FEATURE: Spindata’s most improved rider of 2021

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Most improved rider of 2021 according to national ranking system Spindata was Devon teenager James Pearcy, who stepped up 2325 places over the course of the year.

The 17-year-old from Yelverton improved his 10-mile personal best time by almost four minutes, clocking 20-42 in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines CA 10 in June which was 3-57 better than his previous best of 2020.

With 11 open time trial performances to his name in 2021, Pearcy puts his improvements down to improved kit with a time trial specific machine helping him reap rewards.

Choosing to ride local events across the South West District, Pearcy secured several top ten performances last season including sixth at the North Devon Wheelers sporting 22, seventh at the Tavistock Wheelers 10 in June, and eighth in the Tavistock Wheelers 10 in September.

“I was only able to compete in a few time trials in 2020 due to the Covid lockdown,” he explained. “I really enjoyed these so I was keen to upgrade from a road bike to a time trial bike.”

Pearcy found a good time trial bike with the help of local bike fitter of friend Mike Taylor at Bridgtown Cycles, who also offered guidance and help with his position as well as an aero helmet and other new kit.

A change of clubs of 2021 and the support of more experienced time trial riders saw Pearcy improve, while regular work on his pacing and positioning and increased competition reaped rewards with better results.

“The local TT scene has been very welcoming to me and the other juniors in the South West,” added Pearcy.

“Since the end of 2020 I have been coached by Mark Dolan at Epic Coaching, with advice on diet and strength training as well.

“I am well supported by Mid Devon CC who run a weekly fast-paced road ride, and I also meet up with friends on Zwift. I am also part of the race team and we regularly road race together.”

With his new found zest for time trialling and the advantage of good kit, what targets does Pearcy have for 2022?

“My main aim is to do a sub 20-minute 10-mile ride in the South West, although I may travel to a flatter course to see how much difference it makes.

“I would also like a good placing in the National TT Championships, especially as the 25 is local. I also want to place better in the National Junior Road Races.”

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