GOING for a 4000-meter swim the morning before you race in the national championships isn’t the normal warm up for a time trial rider.

However my fellow para rider did just that this week before lining up against an impressive start list of riders at the British Time Trial championship in Dumfries and Galloway. 

George Peasgood is a triathlete who competes for both British triathlon and the GB para cycling team. 

A world champion in the C4 class in para cycling, he captured both cycling AND triathlon medals in the Tokyo Paralympics.  

The team HUUB rider was one of four paralympic riders racing in the able bodies national championships which saw the dominance of the Hayter brothers in British cycling. 

Ethan Hayter - who rides for team Ineos - took the elite men’s time trial ahead of Dan Bigham whilst his younger brother won the under 23 men’s time trial fresh from winning the Baby Giro which has seen him pave his way towards route towards a world tour team - just like his older brother.  

With names like Alex Dowsett, John Archibald and Owain Doull on the start list it was testament to the work Peasgood puts in on the bike that he got a surprise start after traveling to the event to support his girlfriend. 

Peasgood was joined by William Bjergfelt -another para cyclist who races in the C5 class - and whilst both riders were not challenging the top riders, it was a big step for paralympic sport to have these two athletes on the start list.  

A more familiar name on the women’s elite start list was that of Dame Sarah Storey

Racing for her own race team, Storey racing, she posted an incredible time which was enough for 8th place and only + 1:00.77 off the winner Joscelin Lowden who broke the UCI Hour record in 2021. 

Storey was joined with her fellow team member and a C5 para-athlete Morgan Newberry. 

I suspect most of these para riders will be back in Dumfries and Galloway at next year’s UIC world para cycling championships but for now it is training for this year’s world championships in Canada. 

Seeing these athletes get the opportunity to ride against the best riders in the country is inspiring and motivating.

In a week that has provide challenging for me to even get on the bike after a set back with my own health, it gives me a real boost to see my friends doing what they love. 

As the week came to an end, I managed to overcome what was more a mental hurdle than a physical one when I climbed back onto the bike

Whilst it was only laps of Battersea Park for an hour it was a move in the right direction.  

It was an interesting experience for me as I have always been fairly mentally robust and no matter what I was going through always managed to train.

In fact the last time I rode in Battersea Park was during my Radiotherapy treatment in 2019, but for whatever reason these last few weeks have proved difficult, with my mind seeming more paralysed than my body. 

An Instagram post from former Olympic champion Pete Reed gave me another push in motivation as he continues to push his rehabilitation after the triple Olympic Champion was paralysed from a stroke.  

The power of vicarious experiences should never be taken for granted, and I am sure that it was seeing my friends this week achieving their own goals which gave me the strength to pull my paralysed body from my bed and onto my bike, and the result. 

No medal but an instant boost in my mental health. After what seems like a roller coaster of a few weeks I know I need to get my body onto my bike each day to keep the dark voices of cancer and paralysis out of my mind.