Phone: 07949 587 540

Who are we?

James Roberts

  • British Cycling qualified Level 3 Core
  • British Cycling Level 3 Track coach (candidate)
  • British Cycling Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Cycling
  • British Cycling North West and Yorks track CCT lead coach (2016/2017)
  • Assistant coach on British Cycling Youth Apprentice Squad (2016/2017)
  • NW Talent and Performance Coaches Forum (Greater Manchester Sports Partnership)
  • Understanding Nutrition and Health (2017)
  • Chimp Management; understand the teenage brain, improving athlete performance through mental skills, communication
  • North Cheshire Clarion Go Ride Coach (2014 – 2017)
  • First Aid qualified
  • Full enhanced DBS verified

How long have you been cycling and how did you get into the sport?

As a young teen, I took part in a Merseyside Regional Cycling Proficiency competition, run through the scouts, and came first in skills and technical ability, riding a Raleigh Grifter. This was all the justification I needed to start cycling as previously I had not been allowed on the road by my parents. My dad had been a long distance cyclist as a lad, and one of our neighbours was a keen cyclist so I joined Birkenhead Victoria Cycling Club with him. The club introduced me to club rides and long distances with my first club run being 120 miles aged 11 (over the Horseshoe Pass – a memory of pain and pleasure that still lives on today). Despite being absolutely smashed, I got the bug and there was no looking back.

I continued to ride with club, and my school, and my PE teacher (also a keen cyclist) supported me as I developed and represented the school regionally and nationally at ESCA events, including Time Trials, road races and hill climbs. I raced many regional events (in an era where being lapped by Chris Boardman was the norm) and enjoyed riding my bike on the club runs.

My personal strengths on the bike were definitely sprinting, I had a strong sprint and was club roller sprint champion and never lost a club run sprint finish to the Eureka café!

What other sports have you done?

When I was 11, my Aunt bought a ski shop and said if you want any presents, you’d better learn to ski. I started skiing and from then, went on school trips and joined the Oval ski club on the Wirral. My love of skiing turned into a passion and I became a qualified ski instructor in 2004 and started to work in the industry in 2005. I competed internationally in ski competitions representing GB at Masters Level in France, Italy and the Czech Republic with a bronze medal in Giant slalom in Italy. Skiing is still a passion of mine – must be the need for speed.

How did you get into track cycling?

After a gap of around 15 years, I bought a pair of trousers size 38 and took a hard look in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I joined a newly formed local club, North Cheshire Clarion, and attended a track taster session at Manchester Velodrome. I left the session feeling exhilarated and hooked. I quickly went through the accreditation process and by my third visit had bought my first track bike.
On the track, I focused on sprint events and competitions, with successes in a number of events: National Clarion Sprint champion: 2015 and 2016, LVRC National sprint champ 2015, Riding in the World Masters 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the team sprint, match sprint and time trial. I also competed in the National Masters track championships from 2013 – 16.

Why did you feel the need to challenge yourself as a cyclist and work with a personal coach?

I wanted to improve my training focus with specific goals. I struggled alone to keep focus on what needed doing when, and couldn’t encourage myself. Without coaching I ran the risk of over training / under-training and not achieving any goals.
Taking on a personal coach encouraged me when moral was low (work / life balance commitments and pressure), restructured training on certain days if I was unable to commit, and ensured I was working to an annual training plan to target my goals for the season.

When did you want to become a coach?

NCC had just started a junior coaching section, and out of the 4 coaches, 3 of them were leaving to go to new jobs and new activities. I stepped in and volunteered, I wanted to give something back to the club, and very quickly found a passion for challenging and inspiring others to achieve their goals. Since then I have been coaching individuals and groups, juniors, vets, track and road athletes, and gaining valuable experience supporting British Cycling Apprentice riders.

A fact no-one knows about you:

Before cycling I had a high level of fitness through competition dancing: modern ballet and disco!

Claire Whitworth

  • Spinning® Instructor Level 1 (2017)
  • British Cycling Ride Leadership award Level 1 (2017)
  • Level 2 Exercise Anatomy and Physiology (2017)
  • Pilates Diploma (in progress)
  • Understanding Nutrition and Health (2017)
  • Chimp Management workshops (in attendance)
  • Discover Coaching - UK Coaching
  • The Health Sciences Academy - Starter Nutrition Course (2017)
  • PGCE Certificate in Education (Secondary French and German)
  • BA (Hons) European Languages and Business
  • First Aid qualified
  • Full enhanced DBS verified
  • Safeguarding for children (2017)

How long have you been cycling?

I have been cycling since I was about 5, and grew up on the back of a tandem with my family. We enjoyed many years of cycle touring throughout the UK and France, meeting new families, cycling with our club and eventually getting my own road bike.

What experiences did you have growing up on the bike?

I loved cycling up hills and when I was 13 was lucky enough to travel to the Pyrenees to watch the TdF and cycled up some of the famous cols (Aubisque, Tormalet) and later on in life, I discover the Alps and loved the challenge of climbing up the infamous Galibier and Izoard and other major climbs (albeit with paniers on….), Age 14 I cycled from lands End to John O Groats with a small group of school children for charity, one of my proudest achievements to date, over 1000 miles in two weeks. We had regular touring and youth hostelling trips during my teens, which all served as training for my racing.

From the age of 12 I started time trialling and then discovered the track and crit racing. It was such fun riding with other kids, mainly lads, and we raced whatever the weather, weekends and evenings, whilst still going out on our Sunday club runs for pleasure and recovery?, which must be why I like café stops and cake so much.

After a very successful few years as a juvenile and junior including being National schoolgirl time trial, crit and track champion, being selected to ride on the National Junior Girls Squad, I chose to concentrate on my education after that, gaining a degree in European Languages and business, and then later on a teaching degree.

I did however, feel the need to try more racing after university so found myself a job in France when I was 22, joined a French racing club and raced for a year in and around Brittany, it was great fun, racing with women and men, culminating in racing in a stage race I had watched when I was a young girl, and finishing in the top 20 which was a dream come true.

Where does cycling fit into your life now?

After a gap of around 15 years from cycling whilst bringing up my young family (now teens), I returned to cycling for pleasure and started touring again about 5 years ago, but realised I needed to be more competitive in my riding, as I felt something was missing. I had always wanted to participate in the World Masters Track Championships whilst being hosted at Manchester but had never been fit enough or had the confidence to participate at such a high level after such a big gap, and having children. I started working with James and over a period of around 8 months we worked on a training plan building on my skills and fitness and more importantly, my confidence, around my busy family and work life. Not only did I compete at World level but I believed I could do it, I rode with confidence and knowing I was just there in the start gate, was something I could not have dreamed of a year earlier. I still love hills and recently climbed some of the Alpine Classics with James (Galibier, Alpe d’Huex, Glandon), and will definitely be going back for more!

Now, working now with JRC and helping others achieve their goals and ambitions is another dream come true. Sharing our knowledge, passion and experience to inspire others is why we created JRC, and we look forward to inspiring many more athletes to ride their bikes, and believe they can do it.

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