Kelly Cycle Coaching would like to profile Ben Andrews this month. We have been coaching Ben for about 12 months now and he is an enjoyable athlete to coach and who has improved significantly over this period. Ben is very motivated and shows commitment to try to improve in all facets of his cycling.
Ben likes to understand why he is doing various training efforts and this helps with his application to his training. When Ben started in our program he needed to learn how to train. This process called ‘training to train’, was important for Ben to understand and has helped him transition to the next process of ‘training to race’.
Kelly Cycle Coaching recently asked Ben a number of questions about his family and his passion for cycling. Here is what he had to say to us.
Where do you live Ben and how many brothers and sisters do you have?
I live in Heidelberg about 10 blocks from the Kellys, which is great for training rides on the weekend. I have four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. My two brothers are married with I child and engaged. My sisters are enjoying studying and a teacher.
What school do you attend and what Year are you currently completing?
I attend Trinity Grammar School which is located in Kew. I am currently completing year 8, which I am enjoying. Two well known cyclists who attended the school were Phil Anderson and Mitch Docker.
What are your favourite subjects at school?
My favourite subjects are sport because I love being active, Maths because I find it a challenge and something different, and English because over the last week we got to make a movie in groups, about a book we read which was Tomorrow When the War Began.
How long have you been cycling, Ben? Do you enjoy road or track cycling better, and why?
I have been cycling since I was 8 when I got a little cut down 24 inch Hillbrick. I started proper training with the Kellys 1 year ago. I enjoy road and track. What I enjoy about road cycling is getting out in the fresh air and meeting new people. My favorite events on the road are time trialing and hill climbing. What I like about track is being motor paced behind the motorbike as fast as I can go.
Can you tell us when you first became interested in cycling and when you started training? Do your parents also cycle?
I first became interested in cycling about 10 years ago when we went to our first Tour Down Under in Adelaide. I remember seeing Robbie McEwen for the first time. He was at the back of the peleton on the second last lap of the opening crit when he pushed his way through the bunch and won the stage. I also remember seeing Cadel get away in a break-away on one of the hill stages.
I started training properly 1 year ago when I joined the Kellys. I have enjoyed every easy training session since.
My dad started riding about 20 years ago, and my mum started cycling about 15 years ago. They both helped me get into cycling and took me to the Tour Down Under.
We understand you have gone to the Tour Down Under several times. What is your favourite part of these cycling holidays?
My favourite part of the Tour Down Under would have to be seeing all the big cyclists e.g. Cadel Evans, Robby McEwen and Alessandro Ballan who rode last year.
One other thing I love about going to Adelaide is spending time with my family because I don’t get to do that often because my dad is away a lot.
Are there other sports (perhaps through school) or hobbies that you also do?
Some sports I do for Trinity are, water polo, athletics, cross country and basketball. I also love spending time building things, like a wooden train.
How long did you spend doing JDP training with Carnegie Cycling Club? Was this a good opportunity to make other cycling friends? What sort of training did you typically do at JDP?
I spent about 2 years doing JDP. This was very good for me because it was a good way to start getting into training before joining the Kellys. JDP gave me the opportunity to meet lots of kids which I am still friends with now e.g. Drew Morey, Jayden Cooper and David Koroknai.
At JDP the training was based around the track and road seasons as usual. In the track season we would use the Carnegie velodrome to do motor pacing and some races like points and handicap. In the road season we did indoor ergo sessions. This was hard yet fun because you did it with your friends.
What made you decide to join Kelly Cycle Coaching and is the training different to what you used to do? If it is different, could you explain how?
I decided to join Kelly Cycling Coaching because I overheard one of my friends, Drew Morey, talking about it. I was at a point at JDP where I wanted to do something more then just train once a week. I asked Drew about this training before looking on the Kellys web site. Then I had to convince my parents. My dad said I could do Kelly Cycling Coaching if I proved myself. I had to train at least 5 times a week for one month. This was hard for me going from once a week training to nearly every day. But I wanted it really bad so I did it.
There is a big difference between JDP and Kelly Cycling Coaching. JDP training is only once a week and Kelly training is every day. The training is a lot harder. I’m better at cycling now and need to keep pushing myself out.
What are some skills, training ideas, race tactics, etc, you’ve learnt/developed since you’ve started training with Kelly Cycle Coaching?
The first thing I learnt when I joined Kelly Cycling Coaching was that I was learning to train not training to race. I found this very hard to understand at the start but it makes perfect sense now. One of the many race tactics I have learnt was how to come off the rider’s wheel in front of you at the last second. Some skills I have learnt were how to ride in a bunch and how to climb out of the seat properly.
What would be your best result so far this year? How did you feel after this race? Happy or just exhausted?
My best result so far was fourth at in the Australian Hillclimb Championship at Mt Buffalo and 3rd at the Metro’s. I felt happy with myself after the race that all the training I had put in had paid off. I am also very pleased with everyone around me who helped me perform from Bob and Helen, to my mum and dad.
Do you have an international pro cyclist that you look up to, as your hero? If so, who is this person and why do you admire them?
I admire a few pro cyclists, which are Cadel Evans, the Meyer brothers, Jack Bobridge and Luke Durbridge. I admire these cyclists not because they are the best, (which some of them are) but because of their attitude towards life and cycling.
What would be your strengths as a road cyclist?
I think my strength would be hill climbing, because my power watt results are really good.
What are the upcoming races you are training for and do you have some specific goals for this season, Ben?
At the moment I’m training for metros on the track. I would like to ride the pursuit, time trial and scratch race. My goals for the season are to come in the top 10 at Mt Buffalo and try and beat all my friends’ times for the season.