Whiston-born Olympian Lucy Martin reveals her love of chocolate, horse riding and life in Girona racing and socialising with the Estado de Mexico-Faren team

I do a lot of riding with Loren Rowney [cyclist for Specialized-Lululemon]. She’s really into her food and cooking, so she’s always telling me about these new recipes and trying things out. I don’t necessarily make anything; I just taste all of her food.

My weakness is definitely chocolate. The good thing about Spain, compared to in England when I go around the supermarkets and there are just rows and rows of chocolate, is there is not as much stuff.

In Girona, I hang out with people — the other cycling girls here — socialise and go to the beach when I have time off. I really like horse riding but I’ve not managed to go in Spain yet. I’m not sure that [would be] the best thing to do actually.

Last time I went horse riding, I couldn’t walk for days [afterwards]. It’s using different muscles and I’ve not done it for ages. When I jumped on a horse, for the next two days it was awful. I felt like I’d done a gym session. I’ve avoided that this season.

I did horse riding for a few years. I started when I was probably 13, until I started cycling, which was when I was 15, so not long but I absolutely love it. That’s my next thing I’d want to do.

I go back to England once or twice a year. Since this time last year, I’ve probably been home twice. I get my family to come to Girona instead. I like England but I hate training there because of the weather. I generally go in the off-season, which is the worst time to go.

Actually, when I went back for the women’s Tour of Britain, that was huge. It was really nice to be able to do a race where everybody speaks English and have the food that I’m used to, and TV programmes and everything. I did get a bit homesick when I left then. I was home the week before and then I did the Tour of Britain, so I was in England for two weeks, which is the most I’ve been there for ages.

I’ve got a life outside of cycling. There are a lot of people I know in Girona — cyclists and non-cyclists. We’ve got a ‘The O.C group’ that Dan Jones [videographer for Orica-GreenEdge] started. We get together and do different things, generally watch movies and talk rubbish, all the time. It’s a nice little community.

I’ve been in a different team every single year with different kinds of riders. When I was with Garmin, it was a really mixed international team. This year, it’s mainly Italians. Each team has done everything a lot different, so every year for me so far has been a new experience with completely new management. That keeps it interesting and varied, and I get motivation that way, from training and racing with new team-mates.