A MINUTE WITH: PAUL OLDHAM
What’s behind your winning form at the beginning of this winter’s cross campaign?
It’s off the back of my mountain bike season. I rode the Worlds in September and have just carried over from that. I hadn’t done any cross-specific training.
Is there much difference between cross and mountain bike training?
Not a lot, really. Cross is a bit shorter and faster, so you’ve got to gear your training towards that.
You ride the road as well. Do you have any down time during the year?
I usually have two weeks off in February and that’s about it. I still ride to work, but I don’t do any training — I just spend some quality time with the missus.
You’ve just become a father this year. How has that affected your cycling?
Declan was born in August and was I hoping for a quiet September, but it’s been crazy. Since he was born, I’ve been racing even more than I was before. He’s got us up in the night a couple of times but you don’t need as much sleep as you think — you just get used to it. Obviously I’m a bit more tired and have to gear my training round that, but since becoming a dad, I’ve been going better. We’ll have to have another!
Is that your tip to other cyclists then?
Yeah. Have kids. It’ll make you want to go out and train.
Does Lancashire make for good training territory?
It’s very good. I train with Wilko [Ian Wilkinson] mainly and Richard Kent who works with him. There are a lot of quiet lanes with very little traffic round our way. Off-road, we’ve got the Pennine Bridleway and Gisburn Forest on the doorstep.
Do you subscribe to Wilko’s famous views on nutrition?
I prefer to use Science in Sport products. Actually, he’s just sent me a picture of a custard pie on my phone.
What do you rate as your best result?
Winning the under-23 National Mountain Bike Champs in 1999 and then, as a senior, winning the Trophy recently. That was my first win in a national series, although this year I have also made the podium in the National Points Series on the mountain bike and the National Crit Series at Blackpool.
Do you have a favourite discipline?
When I’m riding the road I like mountain biking better and when I’m riding the mountain bike I prefer the road!
Oldham recently represented Great Britain at the 2008 Cyclo-Cross World Champioships in Italy. Photo: ISPA
What ambitions do you have?
If next year is as good as this year, I’ll be very happy. Working full-time, you’ve got to be realistic.
What is your day job?
I work at Hope Technology — making hubs — so I can’t even get away from bikes at work. It actually works very well because the company also sponsors me and I get to go out to big events and World Cups with them.
What do you do to relax?
I don’t really. When you’re racing away each weekend you’ve always got DIY and gardening to catch up with.
What’s your favourite film?
Dumb and Dumber. It reminds me of myself.