Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Team Merlin!

Over two months into 2018 already, I thought it was time to finally get back to blogging. To not only round off and sum up the 2017 season but also to inform a little more of what's in the pipeline for 2018, that ofcourse being Team Merlin! 

Team Merlin!

That last blog post came way back in July. I continued racing throughout the summer and into the early Autumn, rounding off my season mid October. Though I still had some nice performances during this time (such as winning the Overijse three day overall classification) it ultimately was a frustrating season. Unfortunately it always just lacked that little spark, that little edge and that little bit of luck. With the winters again lack of contract, continued uncertainty and an on-going and ever-growing frustration with the structure and politics of the sport that once again unexplainably leaves me in such a position, this ultimately carried over onto the road. Never the less I am grateful to the Assez's and Asfra-Flanders for the 2017 season, the team from which this blog began back in 2010.

Asfra-Flanders, volle gas!

For 2018 once again nothing was moving, years of battling to have a contract continued. Something had to change, I had to take some control.

Eyes on the Prize!

In February 2017 I was approached by Merlin Cycles to help them make some promotional videos in Belgium, using my knowledge of locations and featuring in. From the outset it was clear I was working with a friendly, respectful and open minded company. This continued a few months later when needing a new bike, something Merlin were happy to provide in the form of the Merlin Nitro SL, a bike I have been nothing but impressed with from day 1. You can check out the videos that we made in February 2017 once again here:

Made in Belgium - Merlin Nitro SL 
Made in Belgium 2 - Merlin Fuse

Filming in Flanders.

At the start of November I reached out to Merlin Cycles to see if they were interested in me riding in their colours in 2018 and supporting an individual project. The response was quick and positive, once again confirming my already positive experiences with Merlin and the road to 2018 began in earnest. Things are evolving all of the time and i’m sure this will also be the case throughout 2018. Racing in the UK, Belgium and beyond, representing Merlin Cycles whenever and wherever possible and as always leaving it all on the road in doing so. As always this year will also be about representing inside and outside of racing, on and off the bike, whenever and wherever the road takes us. 

Whenever, Wherever!!

Appropriately the first National Series race in the UK on the 15th April just happens to be the Chorley GP, hometown of Merlin Cycles and therefore an ideal early season goal.

Breaking Away in the Chorley GP 2016.

So far in addition to being on Merlin machines, 3T will provide the finishing kit, Castelli the clothing, Sidi the shoes and Stages the data measurement. Science in Sport will once again fuel me for the year, a relationship that has been developing over the last years and one i'm very happy to continue with and likewise with the support and advise from Mark Huxley.

Fuelled by Science!

In case you missed it, please find a link to Merlin Cycles' own blog post on the evolution of Team Merlin as well as the official press release here on Velo UK

Don't forget to also check out!

As the season gets closer, a big thank you to Debbie, John, Rick and all at Merlin Cycles for the support for the project. Likewise as always to my family and friends, both near and far and ofcourse my girlfriend. We’re looking forward to bringing something different to the road in 2018. Keep up to date on Instagram/Twitter by following me @dfpatten and ofcourse keep following along on here. Until next time!

On the road with Team Merlin!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Chapter 2017…whistle stop so far.

With the year flying by I thought it was time for a brief tour of whats been happening so far in 2017.

Back in Flanders!

Without a contract late last year, for 2017 I returned to Belgium and to the Asfra-Flanders Racing Team (where this blog began). As always in Belgium a big program of racing, though this year for me would also see it balanced with other projects, including proudly taking on the role of Science in Sport Ambassador, coaching and having the pleasure of watching a good friend of mine make week by week progress in Mark Huxley as well as another Ambassador role writing a series of blogs for Viva Velo. The year so far has also involved many other roles and projects which you can see in a month by month overview of the year so far below.

Fuelled By Science!

January saw me returning to North Carolina once again to visit great friends and ex teammates. Having been based there for much of 2013/2014 it’s always a delight to return and this year it saw me laying down the foundations for the season ahead.


February saw me back in Belgium and continuing preparations for the season ahead. Having been based so much in Belgium over the years, this local knowledge was put to good use with Merlin Cycles in helping them to make (and featuring in) a couple of promotional videos. These videos can be seen here:

Made in Belgium - Merlin Nitro SL 
Made in Belgium 2 -  

And action!

This was just the start of a relationship, as just a few months later Merlin Cycles kindly sponsored me with a Merlin Nitro SL to use for the remainder of the season. 

Merlin Nitro SL!

March also saw that local knowledge being put to good use with some guided rides around the classic roads and for full effect at classics time of year.
Live Belgium!

March and April also saw me get underway with racing once again. With the uncertainty throughout the winter and a long season ahead this really was about continuing to lay the foundations for the months to come.

In Bruges!

Having featured in a promotional video for Velusso at the end of last year, May saw me return to Mallorca with the guys again. Always a pleasure to meet and ride with people, pass on knowledge and share stories. It was an absolute pleasure to be in the company of Matt Prior and all for the week!

Top company in Mallorca!

With some racing sandwiched in between, June then saw me on the road once again with Polocini. This time it was a road trip to Italy where guests were able to ride the famous climbs of the Stelvio, Gavia and Mortirolo (amongst others). With most of the week based in Bormio, Livigno was also taken in as was Lake Como and the Madonna del Ghisallo for a fantastic week on the road with yet again a great group of people!

