A MINUTE WITH... SIMON GERRANS
The talented Aussie roadman Simon Gerrans is a former winner of the Tour Down Under. After spending three seasons at Ag2r he has switched to another French team, Crédit Agricole, for 2008.
How many times have you been to Britain?
A few times. I rode the Archer Grand Prix, which was probably the most frightening race I’ve done in my life. I was in London with the Tour last summer but I’ve also popped over from France for a couple of short holidays.
How do you like the place?
During the season it’s good to get away and speak a little English. I really enjoy coming over, but I don’t think I could live in London.
Know anything about the British PM?
Nothing. You’ve got a new bloke this year haven’t you? I couldn’t even tell you his name. I know Blair was the last dude.
What world issues concern you most?
I think the whole global warming and carbon footprint thing is coming to everyone’s attention now. That’s a bit concerning.
Do you worry about your carbon footprint?
Well, I ride a bike, pretty much all day every day, so I don’t think I leave too great a carbon footprint on the world.
How often do you fly between Europe and Australia?
Just once a year — each way — and I plant a tree at each end.
Do you really?
No. But I’d say you should.
Where’s your favourite ride?
Down in the south of France where I’m based. I’ve got some awesome loops that go from the coast up to the foothills of the Alps.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen from your bike?
You always have a laugh on the Tour de France, when someone tries to take on the bunch on a motorbike or a four wheeler. They speed alongside looking at the race and not watching where they’re going. This year we saw some dude hit a ditch and go straight over the handlebars to land on his backside.
What are your other interests?
I used to do motocross and I cycled as rehabilitation from an injury. I’m still pretty passionate about motorbikes.
Did ex-pro Phil Anderson help you?
Yeah, we were near neighbours where I grew up and he used to come round to dinner. He lent me a bike to get started and helped coach me from day one.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a cyclist?
Growing up, no matter what I did, I was always looking to compete. Prior to hurting my knee on the motorbike, I was into snowboarding, swimming and running.
A minute with: Richard Meadows
A minute with: The Athertons
A minute with: Jonny McEvoy
A minute with: Mark McNally
A minute with: Eamonn Deane
A minute with: Peter Kennaugh
A minute with: Ben Instone
A minute with: David Clarke
A minute with: Tom Barras
A minute with: Greg Roche