Friday, 26 September 2014

Hanging Up My Wheels...

Hi everyone,

I hope everybody has been having a great year.

I would like to let you know that I have decided to move on from racing full time and pursue new challenges in life. I thought it was the right time to do a blog and also to thank the people who have helped and supported me through my years of racing on the road and mountain biking.

Apart from a winter update, I haven't updated my blog page this year. To be honest, I didn't have anything good to say about myself as I had a terrible start of the year with a knee injury which ruined my rest of the season.

Beaumont GP

I was forced to take 12 weeks off training, through February, March and April as I developed tendonitis in my left knee during my team's training camp in Calpe, Spain. Whenever I pedalled I would get needle like pain behind my left knee cap. I treated and rested it but it was frustratingly slow at going away. It was my first proper injury problem that has happened to me and it was very frustrating for the mind, as I had great form before the camp in January.

When I finally managed to get over it in May, I was shocked at how much power I had lost. My first race back, I could only keep up for 20 miles! I got a bit better but was still pretty rubbish compared to the year before. I gave it my all to train back up for the British road champs at the end of June but I was nowhere near my normal racing self in the races.

With no big goals left in the season, still getting the odd bit of pain in my knee and with my motivation gone, I made the tough decision to stop for the foreseeable future.

Beaumont GP

It hasn't just been my bad luck this year that has made my decision. Over the past seasons, my health, whether it's my hay fever and allergies or throat and chest infections, has impacted on my progress or cut short my peak form times. I've done my best to combat it but it gets very annoying after a while. I also needed to think about my future.

Beaumont GP
I have been a full time biker since I gave up my university course in 2010. At the time, I always said to myself to give it all or nothing till the year I turn 23, to make the most of being young and see where it takes me. I am glad I did it as I have had some great experiences and made great memories. Winning races, living and racing abroad, meeting and riding with some great people and in strong teams.

I have no regrets and I feel I'm more than ready to put my mind into something else. I have currently just started a Strathclyde engineering course which I'm enjoying and I'm working Saturdays in a certain sports superstore. I've been enjoying going back out on my mountain bike two or three times a week during the summer since the weather's been so great!

Kilmacolm Kermesse

I'm planning now and looking forward to doing lots of things that I have held back from while racing. Down the road I might decide to return for fun but nothing as serious.

I want to thank a lot of people who have helped me or supported me during my 10 years racing. I hope I haven't missed anyone out, sorry in advance if I have.

Neil and Lindsay Taylor, the Herbalife LLB squad, Jason Roberts, David Lang,  the Glasgow Wheelers CC, the Glasgow Road Club, Brynley Davies, Mark McKay, Gartzi, Juan Mari, the Barrenetxea family and the Ibaigane Opel team, Brian Smith and Alan Miller for the Braveheart fund and everyone who supports it. Johnny McBain, Gary Hand, and Pedal Power/Endura team, the Glasgow United, Dooley's, the Rockhard MBC, the KTM Road &Trail team and to all my cycling friends I have made over the years. My parents, Liam and Morna, for their long time support (and funding!) of me. And to everyone who has read and found interest in my racing blogs. Thanks again!

I hope to see you in the future!


 Some pics from over the years:

Tour Doonhame KOM

The Ras

British Championships Glasgow

Tour Doonhame

David Cambell RR

Basque Country

Junior Tour Of Wales

Vuelta Bidasoa

Vuelta Bidasoa

Basque Country

Lincoln GP

Arthur Campbell RR

East Yorkshire Classic

Border Trophy

Murcia Spanish Cup

Basque Country

British Mtb XC Champs

Dumfries CX

SXC Laggan

Sunday, 9 February 2014

New Year, New Team

Hi everyone

Here's my winter update.

After a great year experiencing a full season of racing and living in Spain, in 2014 my focus and goals are the races in the rest of Europe and the UK.

My new racing team KTM are based near Manchester. It's a newly formed top British team with lots of experienced riders and younger developing ones. KTM are our bike sponsors and shared backer through British based FLI distribution and is an online KTM bike seller. The team is also supported by Herbalife 24, Datatag, Continental, Kalas and Dulux. More sponsor info on my support page.

The team ethos and aims are to challenge in foreign stage races and classics in Europe which appealed to me as a rider. It has the ambition of being UCI continental. Follow the team on twitter @ktmroadandtrail.

Most of the team lined up in our new race kit, you can find out more about them here. (Photo from KTM Cycling.)
Training over the winter has been great. I have a personal coach for the first time and I have been making the most of the indoor Glasgow Velodrome each week through out the winter. The track sessions and racing there have been hard and fast and I am really enjoying it.

Training round my local roads like up Glen Fruin on the KTM winter bike.
In December, I was at a 10 day training camp in Gerona with the Scotland team. There was a big squad of guys there, a mixture of some of the top road, track and mtb riders from Scotland. We got some solid training hours in and I have found it has been great gaining the endurance from it earlier than I would normally. It's a nice region, Catalonia is, and a good mixture of terrain to train on.

