Meet our new coach Simon Beldon, see how he came to be one of Matt's coached riders and now onto being a coach himself for MBPC.
32 years is a long time as a Police officer, especially in the world of murder investigation and Organised crime, where the stakes are high when it comes to risk to the public. As a lead Senior officer managing multiple departments across four Police Forces, hundreds of staff and multi million-pound budgets, my time for racing my bike and training for the events was somewhat limited.
Whilst I had results of note, including team wins in the BBAR and National championships in the long-distance events, my times were not particularly fast at short distances and I always felt there was something missing.
Things changed when I met Matt Bottrill in 2013 at a charity event where I immediately warmed to him and he gave me some advice around improvements. That next year as Matt went full time with his cycling coaching, I decided to change how I used my limited hours by utilising his skills and he fundamentally changed the
way I did things.
After a good winter, it's fair to say that I saw immediate improvements at the beginning of the next season, and from regular top 10 placings I now started to win events, including some against some top riders. I was amazed that this could be done firstly as someone in his late 40`s after years of training, and secondly on the limited time, stresses of life, work and children.
The next four years saw multiple wins across not only time trials, road races and track racing, but more recently I have ventured into cyclocross where I have podiumed in the tough Yorkshire league. My biggest successes were renewing all of my personal bests by some margin, but with my old team we went on to win the National Team Time Trial championships against quality professional opposition.
What Matt taught me over those years was that its not just hard work that gets you where you want to be. That helps of course, but you need consistency, ability over a number of training zones, and you also need to understand where the power goes down. It's not a race to see who puts out the biggest numbers, it’s a race against the clock.
Opening my 2018 season with a win in the Yorkshire Cycling Federation 10
Two years ago, I decided that when I left the Police that I wanted new challenges and began a journey of learning, examinations and presentations to become an accredited coach. Clearly, I am nowhere near the finished article, but my own experiences and failings as a rider over many years competing is helping me to understand what others go through on a daily basis. I apply the principles I have with Matt, but more importantly I ensure my experience as a leader mean I have a good, working relationship with my riders and understand where they are on a daily basis, making changes and being as flexible as possible for the best outcomes for them.
Whilst learning my new trade I have helped to coach friends, one of whom this last few weeks achieved his first ever National medal on the track as a result of our year of coaching and progression. He was delighted, but the result meant more to me than many of my own achievements.
The last 16 months I achieved British Cycling accreditation for road/time trials, but with some progression soon around cyclocross and the track. This has allowed me to carry out a volunteer role as a coach at the Leeds Brownlee Centre, with 50 children attending each week and where I have taken responsibility for the 12-16-year-old boys and girls for coach led racing skills and fitness. I am also lead coach for the newly formed Junior team run by Ilkley cycling club where I am giving one to one advice. One of those riders has already achieved his first ever win in a road race against an adult field after we identified and worked on his weaknesses. All of this has given me a fantastic opportunity and insight into how young athletes can progress.
I am genuinely excited about this next stage of my life, and I hope to give my passion for the sport not only to riders I will coach, but to the next generation of children and young juniors who I hope will go onto successful careers. There is certainly the talent out there!