Passo Dello Stelvio!

Once back it was a little more racing before a weeks break with my girlfriend for my birthday in July. A relaxing week soaking up some Vit D sunshine by the Med, keeping fresh and ready for the second half of the season to come. We still managed to make a tv appearance as little did we know we was on the first flight back into Tabarka.

Holiday mode!

In the latter part of July and now into August the second half of the season got truly underway. Already with a string of nice performances over the last weeks, with the body in good shape and so much racing to come, it’s hopefully shaping up for a good last couple of months of the season. And with thoughts still on trying to open doors for 2018, then hopefully it's a great time to be racing hard at the front of the peloton. As always i’d be more than happy to hear from you!

All or nothing!

Thank you as ever for the continued support, truly appreciated! Keep following along on here and ofcourse on social media streams, until next time!

Strike a Pose!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016, that's a wrap!

With 2016 nearing it's end and the last posting on here back in May, I thought it was time for an update to round off the year. 

And action, pre stage 1 Amgen Tour of California.

That blog posting came just before the Amgen Tour of California and what a privilege it was to do America’s Greatest Race and one of the biggest races in the world. My race began in San Diego with a km 0 breakaway day which can be seen here and continued riding for my team to the races end in the state capital of Sacramento. An amazing race to be part of and courtesy of ATOC and Microsoft Band I was one of the riders to be tracked throughout the race. This can also be viewed here as well as an interview with Frankie Andreu reviewing the data from that Stage 1 breakaway day
 Day out front in San Diego.

Present in California. 

 TV time in America's Greatest Race.

Once back from ATOC the season continued and included a solo breakaway and claiming the King of the Mountains classification at GP Wales, the Team Classification with a superb 2nd overall for Scott Davies at the Tour de Alsace, amongst others. 
TV time in Wales.

I was back in Belgium for the last months of the season, always a special place to race. Aggressive racing as always and the performances continued throughout this period with results that included 3rd GP Lucien Van Impe Erpe-Mere, 6th Memorial Briek Schotte Desselgem and 12th Izegem Koers. 

Volle gas in Flanders.

Podium time with the Naesen brothers.

After two years in these colours a big thank you goes to Sir Bradley Wiggins for the opportunity. It's been a privilege working with and representing such a legend and sponsors and something i'm truly grateful for.  

Dubai and working with a legend.

Post season has been particularly busy as I continue to look to secure a new team for 2017. Post season has also seen a Flanders-Roubaix-Ventoux-Valkenburg-Flanders road trip with Polocini as well as a trip to Mallorca and filming with Velusso.

Road tripping with Polocini. 

On set with Velusso. 

As I write this however my situation for 2017 is indeed still very unclear, any suggestions i'd be happy to hear from you. The last 2 years with Team Wiggins has continued to show my all round professionalism, in my performances and devotion to my team and sponsors, on and off the bike, as has been the case throughout my career. It's amazing to see the level of support i'm getting and I thank you all. Thanks Cycling Weekly for reporting on this too And ofcourse a huge thank you to my family, girlfriend and friends for the continued support throughout the year as always!

Many thanks.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and see you in 2017. Until next time!

2016, that's a wrap!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rolling with 2016.

Home training.

With the 2016 season well underway and having not posted an update on here since last November (apologies) I thought to keep this update more of a brief review of where the bike has taken me in these last 6 months.

Hanging out in Croatia.

It wasn’t long after that last blog post back in November and I was heading stateside. The trip to North Carolina provided an ideal transition into winter training, whilst getting to catch up with great friends and experience at first hand the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. 

Thanksgiving in the USA!

The festive season was ofcourse spent at home with family, but it wasn’t long into the new year before I was back in the sky again. Early January saw a 2 week team training camp hosted by the Cambrils Park Sport Village in Tarragona, the Catalan region of Spain, an ideal location to continue laying the foundations for the 2016 season ahead.

Tarragona training camp.

Whilst on camp it became clear that I would be starting my season with the Dubai Tour. A week after returning I was UAE bound to get the season underway and what a location to start the 2016 season it was!

Kicking off the season in Dubai. 

Next it was back to Belgium and neighboring countries to kick off my 2016 European campaign. GP Lillers (France) in early March followed by Wanzeel Koerse Wanzele-Lede (Belgium), Dorpenomloop Rucphen (Holland) and rounded off with a nice breakaway in the Handzame Classic (Belgium).

Breaking away in Belgium.

Some racing in the UK followed including the first national series race of the season, the Chorley GP (another breakaway) and most recently a call up to Le Tour De Yorkshire. Sandwiched between these races was the Tour of Croatia, a first visit there and another good 6 days of racing. In between racing I've been keeping busy with Polocini, Yellow Jersey Cycles and Kinetic Velo, riding, chatting, advising and sharing stories from experiences on and off the bike. 

Breaking away in the UK.

Its full circle for this 6 months as I head stateside again later this week for my first Amgen Tour of California. A race i've been wanting to do for a long time, i'm happy to say that in the last days its finally worked out that I will indeed be on that start line in 2016. As always keep following for updates on Instagram (@dfpatten) and Twitter (@dfpatten) and ofcourse on here in the future.

California here we come.

Until next time!
Keep following!

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!