A penchant for medals is the driving force behind Rob Hayles. I first became aware of his talent and pure speed when, in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he walked away with a Bronze medal. Four years later he bettered that with a Silver at Athens. Just a few of his highlights, if we mentioned all his World Championship success we’d be here all day.
So, to find out more about what makes Rob tick, and just hours after doing a four hour training ride with friend and training mate David Millar, he took time out of his training schedule to answer a few questions for RCUK.
But, the reason for interviewing Rob is to give a bit of background to the rider who is about to have his very own RCUK Training Blog. Rob currently runs his own website/blog, but we’ll be bringing you his latest thoughts, observations, rants and training updates on an irregularly updated basis. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted, or simply bookmark this link.
1. Where and how did it all start?
My Dad raced from 1945-56 on the track as a sprinter. He then took over running sessions on a Friday night at Portsmouth track. When I was big enough to get on a track bike I started going. I was 11.
2. List some of your favourite wins/or races?
Paris Roubaix was my favourite road race. It is such a mad event, so far removed from the track. The UK’s Rutland Classic runs along the same format with off road and farm track sections, it’s going to become a real classic that one. But my favourite discipline has got to be the track. Any event realy, although the team pursuit when ridden well is amazing to be part of. Plus on the track I have a nice collection of Commonwealth, World and Olympic medals, plus my two World titles. But my favourite out of all of them has to be the Madison title from LA last year with Mark Cavendish. We had to work so hard for that one. It was perfect!
3. You’ve taken home some Olympic medals to date. It doesn’t get much better than that does it?
Not much. From my sporting life they are very special. To look up from the podium in Athens and see my family in the stand, that I will never forget.
But what definately beats even that was being at the birth of our daughter Maddy back in January. That has turned out to be a very life changing moment indeed!
4. What motivates you to get on your bicycle everyday?
6. You recently welcomed a new addition to your family. Following your successful ride at the Nationals, it doesn’t seem to have slowed you down much? What’s your secret!?
I have a fantastic wife. Vicki was an Olympic swimmer and a Commonwealth silver medalist. So she is very understanding. I think we make a very good team.
7. The British cycling squad looks healthy right now – what’s your opinion on the new talent coming through? Any stand out for you?
This a fantastic era in British cycling. The young guys we have are all worked to bring out their best. But you can see that some are obviously a better talent than others.
Geraint Thomas is an and obvious choice. So too would be Mark Cavendish. To get on a pro team like Telecom is never a gift, that guy (Geraint Thomas) can really race a bike.
8. I’ve read you have an extensive wine collection. Any recommendations for a good bottle of red?
Pretty much any Rioja. I love them. They are much better value than a Bordeaux. At the moment Im drinking a Marques de la Concordia 2002. It’s only £5 from tesco. I love it. But my favourite has to be Chateaux Poujeaux from Moulis in Bourdeaux. I get it when in France. It’s around £30 a bottle for a 1996. I dread to think how much it would cost here in the Uk, if you could find one that is.
9. Finally, any other words or comments on cycling/non-cycling related topics?
Yeh! Whats with this game called football? I know there have been well documented problems surounding cycling. But Fighting on and off the pitch! Match fixing, and agents taking back handers. How does all that add up to the “beatiful game”?
So, now you know which bottle of red to buy for that hot date you’ve got at the weekend, head over to the Rob Hayles Blog and keep track of his progress.