SKYPE: Andy Layhe - Bike Pure info at bikepure.org

Jack Anderson (Budget Fork Lifts) and Peter Richards (Teco Training)

16
Aug

The relationship between rider and coach is often one that rarely grabs the headlines. Behind the majority of successful athletes is a coach or mentor who more than often provides that extra ingredient to get the very best from a rider’s potential. We caught up with long standing Bike Pure advocate and friend Peter Richards of Teco Training who coaches some of Australia’s best young talent on their road to a career in the sport. Peter gives us an insight into leading rider Jack Anderson and the transition made from racing in Europe to Australia.

“After 3 years in Europe riding with Magnus Backstedt’s Sprocket Pro Cycling and the Endura Cycling Team Jack Anderson found himself in a situation he wasn’t accustomed to.

The 2012 season had not gone exactly to plan with a mid season injury halting Jack’s progress in May and June. Jack had some good form and unfortunately the injury took a lot longer to clear up than we first thought. He visited several doctors and physios but the only remedy was rest and after this period the form was not quite there. Then Endura and Nett App merged and this left Jack without a team for 2013. Jack and I have always had more than a coach and rider relationship, I work hard to secure rides for all of the riders I am coaching and I feel if a coach really has faith in their athletes it’s something they should do. I think that coaching a rider is more than simply giving them a plan, it has to involve a whole spectrum of education, support and direction.

Jack decided to head back to his native Australia and for the first time in a very long time we had a problem, no team. Jack was worried about the future and he went away and to rest for a few weeks. When we met he told me that he wanted to stay in Australia and that he wanted to ride in the Australian Subaru National Road Series and win events. The motivation level had risen dramatically and all we needed now was a team. We contacted a number of teams and Jack was offered a ride at the Budget Forklifts Team. He had ridden for this team before and they knew his ability. It’s a nice outfit with good support and a solid group of riders who get along really well, for a rider like Jack that’s important. Some riders thrive on increasing their power thresholds, some on winning and some on being happy, Jack is definitely the latter.

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We now had one of three things in place, a team, all we needed now was form and results.

The European racing at Continental level is very tough, some say it’s tougher than the higher levels as riders try to move up to Pro Continental and World Tour teams. The Europe Tour is made up of smaller stage races and road races with distances of 160km or more on most days. Some of the one day races are over 200km long and as a domestique Jack had certain responsibilities and winning wasn’t one of them.

So the question was how do we change a European pro domestique rider into an Australian Subaru National Road Series winner?

I had definite and proven data from the previous years and this was invaluable from the NRS and I analysed this and came up with some assumptions and from these data assumptions I decided to plan the whole season on a new regime.

Jack with his long time coach and mentor Peter Richards (Teco Training)

Jack with his long time coach and mentor Peter Richards (Teco Training)

The majority of the NRS racing in Australia is short, some stages are only 35km long and the longest about 150km. The build up to the 2013 Australian National Road Championships in Ballarat was pretty relaxed. We did the normal strength and speed blocks and threw in some motor pacing, simply because its good for confidence not because I believe it is a magic wand to make you win, if it was and it had magical powers surely we would motor pace a lot more?

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour was a moved to early January and throughout this race Jack performed well and most of all looked very motivated for the season. His results were promising and I hadn’t heard the word tired mentioned once and for me this is the word I am always waiting to hear.

At the Nationals Jack was good, he performed well in the TT with 8th and gave his best in a very controlled race in the road race. It was then time for a break and review of where we were heading and now that Jack was working full time it was chance to show his face at work and enjoy being back in his home town of Brisbane.
The files and data I had gathered clearly showed that his form was a little away, but rising and now was the time to really alter the training. We drastically cut the kilometre count per week and per day and the full time work was a great tool for me as it allowed Jack to rest a lot more and ride less. Time management became paramount, not something that a European Pro worries too much about when training starts after lunch and finishes with an hour in a café.

The intensity was good and the time on the road was less and as we headed to Canberra for the Oceania Championships I knew that not only did the TT course not really suit Jack but that his power profile in the areas we had targeted was rising significantly.

The Oceania’s TT panned out as I thought, but the data from that race reinforced my earlier thoughts that Jack was no longer the domestique, nor the TT rider he was at 20 years of age, he had developed in to a possible winner. I knew that if Jack could get in an early break, he had the ability to do very well. He did ride extremely well in the very early break and in a brutal race on a demanding course he took the bronze medal behind Cam Meyer and Damian Howson. Jack’s power profile was now completely different to anything we had seen before. After the Canberra event it was back to work and rest for Jack so that we could prepare for the first NRS race of the season, the Woodside Tour De Perth.

We continued to monitor the power profiles constantly and focus on two definite areas where we decided NRS races could be won. The Queensland Teams Race Series started in this period and the racing was perfect for us to trial the data and the results in racing situation. The power files were really encouraging I was becoming more assured that the transformation had now taken place. As Perth approached there was no taper.
I travelled to Perth with a huge amount of confidence, the first stage was on Rottnest Island and the course was made for a win for Jack.

On the day before the first stage a training mishap introduced Jack to the Perth asphalt, luckily with no serious damage.

On the start line I saw a confident, motivated rider who was fresh and had a new arsenal of weapons to unleash on the 80km stage. The break developed and as I stood at the side of the road reading messages from a French DS unhappy with one of my other riders communication skills, I watched calmly as the new Jack, the much improved with added “kepow”, won stage 1 of the NRS for 2013. The Budget Forklifts staff asked immediately if he could win the TT on the following day and I calculated he would lose 1 minute 30 seconds to Joe Cooper, not something teams want to hear, but data is pretty reliable and it had been so far. Joe Cooper won by 1 minute 12 seconds and Jack went on to finish 5th in GC.

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This season has been a fantastic opportunity to develop a rider to win races and recently Jack won the tour of Gippsland GC and he sits in first place in The Queensland Teams Race Series
Over the past few years I have lived virtually every minute of Jack’s cycling career. The ups and downs, the crashes and clashes, winning feelings and the losing disappointments, the numerous late night Skype calls with sore throats and impending doom, along with the nerves of end of season contract negotiations.

Like most young cyclists the glass is either half empty or someone stole the glass, these young men are permanently fixed to a roller coaster, it’s been a rather scary ride at times to say the least, but an enjoyable one none the less. This season has been very rewarding for us both and it’s really cemented the relationship we have, I think we are a good team.

We worked with a set and realistic goal and it worked well, it’s always important to train for the races you are actually going to compete in, not those that you would like to be in, train smart and rest even smarter. And so to the end of season madness, a break then, we start again, me and the new Jack.”

Peter Richards

Follow Jack’s progress on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackoando
Budget Forklifts: http://www.teambudgetforklifts.com
Twitter: @Budgetforklifts

Peter Richards – Teco Training – https://twitter.com/tecotraining

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