Sean Williams - Rider and Racer
I started training in 1992. A few months later I lined up in a field of 250 riders at a Mountain Bike race in Dorset. Sat right at the back, not knowing what to expect I raced off, saddle too low, overdressed and totally clueless. I finished 5oth and I was hooked, Since that day I have never looked back and cycling is as big a part of my life now as it has ever been.
My mission is to have fun and enjoy riding a bike
My goal is keep the wheels turning
My vision is to see everyone ride a bike
My Disciplines - 25 Years of Racing
Triathlon and Duathlon now form a large part of what I do. Not only cycling, I now share my training time with running and swimming. Duathlon is my strongest discipline, but the Tri is improving. As a cyclist I am able to regain lost time in the water. My run gets me even more time back, and once I nail the swim, triathlon will become another sporting discipline to strive for.
I raced my first Cyclocross race in 1998 and was hooked immediately, drawn into to the speed and skill such a discipline demands, The shorter, faster riding suited me more than Mountain bike racing and I soon found that I was racing at the front. The skills I learned in MTB translated well, and my ability to win became more of a reality than a dream. I still race cross to this day and it remains my most loved discipline.
The Time Trial is a race against the clock and a race against yourself. It's the one discipline a bike rider really gets to know their limits. The test is an art form that requires constant practice and dedication. It also makes for great training in multisport disciplines, and my many years racing the TT has proved a real advantage in my new found aspirations to perform in Duathlon and Triathlon.
In hindsight, It was always going to be hard to top that and deep down I knew it. That didn't stop me travelling up and down the country, racing at some amazing locations in the National series and more local SAMS events throughout the 90's. I moved into the Expert Category and eventually into Master when I turned 30 and gained some wins along the way and a lot of podiums. By the end of the 90's though I was wanting something different. I struggled with the 2 hour plus races and found my skill lie in the shorter races. Time Trialling on the road and Cyclocross had gradually started to take over and MTB racing became more about fun. I race MTB occasionally now and have competed in two of the last three Island Games, in Mountain Biking for Team IOW. I will also be riding the MTB events at this years Games in Gotland, Sweden, where I will probably be the oldest one in the field at neatly 47!...haha
So a new era of racing started and continued, every summer for nearly 15 years non-stop. I've raced hundreds of Time Trials home and abroad and really dialled in my ability to ride a smooth Time Trial and make big improvements in mainland events between 2007 and 2011. While not my strongest discipline (there's too much of a mountain biker in me) I have gained a hell of a lot from this cycling discipline, physically and technically. It serves me well in multisport racing too, and allows me to gain back time lost in the first leg of Duathlon and Triathlon.
I gained a lot form my early years in cyclocross. The skills required in this highly technical sport don't come easy and can only, really be gained through hard racing. It's not just about the fitness. It's also a mindset, it's knowing your equipment, your bike set-up and most of all your competition. Racing the Wessex league for 15 years against the same guys week in week out all winter immerses you into a cyclocross bubble that is hard to pop, and contained in that bubble was all I needed to excel. In 2011, 13 years after I started cross I won the South of England Championships as a Veteran. In 2010/11 and 2011/12 I won the Wessex League overall Veteran league. 2010 saw me finish 8th overall in the National Trophy against the best Veteran riders in the country, and the year after I finished 10th in the National Championships in Ipswich.
Not that I'm counting down the years, but a new focus of Cyclocross 50+ racing in 2020 will likely see a bit of a comeback. I have a few years to prepare.
In 2016 I decided to try and qualify for the GB Age Group team at the World Duathlon Championships in Spain and to qualify I had to first get a result at the National Duathlon Championships in Windsor. I finished 5th in my age group at Windsor, qualified then travelled to Spain where I finished 8th in the world from 45 finishers, and 4th Brit. The race consisted of a 10k run, 25mile bike finishing with a 5k run. I completed the course in 2h12mins.
This year I will be delving into Olympic Distance Triathlon as I take on the Triathlon in the Island Games (as well ads the Mountain Biking and Time Trial). This will consist of a 1500m Sea swim and I am under no illusion it will be easy, but I am looking forward to the challenge. Whatever happens in Gotland it will help me prepare for the Worlds qualifier at Arundel where I aim to attempt to qualify for the World Age Group Tri Champs in Rotterdam in September.
Out and About
You'll probably spot me out on the bike either training or racing. I am currently racing the SpyVelo CX Cup races and local Tris and Duathlons. I also run in many of the running events including park run occasionally. You might even spot me drowning in the pool or being hammered by the waves in my wetsuit at Colwell, Totland and Yaverland.