Procycling - - Prologue -

This year Joe made big leaps for­ward. It showed at the Giro; he was in most of the moun­tain stage breaks and came close to win­ning one of them.

He's been a com­plex project. The chal­lenge has been to get him to ride well at pro level. While he won the Baby Giro, the thing about U23 rac­ing is that on the lat parts you don’t have the sus­tained speeds of 55kph-plus that you get in the WorldTour. Mak­ing Joe able to han­dle WorldTour races has been the task. He’s in­cred­i­bly gifted aer­o­bi­cally (if there was a World Up­hill 100km TT Cham­pi­onship, he’d win) but he also has huge weak spots. Mus­cu­larly he just isn’t very strong, and his aero­dy­nam­ics are bad. That’s not poor po­si­tion, or Joe’s fault, it’s just the way he’s built. He’s tall and has wide hips and shoul­ders, so he’s like a gi­ant ra­di­a­tor in the wind.

Last Oc­to­ber we said let’s for­get about be­ing a climber and fo­cus on sur­viv­ing in the pelo­ton. Joe hadn’t been in any breaks and that’s be­cause the breaks go in the irst hour. You have to be fast to make the break and he wasn't. Un­til the end of Jan­uary, he was train­ing like Chris Hoy, do­ing sprints and weights, rarely rid­ing over two hours. From Fe­bru­ary we did more tra­di­tional train­ing – long rides, some alti­tude and re­stric­tive diet. He hit the Giro just right but it was a com­plex recipe.

For next year, the top goal is to win a Giro stage. We’re not sure about GC – time tri­alling is hard for him, un­less it’s an up­hill test. I think his ap­ti­tude is for 200km moun­tain stages with ive passes.

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