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Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Jake Folkerd-Hobbs hill climb victory

i started working with Jake, 42, from England back at the tail-end of August. he’d identified this hill climb event that he was pretty soundly beaten in last year as his main aim for 2014.

he wanted the win this time around however. we had about 2 months to get cracking, and so we did, working on Jake’s power base and stamina whilst beginning to also get him ready for the short, sharp effort that the Maldon Hill Climb Championship required.

but crank on we did, punking a little here and there as we went, til the day was upon us. the night before i remember getting the sweaty palms and the tension i get when i have a race coming up, but it’s always worse when a client is racing!

the next day, some hours after the event and after wearing a hole in my carpet, i received a text from Jake.

“i won.”

bad-a-bing. awesome!

well done Jake, you join the illustrious ranks of crankpunk podium snafflers!

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Jake Folkerd-Hobbs in action


The Maldon Hill Climb Championship event was held in Lodge Road, Hazeleigh on Sunday 2nd November 2014.

$11,000 collected for family of John Njoroge Muya

quick note this one, just to say that more than $11,000 US has been collected in less than a week for the family of John Njoroge Muya, the Kenyan Riders professional cyclist who passed at the recent Tour of Matabungkay.

a quite incredible response, leaving the fund just $9,000 away from the target of $20,000.

the fund will not only be used to help Njoroge’s wife, one year old son and nephews and nieces, all who depended on his income, but also to set up a foundation in Njoroge’s name that will help kids in Kenya to study and to also be coached by the Kenyan Riders.

to see more about the fund, please click on the image below.


Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Tom Little on top of the podium!

Tom Little came on board the good ship Crank Punk Coaching Systems only on August 18th this year, after a season of racing MTB and road in which he felt his stamina and ability to hang in whilst the changes in speed went down were lacking.

we got to work on amending that, something i thought would take a while before it started to show results but Tom, 35, originally from England and now living in Dubai, decided he was having none of that, and went and won his first MTB XC race (the Turn & Burn Dubai XC TT) of the season last Saturday – by over a minute from the 2nd placed rider!

definitely a fast-responder. he worked hard on the longer to mid-range interval work I had him on, combined with long, focused tempo rides and the results are in, and it’s looking like it could be a successful season.

forza Tom, nice work!

Tom Little cracking the course at the Turn & Burn MTB XC TT

Tom Little cracking the course at the Turn & Burn MTB XC TT

 Tom rides for the CycleHub/Specialized Dubai team

cranpunking at the Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge ’14


hot diggety. back in the most amazing place i’ve ever had the privilege to go to. Mongolia. this place gets inside you. it’s the world before we came along and f*&%ed it all up. no fences, no walls, just kilometer after kilometer of nothing and everything. 78 other folk and myself will be lining up in two days time to go ride 900km in 7 days alongside wild horses, past grazing camels and under the watchful eyes of eagles.

three Crank Punk Coaching clients are here too, Chris Hodgson, Erin Colshan and Michael Morrell, so CPCS will be well represented. another CPCS crankpunker here is Willy Mulonia, the man who put the race together (though he’s not riding unfortunately). as the official coach of the race i’m hoping these guys all come home safe and sound.

my journey so far did not feature getting my junk squeezed at the airport, not a mugging, nor influenza, and not even a bout of food poisoning – all of which i experienced last year.

an excerpt:

it started with a chinese man feeling my penis and ended with a search for drugs through my luggage. in between there was illness, near-hypothermia, food poisoning, a few punches to the face and a death threat, zero romance and a whole lotta pain. what did i take from all this? that i am a navy f*cking seal when it comes to dealing with the blows (my strange) life can land and, also, that i am not alone on this voyage, as i had for so long speculated – i belong to a tribe, and they are out there. i just had to go to one of the most inhospitable places on earth to find them…

the final magazine article version was a tad less personally revealing, and can be found here.

the Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge. this is what the word ‘epic’ was created for…

(check the website for daily updates and videos – i’ll be, blissfully, out of wifi range for the next week so check the site for updates )

HUGE thanks to my sponsors who make all this adventuring malarkey possible: Lapierre, Lezyne, BLKTEC, 720Armour, Gaerne, Extreme Endurance, CCN clothing and Iris Yeh Travel Services. you guys rock.




