Jon Gildea - September/October 2015

Posted on Thursday 8th of October 2015.

Back on track

I finally shook the virus that was taking the edge off me just in time to get a week long family holiday/ training in Tenerife.  It was a fantastic place to get some good base miles in climbing up Mount Tidy which has a 20m 2200 feet climb whilst also spending some quality time with my very supportive wife and kids.


I came back from the break with 3 weeks until the final World Cup race of the season in South Africa. I was able, with the help of my coach, to put some real quality structured training in which helped get me quickly back up to full fitness for the trip.  The training involved lots of longer paced efforts on my time trial bike and also getting back in the gym working on structural integrity. I relished the chance to get back to doing some hard work on the bike again after such a long layoff with a virus.

The World Cup was based on Pietermaritzburg which is a beautifully scenic place. I was lucky that the team selected included my best mates on the squad, including SportsGrub riders Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby, who managed to win their first world cup on the tandem. Also, Dave Smith MBE who is an unbelievable guy with an incredible story Find out more on

My preparation for the event went well and although the travelling took a lot out of me I could tell the morning of the time trial that I was feeling strong. I finished in 5th place 1min 19 seconds down on the world champion which is a gap that isn’t bad over 15 miles and 33 minutes. I put out the biggest power that I have done over that distance 369 watts which is a huge improvement since Italy and Switzerland, meaning I finished 5th again in the road race which was another really positive result. I can see the gap beginning to close between me and the best in the world.  


We got back from South Africa and I had just less than 2 weeks until the track nationals at the Manchester Velodrome.  I had a quick bike fit on my new bike and a couple of track sessions before hitting the boards again for the first race since January. 

I was really happy to get a new personal best (PB) in the Pursuit with a time of 4m 44 seconds which was a 3 second improvement on January.  I was also happy to retain my title of National Champion of the mixed C1 to 5 paracycling category.

The highlight of the weekend was having my dad watch me.  He was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour while I was in South Africa which was confirmed terminal just a few days before the track nationals.  As you can imagine this was a massive blow to all of us and I had to hold back the tears when I was looking up at him in the stands after the race.  I gave my Dad my gold medal to take into Christies with him as a lucky charm as he starts treatment to try and get him into remission.



The week after the National Track Champs was the National Time Trial Championships which I won by a huge margin. I set off hard on the 22 mile course and managed to keep the harsh pace up until the end. Thinking of my Dad and what he is going through gave me extra strength when it got really painful. I eventually won with a 4 minute margin over 2nd place which was a great confidence boost. This time I put out the same power as in South Africa, but for 52 minutes.   Another massive gain towards where I need to be and more positive news for my family.


My next block of training will be track focused training towards the international C1 race in Manchester, 13 to 15 of November. I’m looking forward to getting some valuable track time in between now and then.  

Less than a year to go now until Rio and I’m glad to say that I am on track to get to the level I need to.  My dad’s illness and the terminal diagnosis has made me more determined than ever to get to Rio and medal. Still lots of hard work to do between now and then, but I’m well up for the challenge!

Thanks to Owl and Openwork for the support for 2015 and for keeping up to date with my progress along the way!

Training Tip

Good nutrition is vital to fuel your body effectively and to help with recovery. Hydration is also key, I don’t go anywhere without a bottle of water in hand.