Tomas Metcalfe means business in Portugal!

    Here is an incredible video about an excellent   coach and friend of mine, Tomas Metcalfe Swift. This beautiful video was shot by my good friend Brian Fortune, (Tomas's cousin) It showcases Tom's new bike touring / coaching business in the algarve.

You can read more of Tomas's interesting articulate ramblings via his blog shown in the link below http://www.veloveritas.co.uk/category/blogs/tomas-swift-metcalf-blog/


Christmas Update / Race plan / Sponsors

A few things happened that made this christmas an incredibly stressful, unusual, but mostly successful week.

Day 1) Job interview, I had focused on looking for a job in the Cycling / Outdoor sports industry for a while, and after a brilliant 2 hour interview, I was told that I had got the position! I'm Absolutely delighted, and excited to be working in a field that's obviously my passion!! And the boss is an excellent guy too!!

However 70km after the interview (I cycled to it) I arrived home to find out my amazing father / No.1 cycling fan, had been rushed to the hospital and was presumed dead or dying!!! (He keeled over at work) This was incredibly stressful to hear, but it turns out, he was alive and well, and had keeled over after a medication mix up. Dad's had more heart attacks than cappuccino's, so anything health related, tends to set the alarm bells off with me / the family..

Day 2) I was out training (on the way to Kerry to visit the 90 year old granny) And I came face to face with absolute death. 2 cars racing side by side up a narrow country road, coming straight at me, speeds at over 100kmph. Divine intervention, call it what ever you like, I'm lucky to be fucking alive.

Day 3) Christmas in the lovely south west of Ireland, amazing views / mountains, great but highly dangerous training roads, and of course the constant pissing of rain!! That's Sneem, Co.Kerry for you!

Anyway's, everyone's alive, no one actually died, I got a job, all is well!!!!

For 2013, I have one massive event organized, its the Iron Bike, which goes across Italian alps for 9 days! Its over 8 hours racing each day, so i'm focused on being in tip top condition Mid July!

Also, I'm happy to say, that Met are supporting me with a range of their amazing helmets, to keep the brains intact on the rough descents! Also, Ill have news on an exciting new bike Sponsor very soon!!! 

Happy christmas everybody, and go ride your bikes!



Winter Update / New Focus

Firstly, I successfully got my Advertising Degree, and since then, I've had to knuckle down and start a job hunt, its not as easy as it sounds but I've been able to train a lot.

For 2013, I'm changing focus, longer, grueling, endurance mountain bike events are to be my main focus. They normally last for about a week, and tend to go across vast mountain ranges with riders sleeping in tents nomadic style. I decided this in June, and since then have been trying to adjust to a longer distance style of racing.

There's bound to be incredible experiences, and of course serious high's and low's. I think i'd that's why they appeal to me. In Ireland, we've only really had one event like this before, a shortened version, everyone who raced it loved it!

One of the events I have in mind (more on this soon) is 9 days long.. 9 days!!! 4000 meters climbing each day, its going to be beyond difficult. Its going to encompass everything I love about mountain bike holidays or Races in the alps, History, Sun, incredible descents, and mountain top war fortresses. Italy is full of these. on the french border, nearly every peak has a one, Amazing!

Here's a picture of Briancon, the town is surrounded by this amazing Vauban fortress from the 1700's.  its an incredible place to ride a mountain bike for over 8 hours.

More on the Races soon.


XC Champs / Road Stage Race!

Since the last update, I’ve had my head down pretty hard, focusing on one of my main objectives of the year, the cross country championships! Its kind of a stressful event, and it takes its toll mentally. However, things were amazing fitness wise in the lead up to the event, I was getting stronger each week, and the figures were showing it! 
Race day came, and I had a perfect start to the race. About midway through the race, I blew up, the engine had broke. In the end, all I could manage was a 6th place, but C’est la vie! 
 Strangely enough, a couple of hours after the event, I suddenly got really ill, This was a close one, as I nearly vomited all over the car on the way home! It seems I must have caught a bug or something. Unlucky, but that’s life! 
After the Nationals, I took a chilled out week, rested, did a load of partying with friends, had a few too many beers, and of course way too many cakes! Very glad to be finished objective No.1
Objective No.2 -  Marathon Championships
As the cross country season winds down the Marathon season starts. These are essentially longer mountain bike races which cover distances up to 100km. They are excellent fun, and much more interesting, as anything can happen! Through hard training I’ve been doing solid 20 hour week blocks of endurance riding to get in shape for these events. I’m certainly clocking up the milage at this stage.
For some excellent training, I competed my in my first ever skinny tire stage race - The Ras Connacht, This was an amazing road stage race which involved 3 races in 2 days. Unluckily, I never got to see Westport and Croagh Patrick, but the rest of the scenery was seriously incredible, bar the torrential rain which followed us for the weekend! 
Stage 1) 95km Road race, 677 Meters climbed
Stage 2) - 9km Time trial 
Stage 3) - 87km,  Luckily, this included a 4 minute climb at the finish. Which allowed me to ride away from the chasing group of riders and finish 10th.
The key to these events, is eating (Lots!), resting and recovery. So during the event, It was really important to take on board plenty of carbs, the best way was through caffeinated energy gels, and a good carb drink, USN Vooma gels / Cytopower HP did the job excellently.  
More importantly, chilling out after each stage is critical, as is taking enough food on board, Its difficult to replenish 4000 burnt calories with pasta, This is why USN Recover XCell drinks pretty much wins. To replenish effectively after each stage, I guzzled down my an XCell shaker or two.
To do well in the Marathon Championships, ill be racing some events back to back to get used to the hard, endurance efforts. Looking forward to the next group of races.
Sun 5th August  - 100km Road race
Sat 18th August -  55km Mountain Bike Marathon 
Sun 26th    (Marathon Champs)         
Also, If anybody is interested in doing an amazing 7 day Mountain bike stage race across Portugal’s sunny Algarve in October, Check this link out. 
My Buddy,a top Portuguese pro cyclist (Tomas Swift-Metcalfe)has set up Swift Momentum Sports, a bike holiday business based in the Algarve. They are looking to get a bunch of riders to this event, under the SMS banner, Ill be joining them. Oh and every level and ability is catered for!
Check out the site - http://www.swiftmomentumsports.com/