Horner, Chris Lewis and why Lampre should never have signed the Vuelta winner in the first place

this article originally appeared on The Roar in February, but in light of Horner being pulled from the Vuelta by Lampre (for reasons explained by Gregor Brown here), I think it’s timely to re-post.


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This isn’t a new story. It’s been kicking around now since the end of January.

Yet there’s been very little commentary written on the deal that will see last year’s surprise Vuelta a Espana winner of 2013, Chris Horner, twinkling his little magic toes all over the World Tour again this year.

I haven’t written more than a dozen words on Horner, ever, and I wasn’t going to write anything this time. You may be of the camp that thinks ‘Good on him’ – after all there aren’t many 41-year-olds who’ve won a Grand Tour for the first time in their life.

Well, there has never been another, in fact.

The magnitude of Horner’s feat did not go unnoticed, though the reaction to it was a little less in awe than I’m sure he would have wished.

The cycling forums went mad with all kinds of allegations and suspicions that were largely to be expected.

Horner’s win though came at a point in the history of this sport when older riders were suddenly finding themselves without contracts in greater numbers than ever before.

If you were older and had any kind of suspicion of doping infringements lingering around you, like Luis Leon Sanchez, then boom, you were cut loose and cast into the wilderness.

Horner was rumoured to be going to Christina Watches for some time until the news that he was being welcomed on to Lampre-Merida, a move that some in the UCI would have been less than thrilled by.

See, there is something about Horner that just doesn’t smell right. I’m not saying anything new there, but it’s still worth looking over the reasons why for a moment.

First of all, a little known rider (outside of the USA) named Matt DiCanio went on record as far back as 2005 to say that another rider, Phil Zajicek, was offered help to purchase EPO and HGH when both rode for the American professional team Saturn.

DiCanio has also gone on record to say that Horner once said many years ago “It isn’t cheating if everyone is doing it.”

Secondly, Horner’s blood values from the 2013 Vuelta “fit with the patterns that anti-doping authorities look for as a sign of cheating.” Not my words, those of Michael Puchowicz in Outside Magazine.

The article states that Hornet’s hemoglobin concentration is simply too high to be natural. The other marker is the lowered reticulocyte count which is another sign of the use of EPO.

Puchowicz’s observations were seen by Shane Stokes of VeloNation, who passed them on to anti-doping authority Robin Parisotto, who works with the Athlete Passport Management Unit in Lausanne, France.

“It is not 100 percent clear that there is anything untoward happening,” Parisotto told Velonation, “[but] there’s certainly unusual patterns.”

He compares Horner’s bio passport to other profiles he has seen working as an anti-doping authority and concludes that “…most of those that come across to us are suspicious. Most are there for a reason. What I have seen with this particular profile is similar to those other profiles.”

Why didn’t the UCI investigate this? No idea.

Is any of this enough reason to suspend Horner? My gut says no, but if an anti-doping authority is stating that Horner’s values are suspicious why isn’t the UCI investigating?

One person who is probably asking himself these very questions and who has far more of a divested interest in all this than just about anyone else is another American rider – or should I say ex-rider – Craig Lewis.

Some of you may remember the now 29-year-old rider, who has just announced his retirement.

At 19, riding in the Tour de Georgia, Lewis was hit by a car and suffered two punctured lungs, internal bleeding and several fractures all over his body, almost passing away as a result.

Months of recovery followed before he returned to the pro ranks with Slipstream before moving on to HTC, where he won the team time trial at the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Days before the end of that race he broke a femur, forcing him out and eventually on to the Pro Continental Champion Systems team, which folded just last year.

Then he got a berth on the Lampre-Merida team. Well, he would have had a place there, had the management not decided to go and sign a 41-year-old American called Chris Horner.

