir Bradley Wiggins, Simon Cope, XIX Entertainment and everyone at WIGGINS for making me feel so welcome in this new team. Also to my family and friends for all the positive responses received from y'all!

Until next time!

Stay tuned y'all!

The hard work continues!

The WIGGINS road continues! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back to Blog.

Winning in Tennessee!

With over a year since the last blog posting, you could certainly say this one is well overdue. The last year or so has been mainly characterised by loyalty and integrity (or the lack there of them). Unfortunately it lacked some of each at key times where as other times provided a nice reminder that both do still exist.  As someone that truly values both you can understand why the times with both proved more pleasurable. Early on in this blog-less period was a period of time that didn’t exactly leave me with inspirational words to fill a blog posting with. However I will focus more towards the positives now, but once again stories that you simply couldn’t make up and stories im sure will go in the book sometime down the line. 

One day I will write a book!

It was unfortunately a lack of loyalty and integrity that saw me starting the 2014 season in new colours. However my season did get underway in the 2 week long stage race, Ronda Pilipinas with the Asian Continental squad of Team 7 Eleven by Roadbike Philippines. As it turned out this would be the only race I would do with this group of riders but what a race we had regardless. With everybody committing it truly was a great team performance and i'll always remember and take that from the race as well the good people met along the way. Day in day out we controlled the race which was hugely satisfying in its own right but it also meant wins and podiums would also come our way in the team. I also made the podium with a 2nd place finish on stage 5, after committing to a breakaway which also contained our team leader Mark John Lexer Galedo, then escaping in the later stages from the breakaway taking second behind Chun-kai Feng. The rest of the time the enjoyment truly came from all of us taking control at the head of the race each day and as always being a loyal domestique and carrying out those duties day in day out. Not knowing what to expect before this race, it was a nice surprise to see how quickly everyone gelled together and raced in such a manner. Unfortunately these would be the only experiences racing with these guys, but regardless the people I met both on and off the bike and the experiences that came with made it worthwhile.

Hugely satisfying teamwork day in day out!

And still time for a breakaway!

The next 3 months of the season unfortunately saw no racing and after allowing time for things to change, unfortunately there were no signs of this happening and so the rest of the season had to be planned for. A no-show season at this point was certainly not going to help in anyway and so I needed to be able to race again, even if that meant alone. With 3 months of no racing at that point of the year, I aways going to be chasing condition, but regardless it was certainly nice to be racing again and doing so in the country where I have spent so much time and have such a loyal connection with, that country being Belgium. Loyalty and integrity will always exist when it comes to Belgium and me. 22nd in Verrebroek proved to be the best result of the period, however without racing and in very good company, to still be in the hunt for the win right until the closing kms was certainly respectable. Still riding in the colours of the team I was able to ride the pro kermesses which lead me to the summer, at which time I was I was officially free from the team. After some discussion with good friends across the pond I decided to head back Stateside, which is where the rest of the season would be spent.


Always great to be racing in Belgium..and with great company such as the National Champion Stijn Devolder!

Always great company in Belgium!

Safe to say and never in doubt, loyalty and integrity continued both on and off the bike throughout this period, which im truly grateful for. You know who you are! During this period I would be racing for Cycletherapy/VOmax, based once again in the beautiful state of North Carolina. I would also guest for United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project and even extend my stay in the US/take a trip to the Caribbean for the first time to guest for Incycle-Predator to finish the racing season in Trinidad and Tobago. I had 3 wins and 6 other podium/top 5 placings, but once again huge satisfaction also came from being/riding with and for others, especially when the others have become such good friends. Though I won't give detailed race reports on this occasion, getting the first win of the season after such a stressful previous 12 months certainly came with huge satisfaction. It came with a road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee for the two day SRS event. The first day saw a downtown criterium which I was very strong in and rode very aggressively. Unfortunately sometimes you can ride that strongly and that aggressively and it still not lead to a result. However I knew the sensations were good and so it proved as in the next day's road race I went solo for the last 50km to earn my first win of the season. Backed up by a couple more wins in the following weeks and an abundance of enjoyable moments with great people, spending the last months of the season in this way, being in the places I was and with the people I was with, it was certainly time well spent and something I am truly thankful for.

Memorable months Stateside in these colours!

Endurance BMX with Jon Hamblen!

More Stars and Stripes!

North Carolina truly is beautiful! 

Trinidad and Tobago Teamwork!

On and off the bike!

Once again a huge thank you for the support over the last year, both family and friends. Once again you know who you are! Im back home, off season break has happened and now already starting to lay down the foundations for 2015. The plans are in motion and im looking forward to whats on the horizon so stay tuned for an announcement coming soon and more blog postings in the future.

 Until next time!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Season 2013..Over & Out!

Hanging out in Hollywood! 

