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VeloChampion prizewinner Robert Booth talks about his winning ride

Preparation went as well as it could have done, considering I’d been limited to three days to train at the end of each week for few months due to working away. I’d made loads of gains on a cycling holiday to France a couple of months’ previously, only to lose a lot of them due to the aforementioned work! In the short term though, I’d managed to fuel well and rest properly in the days prior, so I felt good when it came to the morning of the ride.

Most things went right for me on the day, I’d really been trying to dial-in my nutrition for longer rides in the lead up, so my stomach and legs were prepared. I brought the proper equipment too – this was second nature after the long days in the Alps.

The only real thing that went wrong on the day was that I’d achieved the necessary elevation gain far sooner than Strava/Komoot had estimated, so instead of pushing through and doing many more KMs than I needed to, I tried to re-route on the fly. This wasn’t a good idea! The next few hours consisted of bad roads and unwanted cycle paths. I managed to re-join my original route for the last couple of hours though, which put my mind at ease!

I made a version of a route I found on Strava that was basically a tour around the edges of Greater Manchester. I obviously changed the start point to go past my house, but decided to include some of the hills around west Yorkshire that I’d starred on some of my work trips in the weeks leading up to it.

I’m excited to come back and do the proper ride again in May. There’s nothing better than being able to ride a sportive with loads of other people there to enjoy riding on the hills in the sun that a lot of us have been practicing on in much drearier conditions!

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