How does it make you feel being referred to as an Olympic and World cycling champion?
Very proud, it makes me think of when I began cycling and the unknown journey I wanted to embark on, there have been a lot of experiences along the way.
What further ambitions do you have for the near and far future?
Continuing in cycling I would like to help my younger teammates in the Vision 1 Racing Team because I can pass on my knowledge and experiences to them, then into the future when I stop racing I have some ideas but no definite plans for what I will do after cycling.
What would you consider the proudest moment of your career?
There have been a lot, I think the World Road Race was incredible because it capped a fantastic season in 2008 to do the World – Olympic ‘Double’ and I achieved something no other cyclist has been able to achieve before in Road Racing.
Have you got an idol? If so, who is it and why?
I do not have a idol as such, but I take a lot of inspiration from many different people, my first inspiration was Robert Millar, the King of the Mountains at the Tour de France and because of him I wanted to be good at climbing!!
Do you have an intensive training schedule? Can you describe it?
I train every day, and ride up to 4 hours to prepare for the racing, sometimes there is a lot of intensity and I am really pushing my physical and mental limit in training.
What gives you motivation? Do you ever struggle to find it?
I’m personally very motivated and I enjoy the feeling of winning so it helps to visualise races when I am out training to stay motivated.
What advice would you offer to anybody wanting to get more involved in the world of cycling?
If they are just beginning, I would suggest keeping your options open to all aspects of cycling, this could be mixing mountain biking and road riding, or it could mean doing some touring trips as well as one day rides or commuting. Regarding racing, I would suggest finding a club with a good variety of training rides and groups where you can ride with people who are already racing as this will help you develop and learn quickly.
For you, what is the most satisfying part of being a champion?
Seeing the shiny eyes when people share their feelings or emotions relating to one of my races, that shows how sport can touch and reach out to people in a unique way and is priceless.