Tom Staniford Joins CycleFit
Tom Staniford is 21 years old and currenty studying Law and French Law at the University of Exeter where he has been the recipient of both a Vice Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship and a Sports Scholarship.
Last year Tom rode on the GB Paracycling Talent Team squad- the development squad for both the Academy and Podium Programmes.
This year he will be riding for Cyclefit as the sole Team Cyclefit rider (unless Warrick comes back as a guest?)
Tom is not currently on any or British Cycling's development programmes.
He is however currently UCI-classified for paracycling as category C3, but this is under review.
Tom has a rare genetic condition known as lipodystrophy which affects both his metabolism and storage of subcutaneous fat. This means his fat stores for fuel are always very low. His glycogen stores and utilisation of them for fuel is also reduced as he is Type 2 Diabetic.
Tom's testosterone is also chronically low, and this combined with the diabetes and lipodystrophy has resulted in difficulty to build and maintain muscle.
His wrists are partially fused and flexibility is reduced in every major joint. His ankles have near-total fusion, which renders it impossible to build calf muscles.
The bones in his feet are extensively deformed and fused together. This allied with a lack of fat padding on the soles of his feet means his feet are in a great deal of pain and his power output is massively reduced- something that Cyclefit is working to minimise with custom shoes/footbeds and bike/cleat positioning.
He has moderate hearing loss in both ears.
On the plus side he does have quite nice hair. It goes curly when it gets long!
Tom's season begins on 12th March with an able-bodied National B crit at Ilton, Somerset to test the waters, try the new bike we've given him, and basically monitor the gains he has made with winter training. The backbone of his season is comprised of attending the Rudy Project TT series in various locations nationwide and the National Disability Crit series, also nationwide. The first half of his season aims to peak for the British Universities and Colleges Sport 10 and 25-mile TT Championships on 23rd and 30th April respectively. As an able-bodied rider he aims to finish in the top 25% of riders for both o these events. However if BUCS implement their proposed disability factoring system this will change to aiming for top-10 places in both.
The peak for the second half of his season is focussed in late August/early September where there is the Kent International Paracycling Stage Race over 2 days and the National Disability TT Champs.
His ultimate goal this year, however, is to consistently strongly throughout the year which may help to convince BC selectors he is worthy of a place on the squad attending the Paracycling World Road and TT Champs in Denmark from 9-13 September.
We sponsored Tom because he is good for us. His unique physical challenges push us and Fran and Mick from Balance Physio to find solutions that will make him ride faster.
Plus likes his hair and he makes Phil laugh…