HIGH5 Stories: James Claydon

While sport brings us all plenty of #HIGH5moments, we know that the journey to get there can be challenging, but that’s what makes it great, right?!

In the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing real people’s stories behind their #HIGH5moment – the highs, the lows, the little things that make that HIGH5 worth it. Here’s James’ story of how he went from injury to securing first place! And, as a coeliac and type 1 diabetic, overcoming nutritional challenges so he could fuel his way to the finish line!

James Claydon

James Claydon HIGH5 Moment

My HIGH5 Moment:

A #HIGH5moment for me was my last road race of the year last year, I needed 7th to go up a category, and I did it powered with HIGH5! 👌

The story behind my HIGH5 moment:

My name is James, I’m 24 and I have been cycling for 17 years. And, I have been a Type 1 Diabetic and Coeliac for 22 years. I race competitively on the road, track and MTB for Bill Nickson RT.

My HIGH5 moment was getting my first category licence in my 2017 road season. However, 2017 had its highs and lows. Early in the season I had been selected to attend the all diabetic cycling professional squad, Team Novo Nordisk talent ID camp in the USA. This was an amazing opportunity to learn more about cycling and racing with diabetes.

Sadly, six weeks before the camp I came down heavily in a road race. On a fast downhill section a rider in front touched wheels leaving me with nowhere to go. The 35 MPH crash resulted in a snapped frame, mashed helmet and folded wheels as well as damage to my shoulder. Fortunately no broken bones but a pulled ligament forcing the collar bone in and a winged scapular meant that I needed six weeks to heal – about the time I should have been in the USA.

The next four weeks I belonged to the indoor turbo trainer, physio and gym and eventually I went from an immobilised arm to back racing. My reward was one week riding in Atlanta, USA with the best diabetic medical professionals and type 1 professional cyclists in the world! Skills sessions, three training days, yoga, power tests and medical meetings gave me information of immeasurable valuable for the rest of my season!

“Personally the biggest challenge was nutrition, as a diabetic and coeliac, I needed the calories to recover and get through the mountains.”

In September I had been invited to a training charity event riding a challenging route from Geneva to Nimes, 570 miles and over 50000ft of climbing over a week in the most iconic landscape in cycling.

Personally the biggest challenge was nutrition, as a diabetic I needed the calories to recover and get through the mountains, and as a coeliac in a land of bread, pasta and shops with very limited opening hours, this was a big challenge for me! Fortunately I packed well and was more than prepared.

This challenge was a brilliant boost and left me ready for the two remaining races: Bole Hill and End of Season Ormskirk, a win or a result in both would secure a category one. At Bole Hill I was able to attack on the second to last climb. I got across to a breakaway of seven and from that selection I made fourth, meaning I needed a minimum of seventh in Ormskirk.

The final race in Ormskirk was suited to my style: wet roads, twisty corners and flat. The race split in the first few laps, we formed a front group of about 15 riders. The group was too big and would have left a lot to think about in the closing stages. Four of us attacked again on the winding roads, our small breakaway group of four worked in sync gaining two minutes on the chase group and 4-5 minutes on the peloton. Without disaster, fourth was in the bag and I started to consider that I  could do better than that…

The final mile saw attack after attack as the four of us tried to distance each other from the rest. 

Swapping wheels to reduce the energy needed to keep up, I saved my energy for the final sprint. 200 meters the sprint opened up and slotted into the slip stream, 100 meters clicked up the gears, big kick, head down round the rider I had elected to lead me out, went clear, cross the line, hands in the air – first place and first category licence secured!! This truly was my #HIGH5moment!

Thank you for sharing your story with us James!

Keep checking in with us on our blog to hear more inspiring HIGH5 Stories. Got your own sporting story to share? Use the hashtag #HIGH5fuelled and tag us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Are you a coeliac?

We do not use any gluten containing ingredients in:

HIGH5 Zero

We take great care to keep HIGH5 products free of unnecessary ingredients and allergens. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid all allergens.

If you are allergic to certain ingredients then please check the ingredients list on the product pages. Any allergens are highlighted in bold.

Are HIGH5 products suitable for Diabetics (Type 1 and 2)?

Unfortunately we cannot provide a definite answer on this as this is a medical condition and you should consult your doctor about it. If you are diabetic and trying HIGH5 products for the first time then we recommend you do so in a controlled environment and with medical supervision.