So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season. Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy 9 months. 5 months in USA to start with + 4 months between USA/Belgium/UK = a lot of km's covered in those 9 plane, car, boat and ofcourse by bike!
Many km's covered in 2013!

Winning in the USA!

The official stats: 3 wins, 4 additional podium placings and 2nd & 4th place finishes on overall classifications, amongst others. Add to this the hard work on and off the bike for the team and sponsors and it dosn't paint a bad picture at all. Then add to this all the new people ive met along the way, all the places visited and all the stories that have come out of season 2013 and it will certainly occupy a chapter or two when I finally get round to writing that book.
Lots of new places visited in 2013..
..and lots of Stars & Stripes along the way!

So whats actually been happening since my last blog posting!? Well the answer to that is quite a lot and far too much to write about in this review. But in brief more time in the USA included some more nice performances including another podium, 4th place overall finish at the Green Mountain Stage Race and another nice team performance in Bucks County Criterium the day before flying back to Europe rounding things off nicely across the pond. There was some in-season summer time at home with my family (which made a nice change) with a race or two included and a nice run of Pro Kermesses in Belgium, including some nice breakaway action which ofcourse was a delight having spent so much of these last years there.
New & Familiar Places!

And so for a few thanks. Too many people to mention everyone by name (for fear of forgetting someone) so i'll keep it fairly brief..but thank you all regardless! To all at Team SmartStop Mountain Khakis..managers, staff, teammates, sponsors et al..thanks for welcoming me into the team this past year! The Dave Rayner Fund for your continued support in 2013..greatly appreciated as always (please check out ) To my coach Luc Wante for once again keeping me in shape..even from across the pond! To Blair Morgan & Paligap for yet again continued support in the form of Cycleops Powertap. And ofcourse to all my family (especially my Mum, Dad and Brother) & friends (new, old and everyone in between) for your great support throughout the the UK, Belgium, USA and wherever else..truly thank you!

Thanks y'all!

So the bikes are away and the bags unpacked. Time to recharge the batteries before the path to 2014 begins. That's it for now..until next time!

That's a wrap on Season 2013!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Winning in Winston & Returning to Europe!

Nighttime fun!

Once again its been a hectic month or two and so too much to write about in a single blog post. I really should start writing a book! So I am going to keep this fairly short and sweet focusing on another victory added to season 2013 and a return to Europe after 5 months away!

Winning in Winston! 

So it was decided I would make a return to Europe to coincide with National Championship weekend towards the end of June. The weekend before however would see another important race in the home city of Team Smartstop P/B Mountain Khakis, Winston-Salem. In its inaugural version and with pending UCI status for next year the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic would be important anyway. Throw in the fact that it was in the home city of the team and the importance multiplied greatly! After strong showings in the criterium the night before myself, Chris Uberti and Curtis Winsor were in the main break of the day early into the road/circuit race. Having felt so strong the night before and on the day itself, I was certainly in race winning mood. With our main rival team also having 3 riders in the breakaway it was clearly going to be a big showdown in the closing stages. Im glad to say I got the better of that showdown, after covering an attack from our rivals inside 2 laps to go, I then managed to go clear and ride solo the final 12km to the finish. Race long breakaway and solo to the line....not the first time thats happened ;-) Teammate Chris Uberti then made it an even better day by making it a 1-2 for Team Smartstop P/B Mountain Khakis! Sounds so simple lol Clearly it wasn't but right from the get go I was in one of those moods where I truly felt it was going to be a winning day....and so it proved!

Winston-Salem Cycling Classic Success! 

So winning in Winston came on the Sunday and come the Monday I was boarding planes from Charlotte to New York and then onto London! What a way to end that part of the season and to return to the UK with another win in the bag. Unfortunately fortunes changed by the following weekend with the National Championships being a write-off due to sickness. Having spent the days leading up to it in bed zapped of energy, suddenly the good feelings of the weekend before had disappeared. I started because "you never know" but I soon realised that being on a bike was not where my body should have been at that time. A trip to the doctor, some anti-biotics and some rest has seen the body return to its good state again...still in UK...cue go to Wales for some British Cycling Premier Calendar action. The good feelings were back! Unfortunately an untimely flat tyre and being left with a long chase was the ultimate undoing on this occasion. I eventually made it back into the race after coming across Flavio Zappi further along the course who made quick work of getting me through the "normal traffic" back up to the race (thanks Flavio!). Unfortunately the rest of the race ultimately became just a good training day, but result aside the way I felt bodes well for the rest of the season ahead. Back in England, I just had my first spill of the year. Hitting some diesel dropping on a bend, luckily it wasn't on the faster section of the descent! A few more war wounds added to the collection but luckily nothing too serious.
Hanging out in Wales!

First spill of 2013!

