James Oliver

How Njinga helped James qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships


Njinga 10km 2017 Champion: 18 minutes 27 seconds

Power to Weight: Over 4 w/kg

Qualified for back to back UCI Gran Fondo World Championships

Completed Ride London in 4 hours 8 minutes

How Njinga have helped me?

Njinga have helped me through a number of sportives in the three years that I have attended the Lab. The team have shown me how to not only increase my power on the bike but also how to increase my power to weight by being smart about nutrition. The Wattbike classes were instrumental to me finishing the Prudential Ride London in a time of 4:08 and increasing my power to weight to over 4w/kg. I have also done a few training programmes at the lab and couldn’t recommend them enough. Not only is there good group camaraderie but the programmes provide visible training effects to make you into a fitter and ultimately quicker cyclist!

Njinga have helped me qualify for the Gran Fondo Championships for the past two years and I am looking to do the same this year and ride in the Championships at the end of the year. Togo and the team have a wealth of knowledge readily available and are always happy to answer my questions! I feel part of the Njinga family and look forward to what the future holds!


How did the wattbike classes help you prepare for Ride London?

I used the classes to fit in training in between my social life and work. The wattbike classes have helped me to build volume during the week and ensured that I had variety to my training. Some of the classes were focused more on sweet spot, so that I could hold a comfortable power for a sustained period, and also sprints which is key to doing well in an event such as the prudential. The pace is so high from the start that you will be sprinting out of every corner to keep up with the bunch.

How do you feel Njinga helped you qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships?

Njinga has been key to helping me to qualify for the Grand Fondo Championships. I have been able to use the indoor wattbike classes to keep fit during the week and then ride with the collective on the weekends to build volume. The collective has given me confidence to ride within a tight group for a sustained period. The collective rides are a good social experience as well as good training, so you get the best of both worlds! It is important to get in long rides and so the touring rides have definitely helped me to build mental strength for longer rides.


What makes you train at The Lab?

Ensuring that you get both volume and variety is key to performing well at cycling. The Lab has helped me to ensure I get both. Although I would love to be able to ride outside everyday this is rarely a feasible option. Often it is the weather and light being dangerous, but also intensity is key. My only option would be to ride after work and this is when traffic is at its highest. The Lab ensures that I am able to train in a safe environment and I don't have to worry about the weather or the fading light! Not only has the Lab helped me on the bike, but I have met a lot of like minded people and gained a lot of knowledge about what to do off the bike to improve my cycling ability. I would highly recommend Njinga as somewhere to improve your cycling, or as somewhere to free the mind!

What makes you ride outside with the Njinga Collective?

I am now moving into my third year as an Njinga ride captain. The reason that I keep coming back is the family feel of the Collective. You are able to get a good workout with some strong cyclists, but also have a good chat with like minded people. The Collective can be used for various reasons whether you are looking to improve your cycling skills or looking for group rides exploring the south of England. Togo has instilled a high level of safety consciousness into the ride captains so it is always upheld to ensure confidence in every rider. The Collective is always coming up with new ideas and rides, it is something that I would highly recommend and I look forward to the new season!



James' journey with Njinga has included:

  • Regular classes at the Njinga Lab
  • FTP Testing to TrainSmart
  • 8 Week training programme
  • Weekly rideouts with the Njinga Collective as a Njinga Ride Captain


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