The same guy who says he saw no doping on Bruyneel’s teams, the same guy who defended Armstrong until it became impossible even for his greatest apologists to do so, the same guy about whom all those rumours have been flying around.

“I thought we had already hit rock bottom, but it keeps going down,” Lewis said in an interview recently with Cyclingnews. “The sport just doesn’t market itself, and it needs some big changes – a lot has to happen for the sport to be appealing for companies to sponsor. It’s not sustainable the way it is.”

With riders like Horner still finding places to ply their trade, you’d have to agree with Lewis.

imitation, they say…

is nothing short of laziness.

or, wait some folk say… is the sincerest form of flattery. or something like that. well, check this out – CRANKPUMP!

it’ll be a huge success. cos everyone has shimano hollowtech cranks. and no one has pockets. brilliant!

click here to see the CRANKPUMP! video and to hear the voiceover from a woman who was kept in a darkened room for the past 11 years.

and what a smooth-line looking bike…




yes, for 50 quid you can become a TEST-PILOT! and not an idiot who sent in 50 quid to test something that costs 89p to make!

yes, for 50 quid you can become a TEST-PILOT! and not an idiot who sent in 50 quid to test something that costs 89p to make!


lovely line drawings abound!

lovely line drawings abound!

crankpunk is on holiday

yes,  a real holiday, racing the Craft TransAlp. 7 days of hell. 586km and 19,200m of climbing.

5th day in and i am a mess of cuts, bruises, and a taint that ’tain’t no more.

hot damn, these hills are vicious. and beautiful.

full report to come soon. man, am i getting an education from these Euros…






Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Rafael’s Testimonial

Since I started coaching, have to say I’ve been very lucky to be working with such a great bunch of athletes. It’s been a blast, seriously.

One guy who came to me with a list of weaknesses twice as long as his list of strengths was Rafael Leyson Amorganda from the Philippines. Within a few months though Rafael’s gone from mid-pack fodder to the top of the podium, winning both stages and the GC at the recent Tour of Subic, for his age group.

His testimonial was not in fact written by me but it is so glowing that I’m just gonna add the link here to it.

Cheers Rafa!

Crank on!

Rafael in the Tour of Subic, putting down the hammer!

Rafael in the Tour of Subic, putting down the hammer!

CyclingNews! please grow some testicles!

thankfully, cyclingnews continues to churn out bland, boring and altogether snoozy nooz stories so at least i have something to help put me into a deep 8-hour coma of a night.

where would i be without you, cyclingnews? probably knee-deep in empty boxes of Ambien…

predictable, lumbering, devoid of any real insight (Robert Millar aside) or even the faintest whiff of journalistic flair it may be, cyclingnews, i have to admit, is not all that bad at doing what it says on the box, which is delivering news. about cycling. so, whatever.

yet where it succeeds quite spectacularly is in playing safe. like, super safe. as in, keeping advertisers happy and making sure that the boat doesn’t even get wet, never mind gets rocked. that kind of safe.

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crankpunk wins inaugural 2014 Tour de Tayabas!


going into the first ever edition of the  3 day Tour de Tayabas (May 30th-June 1st) hosted by the rather swish Gracelands Estates Country Club in the Quezon Province of the Philippines, i had extremely low expectations. normally i’m cocky/confident/stupid enough to think i can grab a stage win at the least but this time i was looking to just get through safe and sound and for my face not to explode.

i might have to explain that last comment. on the evening of the 14th of May i felt what i thought to be a small, deep pimple growing just under the skin on my right cheek. thinking nothing of it i climbed into bed early, intending to get up early for a long training ride.

by 2am i still couldn’t get to sleep. the pimple felt bigger. on a trip to the toilet i glanced in the mirror and got a little bit of a shock – the right side of my face was visibly swollen and even though it wasn’t painful i immediately went into Man Panic Mode.

allergic reaction? i hadn’t eaten anything dodgy nor been stung by anything or taken any medication. there was this soft sponginess to the swelling that wasn’t making me feel any better about the fact that i was losing my chiseled jawline! what was worse was that it seemed to be starting over on the left side of my face too now.



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