Tuesday 22 November 2011

Will Stephenson Looks to the Future

After progressing from a Youth rider to 1st Cat in just one season, Will Stephenson took the opportunity to assess his current condition, to plan the winter training programme. Will is already getting the "miles in" and is a regular with the Bear Cross group on Sunday mornings. The hills of Dorset in the winter can test the legs but Will is a strong climber and just gets on with the hard work.
Coach Alan McRae said "The Power Ramp Test confirmed where the results this season came from in terms of excellent top end power and power to weight data. The most important knowledge gain however came from the Body Composition and Sub Maximal Tests which highlighted some opportunities needing specific development. For Will to fullfill his true potential and meet his long term goals it was vital to put the foot on the ball for a minute and check all the basics are in place. We have a follow up test planned prior to the start of the season so we can monitor progress in the highlighted areas".

"Will is riding for a "Primera" team next season, he feels that he needs to ride in a "team" which is something the Arrow are unable to offer at this time. His 2012 targets are the National Junior Road Series, Road and Track Championships. However it is his longer term aims as a Senior on the road that are shaping his winter programme. I wanted to investigate some particular areas of Will's physiology and, after carrying out some research, selected Dr Gary Palmer who runs his Sportstest programme from Le Beau Velo in London. Here a whole range of bespoke services are offered which are not cheap but I believe are some of the very best on offer in the country. Gary's background in exercise physiology and knowledge gained from hundreds of tests is invaluable when interpreting the data".

Stephenson will be riding for the soon to be launched, Primera-Specialized Team. Its a logical step for the talented youngster but McRae is understandably protective of the rider he has coached since a juvenile."My hope is to keep a hugely talented athlete on track, it is now down to Will to deliver". The reality is, Stephenson could not find the "team dynamic" he needs to learn his trade with any of the local clubs.The Primera team will consist of only 4 riders, so Stephenson will still be somewhat isolated in some of the Junior races. The full race programme has yet to be decided but Will will get the opportunity to be team leader in the tougher,hilly races.

"The winter is going ok at the moment" Stephenson told "E D", he went on "the test outlined a lot of things which I need to work on for next year. Hopefully over the winter I will be able to improve them. Areas of things I thought were my strengths have been highlighted as areas which need a lot of work. At first this was a little demoralising but like Alan said if I got the results I did last year, if I can improve on my weaknesses further, then next year should be even better. I am looking forward to next year loads,riding for Primera Specialized, except I'm conscious that I need enough time over the winter to prepare for it".

The learning curve will undoubtedly get steeper for Stephenson but he has good support, a coach who has invested in him and natural talent. He could go far!

*Team Primera-Specialized will be launched soon. The 4 man team,Jason Eastwood,Toby Neave,Ian Legg and Will Stephenson will be targeting mainly races in the South, including the season opener,The Perfs Pedal Race in February!

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