900 metres on the summit of the Rocacorba climb. Steep 13 km climb. Stunning scenery over looking the town of Banyoles. 

The Scotland squad was joined by Garmin's David Millar for most of the camp which was awesome. (Photo by David Brandie)

Me and Gary Hand posing at the end of  our ride, just along the road from our digs. This is the KTM Revelator which we will be racing on.

In mid January for two weeks, I had my own team training camp in Calpe near Benidorm in Spain. It was good to meet all my new team mates and get to know them. A couple I already knew from Herbalife LLB and Endura development team a couple of years ago.

On the first week, we put in plenty of hours each day in with specific team efforts and also individual stuff. Unfortunately mid way through the camp I developed a knee cap injury. I then had to limit myself on the bike for the remaining days as I was agony pedalling. This was frustrating but I have good strength and fitness in me anyway.

Some of the team riding out of the coastal town of Denia on the flatter Costa Blanca roads.. (Photo by David Clarke)  

Getting ready to do some through and off efforts at Xabia. (Photo by Rob Adlard)

(Photo by David Clarke)

The Commonwealth Games RR in Glasgow is being held in August, I am working hard to earn my selection to race for Scotland. It would awesome to help Scotland win a medal in front of the big crowds in my home city.

My race calendar planning is still on going but so far it looking strong with some stage races in Austria, France and Ireland to look forward to so far.

The team kit and bikes look and feel brilliant. All the team are keen and looking strong and I am sure we will all have a great season racing.

Thanks for reading


Follow my racing on twitter @robbiehassan

Calpe in Costa Blanca
(Photo by David Clarke
Cafe Stop at Guadalest. Really fast and fun descending roads here. (Photo by David Clarke)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Spanish Racing Wrap Up

Hi everyone

That's me back from racing in Spain for this year. It has been a great experience and have really enjoyed the hard racing there.

Attacking in the Oiarzun RR, the World tour San Sebastion Classic uses this climb in the final part of the race.

After my last blog, I had a great final couple of months racing in Spain with my team, Ibaigane Opel.

For most of August I was having two or three hard road races a week which was great for keeping good form. In meant life in Zeanuri flew by and it was my most enjoyable month of racing in Spain.

From July onwards, I was amazed at the difference a few weeks made as I was climbing and beating most of the strongest riders I have been racing against over the season and also getting into the crucial moves of the races. I was regularly in the top tens and came very close to the win many times.
In the race long break in the Lemioz RR, really fast climbs.

In particular, two big races I had were the Lenhendakari 3 day Challenge and the Vuelta Valencia which I competed in last season.

The 3 day Challenge consisted of three individual road races around the Basque Country with an overall GC which I found myself fighting it out for. I felt strong and was lying 4th overall by the start of the final day. I came down with a cold and suffered through out the day but I survived and clung on to finish 6th overall.

The Vuelta Valencia was a 4 day Elite International race, with national squads from as far afield as Japan, Israel & Holland, as well as the best Spanish teams. It was an very tough race, average speeds of 27mph, long steep climbs with 17% ramps, rough roads, cross winds and the searing heat made it a wearing down process. I was really happy with my performance as I climbed well on the big mountainous stage 2 and managed to get 2nd overall GC in the U23 category.

I will go into the story in more detail in a future blog.
On the attack with 15km to go in the Geirnica RR, held on with a couple of others until  the Argentine team pulled us back with 1km and half to the line.

Sprint finish in the Escalante Road race in the region of Cantabria.

I want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement this year including my team, Ibaigane Opel. They have been very welcoming to me the past two years I have raced with them and the managers have been very kind and supportive as well. I would like to thank the Braveheart Fund for their support and to everyone who kindly donates. It has helped a big part to race abroad this season.

I'm glad I spent the year racing in Spain, I have learnt so much on and off the bike by committing myself abroad for the year. Learnt a lot more than I have any other year by far. It has gave me more experience, confidence and drive to give it my all next year.

Thanks for reading my blog this year and see you at the Braveheart ride and dinner if you are there!



More Pictures:

Winning the best team prize in Egiobar, first three across the line.

Large race long break in the Egoibar race, before we hit the last climb of the day.

Waiting at the start line


On the 2nd last climb in the Zegama race, 3rd day of the challenge, suffering with the cold but hung on for 6th overall GC.
The village of Zeanuri, at the foot of Mountains, where I lived for most of the season. Friendly community.

Local historic church, just up the hill

Team ride the day before the first stage of the Tour of Valencia

The first stage of the Vuelta Valencia started in the famous Valencia Moto GP racing circuit.

The team, the manager of the team Gartzi (left) and the president Juan Mari (right).

Blog also of the Braveheart Fund Website: