"On the Rivet" is a quick-fire Q&A that will feature an eclectic mix of personalities we think have made a significant contribution to cycling and cyclists world-wide; each shares an insight and passion for cycling. First up is Chris Boardman MBE.
One of the greatest cyclists that Britain has ever produced, Chris Boardman became a household name when he won the individual pursuit Gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. His palmarès also includes numerous World Championship titles and World records against the clock and he wore the coveted Tour de France maillot jaune on three separate occasions. A gifted time trialist, he retired from the sport in 2000, though in the same year he beat the UCI hour record that had been held by Eddy Merckx since 1972.
Chris Boardman is married with six children and still lives in Hoylake on the Wirral where he was born in 1968. In retirement, Chris has stayed very much within the cycling world, most notably taking on roles within the British cycling team and co-founding Boardman Bikes, which have received rave reviews for their quality and affordability. He is also often on our TV screens, bringing his knowledge to bear on all the major cycling events.
- What was your first bike?
A blue Raleigh Chipper
- Who or what was your inspiration to pursue a professional cycling career?
I didn't want to turn professional, I just got to a point where the only way to go forward was by doing so.
- Which individual, from the entire history of road cycling, do you most admire and why?
I was fascinated by some individuals such as Miguel Indurain but I never really had heroes
- Which contemporary professional cyclist do you most respect?
Jens Voigt for his attitude to life in general, his ability to treat the hardest day in the grimmest weather as fun challenge and his work ethic which is still an example to us all.
- What was your most memorable cycling moment?
I have three: winning Olympic Gold in Barcelona, winning the prologue in my first Tour and the hour record in 96, that last was physically the best I ever was.
- And/or your worst?
My hardest day, so probably my worst, was being dropped after 5km on the 226km stage to Pamplona in the 1996 Tour de France. I finished 106th and 45 minutes down.
- Outside of the three Grand Tours, which is the one road race (stage or day) you would most like to have won?
- Not including your bike, what do you consider the most essential piece of kit you possess as a cyclist?
- What single nugget of advice would you give to someone new to road cycling?
Learn to ruthlessly find the learning in every experience you have, good or bad and work out what you need to do as a result. With this philosophy, no experience is wasted and you will get the most out of yourself.
- Did you (or do you) listen to any music when warming up, and if so, which artist/song and why?
- Did you have any bizarre pre-race rituals or superstitions?
Other than getting there early and making sure my kit was laid out, I knew how long it would take me to get to the start...etc, no
- How do you relax and completely switch off from cycling?
Reading - complete fiction. Usually good science fiction (Ian M Banks type stuff).
- Which race fans made you laugh the most or infuriated you the most?
Dutch Corner on Alp D Huez is always good for a laugh, I hate people waving flags so close to riders wheels on the big climbs.
- If you had not pursued a career in cycling, what would you be doing right now?
I could easily have gone several ways: a Marine Biologist, Cabinet Maker, Psychologist or a writer. Actually, none have been ruled out yet!
- What do you consider your greatest achievement outside the sport of cycling?
Still being happily married after 24 years . . . although the oak cabinet I made for the boot room is pretty good...
- If I was to place a £1000 bet on Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish winning the Tour de France maillot jaune and the maillot vert respectively this year, would you think me foolish or wise?
I think you’d struggle to get someone to take your bet, I wouldn't!
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Click here to see the other "on the Rivet" Q&As.