Jon Dibben’s my best mate in cycling. We grew up in the sport together and there’s only a year between us. He’s a nice guy and I’ve lived with him for the last few years and he’s a decent housemate – he’s certainly improved.
I played rugby at school. There wasn’t a football team where I went, so it was all rugby. We were Welsh school champions at U15 level and a good friend of mine, Rhys Patchell, was in that side and he’s just been called up by the Welsh national squad for the autumn internationals. Jamie Roberts went there too.
I’m a big Cardiff Blues fan. I used to have a season ticket and go a lot when I was at home. Being Welsh, it’s always good fun when the Six Nations are on and then living with some of the English lads in the Academy. This year it was good fun being quite smug after Wales’s win!
I’d always enjoyed cycling when I was young and wanted to try something different. I went down to Maindy Stadium track and got started from there. Soon, I progressed onto the velodrome and was eventually picked up by the Olympic Development Programme and then, finally, the Academy itself.
Geraint Thomas is someone I’ve always looked up to. He’s from Cardiff and rode for Maindy Flyers too. I’ve always looked up to G and he’s a class act on the track and on the road.
I always wanted to be a fireman. From an early age I was obsessed with them. We used to live close to a big fire station and I’d sit for hours and watch them go past. When I was three I fell off the back of the sofa while doing it and broke my collarbone.
People that leave doors open in cafes really wind me up. Especially in the winter when you’re sat there in your cycling kit and someone lets a massive draught in. I’ve got quite a few pet hates to be honest – I’m probably quite a grumpy person.
The highlight of my years on the Academy was watching Ali Slater fly over his handlebars after getting his brakes mixed up. He was trying to pull off a big tail whip outside our flat and ended landing in middle of all of us. He was new at the time and trying to show off, but it was probably one of the funniest moments of my life.
I’ve got quite into archery recently. It’s a bit different and quite good fun as a hobby. I reckon I’m pretty good, but Jon will probably disagree.
Drake’s Going Home was the last album I bought. I’m quite a fan. Unfortunately, being so busy on the bike means I haven’t been able to see him live.
I always pin my number on a night before a race. That’s the only superstition I have in cycling. I don’t believe in it too much though- you make your own luck.
This article was first published in the November 21 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!