Hometown Sheffield, UK Years Competing 26
Team Santa Cruz Syndicate
Discipline Downhill MTB
Honors 2009 UCI DH World Champion, 3 x World Cup Champ (2002, 2004 & 2006), 9 x British Champ, 2 x European Champ, 17 World Cup wins, 52 World cup podiums, 100 World Cup Races: as of Round #1 2012
How does FOX contribute to your success?
FOX supplies me with the best product and support for me to go and compete against the fastest guys in the World on my bike.
Tell us about your best race or event and how it changed you.
I would say that the World champs win in 2009 was a huge step in my career, as I attempted 17 times before completing that goal. But as for races that changed me it would be my first World cup win in 2008, until then I didn't know I could be the fastest guy in the World.
Tell us about your bike/vehicle setup.
I like my bike to feel really supple in the first few inches of travel, this soaks up the small stuff well, I also like it to ramp up fairly solid as I am a big rider and don't like to bottom out too many times on a rough track.
What else is in your garage?
I have a Quad that I use for uplifts, quite a few mini bikes, a KTM enduro bike, a Beta Trials bike, a W800 road bike and my latest addition is a Piaggio Ape. All fun in their own right.
What's your training regimen?
Gym, ride XC, Road or DH, Run, Circuits then start it all over again!!!
Any major injuries, and how did you recover?
Too many to mention but one of the hardest was a broken Wrist and Ankle at the same time, couldn't use crutches and couldn't wheel myself around, you can only imagine the other stuff I couldn't do!!!!!! I recovered well, I have the right mentality for injuries and also enjoy riding my bike so its easy to get back quick.
What's your typical pre-race/event meal? Guilty pleasure?
Kathy Sessler cooks up a Storm in our World cup kitchens so we are lucky get the best food, Spag Bol, Tuna Salad, Pasta Pesto, are always on the list for Pre race meal. Guilty pleasure is certainly real ale.
How do you determine which races or events to enter each year?
I have been racing World cups for 19 years so that decision is easy for me now!!
What motivated you to get started professionally?
My old Boss when I was training to be a plumber said to me one day "Why don't you go and give this biking thing a go mate" I did and never looked back.
What separates you from other professional athletes?
I can drink more real ale than them.
What would you be doing if you weren't a professional athlete?
Probably still be plumbing, collecting a wage and living for my weekends.
What's the best thing about being a professional athlete?
I think for me the best thing is the discipline needed to succeed, because of my racing goals I have had to adapt the rest of my life and get organized to accomplish those goals.
What other sports are you interested in?
Anything with a motor and 2 wheels and I also like a bit of golf.
Any advice to the readers dreaming to turn pro?
Get out there and enjoy first, don't worry about having the best equipment until you're established. Be strict in your training and you'll get there.
What are your favorite magazines and websites?
Dirt, Vital, MBUK
Favorite movie quote?
"Kick his ass Seabass!!!"
Who is your hero?
I don't really do heros but I do look up to lots of people, Jeremy McGrath is one of those and also the late Jason McRoy was a big inspiration for me.
Are you a Mac or PC? Mac
Top 3 bands Stone Roses, Artic monkeys and the Everly pregnant Brothers
Greatest strength Mind games!!!!
Most frustrating challenge Preparation for each season is frustrating, knowing if you have done enough or if it's the right things.