From teenagers to world-beaters: 15 tips for success from Pidcock, Wright and Geoghegan Hart’s former coach

We spoke to Stuart Blunt to learn about his methods and how he builds cycling champions

Stuart Blunt giving coaching advice to a Team GB rider inside Manchester Velodrome
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

If there is one man more responsible than any other for Britain’s ascendance from near-irrelevance to leading powerhouse on cycling’s world stage, that man is Stuart Blunt. From a background in cyclo-cross racing – he competed at 10 World Championships in the 1990s and early 2000s – Blunt fell almost by accident into coaching with British Cycling in 2003. He worked in the national governing body’s talent programme until, seven years ago, he was promoted to lead the junior men’s Academy Programme, coaching the nation’s best male riders aged 16 to 18.

In his two decades coaching GB riders, the 49-year-old has worked with scores of talented riders, many of whom now have illustrious careers. Among the biggest stars from the Blunt stable are Tao Geoghegan Hart, Fred Wright, Tom Pidcock, Ethan and Leo Hayter, and Ineos’s new signing Josh Tarling – all of whom credit their success, at least in part, to what they learnt from the coach they remember fondly from their junior days. We sat down, connected by video call, with the man from Surrey to get inside his mind, learnt about his methods, and of course to ask the million-pound question: how do you build a cycling champion?

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and feature writing across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in a number of places, but mostly in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.

He lives in Valencia, Spain.