For now this blog posting comes from England. Where exactly the next one will come from is not yet known. Its been great to spend some of summer-time at home with my family and I even spent my birthday in England this year which is the first time I can say that for a while. Ofcourse ive also made a return to Belgium in this time and after 6 months away it was certainly great to be back to the place where so many of my previous blog posts have come from!

Back to Belgium! 

Once again please support 'The Dave Rayner Fund'! Support them to support us cyclists racing in foreign lands: ( - Twitter: @DaveRaynerFund - Facebook:


Until next time....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Season 2013 Up and Running....

Checking out a piece of Route 66 in California....home of SmartStop Self Storage!

So its been a long time since my last blog posting way back at the end of February. Though I was looking to keep the posts coming frequent, the simple fact of the matter is ive been in a pretty uninspired writing mood over the past months. As reported in that previous post, I got struck down with an illness soon after arriving in the US. Though I was getting back on the bike as I wrote that post, just ahead of training camp and the start of the season, things have just not been right since. Something im not going to dwell on for long, but the effects of the illness itself and training missed in that month were multiplied as the season got underway. Quite simply I just felt extremely out of sorts. When im going to a bike race and not enjoying it there must be something wrong! Certainly not the way I intended my 2013 season to start with Team Smartstop Pro Cycling P/B Mountain Khakis. However im happy to report there have been much better sensations on the bike in these last weeks, suggesting the turning point on this season. Sometimes in these situations you just have to let the body do its thing and have a little faith.

Its not all been Hollywood glamour so far this season!

Nothing too much to shout about in those opening races for me personally so i'll give you the highlights show, recapping more recent events. Mid April saw my first podium of the year at the Dilworth Criterium. A dominating ride by teammate Nate Ward saw him take the win from a two man breakaway. I was to get ahead of the peloton in the closing stages to take 3rd. It was a good team performance and a sign of what was to come in the coming weeks. Before I get to that, sandwiched between was the Foothills Road Race in Alabama, which saw top 10 placings for myself and teammate Travis Livermon. A bit of a game of cat and mouse at the end, which on another day could have produced another outcome. But ofcourse thats cycling sometimes.

Team Smartstop Pro Cycling P/B Mountain Khakis 2013!

And to most recently and im happy to report that aswell as another podium, I was also to take my first win of the season and secure second on overall at the 'Heart of Carolina Omnium'. A three day Omnium (basically a stage race but decided on points for placings on each stage rather than time) comprising of two criteriums and one road race. And so it turned out to be quite the successful weekend for myself and my four teammates in the race. It was nice to actually look forward to racing once again.  A clear sign that the body was coming around. Across the weekend we raced well as a team and throw in the fun that we had in doing so, success was never going to be far away for Team Smartstop Pro Cycling P/B Mountain Khakis.

Jon Hamblen....Winner!

And so it proved! Teammate Jon Hamblen taking the win in the 'Adam Little Memorial Criterium' solo from the breakaway, backed up by another strong ride by Chris Monteleone in 3rd. Pat Raines and Nate Ward also secured top 10 placings in the finale.

The 'Asheboro in Motion Criterium' on the second day was about helping Jon keep the overall lead aswell as securing our dominance as a whole on the overall Omnium. That we did and in fact the only thing we didnt quite do that day was win the bike race. 2nd for Jon, 3rd for myself and 4th for Nate securing our dominance on the overall Omnium.

Onto Sundays 'Denton Tour de Kale Road Race' and that was about three things 1) Helping Jon to secure the overall Omnium 2) Ofcourse trying to win the race 3) Try for all of us to move up a little bit more in the overall Omnium (after all there were a nice amount of $'s up for grabs!). It was one of those days where everything fell into place after another good team performance. Always in control of the race, we had riders in the right moves at the right times. Nothing more nothing less. Soon after bridging to the breakaway in a chase group, I wanted to test the breakaway out by making it a bit harder up front. After covering a move with around 35km to go I rolled off the front and into TT mode and the correct decision it proved to be soloing the remainder of the race for the win....happy days! This was backed up by Pat in 3rd, Chris in 4th and Nate 15th. The impact of this result was great for the overall Omnium too. Jon remained on top, I moved up to 2nd, Pat 3rd, Chris 4th and Nate 9th. A nice weekend indeed!

I love a breakaway....1st win of the season!

So there it is. There have certainly been ups and downs over these past months. Luckily the pathway on this US season is on its way upwards. The remainder of May is pretty low key, but this on the plus side allows some time to re-establish some routine in all aspects and prepare for June and the rest of the summer ahead. Thanks once again for all of your support over these last months, greatly appreciated as always! And on that note please remember to check out (Twitter: @DaveRaynerFund / Facebook: who continue to support me and many riders racing abroad. The rest of the season awaits for me and my Team Smartstop Pro Cycling P/B Mountain Khakis teammates....until next time!

Season 2013 looking brighter again!