The Node4 Pro Cycling Team Blog

Manager’s thoughts on Tour de Beauce

For Bill Nickson, managing the Node4 Giordana Racing Subaru in the 756 km Tour de Beauce in Quebec will be the chance to sleep in the same bed for a week! Speaking before the team flew out the former Milk Race winner and Tour de France rider said:’ I have been criss crossing the country helping with the Tour Series, before that I was in Ireland for the Ras. One of the few things I am sure of about the race, apart from it being tough, is that we stay in the same hotel for the week, so that will be good. I shall be studying the profile properly when I get over there. I have spoken to Matt Cronshaw who won a stage in the Tour de Beauce a year or so ago and he says it is a good race, but with some pretty hilly stages to deal with. Some of the team have only just done the Ras so they should benefit from a week of hard racing. Unfortunately we will start at a disadvantage because we are only taking five riders instead of the ten we are allowed. But when there is only a small pool to draw on with the Tour Series on, which with its high profile is a priority for the team, that is just something we cannot help. With the riders we have got going over to ride for Node4 I am sure we can give a good account of ourselves and come out with something.’

Team: Matt Higgins, Dave Clarke, James Moss, Keiran Frend and Philip Lavery.


Malcom Elliott’s thoughts on the win in Torquay

© Larry Hickmott, VeloUK

© Larry Hickmott, VeloUK

It was a relieved and delighted Node4 team manager Malcolm Elliott who travelled to Colchester for the next round today after Marcin Bialoblocki’s win broke the team’s duck in the Halfords Tour Series.

‘Brilliant, great result. I know there was a crash on the last corner that ensured Marcin took the win but we were due a bit of luck. When Rico’s chain broke early on, I thought oh no not again! Marcin came into the race with good form from the Ras and he was active throughout the race but I was concerned about him up against Chris Opie and Scott Thwaites who are excellent sprinters.

‘But going into that final corner with about 250 metres to go, Chris dived up the inside had to brake to avoid falling and came across Scott and brought him down. Marcin had just laid off them both and had a clear run for the line and finished on his own with the bunch breathing down his neck.’

The team for Colchester is: Marcin, Mike Northey, Rico Rogers, Matt Cronshaw and Matt Higgins.


Kieran Frend blog

© Courtesy of Andy Whitehouse

In good form and very disappointed to miss out on a place in the Node4 team for the Ras, particularly after taking second place in the in the Shay Elliott Memorial on Irish roads, Kieran Frend channelled his natural frustration into winning a tough West Midlands Division Road Race Championships.

‘At the moment I am really motivated. I have been pushing for selection for some bigger races with the team,’ he said. ‘I am really enjoying being in the team, but there is a lot of competition for places which on one hand is good but it makes it hard. It shows the team has signed some good riders.

‘I was disappointed I missed the Lincoln Grand Prix and that I wasn’t picked for The Ras but it’s good to get a win and show everyone I’m riding well. “I’ve had Dan Lloyd (the former Garmin Cervelo pro)  helping me with my training and have been working hard in-between races, doing a lot of specific work so I’m in good shape.

‘I hoped I had done enough to get a ride in the Ras, although I accept they can only take five riders. Now I am hoping to get picked for the Tour de Beuce in Canada as I hear it a tough hilly event which should suit me. I spent last year in the Ardeche region of France which had some really big climbs, not the kind you find over here.’


The Season So Far

Node4 Giordana Racing Subaru… The Season So Far… View of Team Manager Malcolm Elliott

To be honest it still feels quite early in the season to be making a real assessment most of our bigger targets are still to come. But so far we have gone very good in some of the smaller races scoring some wins and giving some of the shall we say lesser known riders the chance to show their form. This is good because they are all competing for places in the big races coming up. In the Premier Calendars so far it has been a story of a couple of bad luck episodes but in the Tour of the Reservoirs we were up there at the finish with Pete Williams. France went really well in the Tour of Loire et Cher we showed a lot of people what weare about. We went there without the other teams knowing much about us. The team’s performance was a perfect way of making them sit up and take notice of Node4. Hopefully the showing of Mike Northey and the rest of the team, in what were atrocious conditions will get us a few more invitations. In the past we have not done that much internationally… we want to change that. We will be knocking on doors to get more European racing and then go and make the most of it. Now the go into the real business end of the season… from now on the races come thick and fast.


Mike Northey expecting a visitor

Node4 Kiwi Mike Northey has May 28th  ringed on his mental calendar. It has nothing to do with a key race for the tall, pencil thin rider…it marks the arrival of  his wife Marina from New Zealand where she has been completing parts of her massage course.

Mike, 25 could have done with her being around for the past couple of weeks  to give his knee some TLC. Thought to be related to the constant rain and cold at the Cicle Classic at Melton it has been very sore and  restricted his training although now improving.

When she arrives, Marina, herself a former professional cyclist will not have too much time to worry about tiredness and jetlag as she will be joining the team as a soigneur, massaging the riders who will by then in the middle of the weekly whirlwind which is the twice weekly Halford Tour Series.

Mike broke off from building a new bike for team mate Pete Williams ready for the Lincoln Grand Prix at Yellow’s headquarters to talk to us. He said:’ It will be really good to have Marina here and will hopefully give my form a boost. It is not great to spend too much time apart.

‘Fortunately despite the fact that I have been travelling around the world racing since we met, we have been lucky, when I was racing in Belgium Marina was there too, racing. We then both raced in the United States. She retired from racing and we were apart for five months. Last year when I raced in America she joined me and we lived in Boulder, Colorado for four months.

‘Not sure how she will like the weather. I am not used to it being so cold and wet for such long periods. But as a cyclist you just have to deal with it. This time last year I was riding the Tour of Gila in New Mexico, that race is on at the moment and the temperatures are around 30 degrees.

‘Quite a difference from what we have been racing in. But that is how it goeswe have been lucky, when I was racing in Belgium Marina was there too racing. We then both raced in the United States. She retired from racing and we were apart for five months. Last year when I raced in America she joined me and we stayed in Boulder, Colorado for four months.

‘Not sure how she will like the weather. I am not used to it being so cold and wet for such long periods. But as a cyclist you just have to deal with it. This time last year I was riding the Tour of Gila in New Mexico, that race is on at the moment and the temperatures are around 30 degrees.

‘Quite a difference from what we have been racing in. But that is how it goes. I am enjoying the training around here in Stone, all quiet roads and the landscape is quite similar to back home around Auckland.

‘It will all be pretty full on when Marina arrives we will be right into the Tour Series with races twice a week and she will be helping out the team. I have ridden a series of criteriums in America for 10 days solid so I know what to expect. I just want to ride races that is what it is all about.

‘Having a wife as a cyclist means she understands all this. I have got to build a bike for her to ride while she is here. Due to the Tour Series I will miss the Ras in Ireland which is a shame because Phil (team boss Phil Griffiths) tells me they all race hard over there, no one is in it make up the numbers.

‘I may be doing the Tour du Beuce in Canada after the Tour Series, that is also a tough race, one I have done before. It will mean being away from Marina once again, but I just want to race while I am young. I have mates back home who are settled down with mortgages but would love to be doing what I do.

‘So I will enjoy it for as long as I can. Then settle down and get a proper job I am considering applying for the Fire Service when I finish racing. They seem to be doing different stuff all the time, I am not sure I could settle to something like an office job… but that is a few years away yet.’


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