Up to one in seven cyclists are neurodivergent – including EF boss Vaughters, who considers it a superpower

Every human brain works slightly differently, yet too often we demand bland conformity. Chris Marshall-Bell meets riders unashamed to cherish their uniqueness

Illustration of a cyclist's head with the brain showing - the top of the head removed
(Image credit: Daniel Baines)

This article was originally published in Cycling Weekly's print edition as part of the WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT series tackling taboos and raising awareness of cycling-related health issues.  

Jonathan Vaughters was one of the sport’s best time triallists in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the American was always aware that people perceived him differently. “I think everyone thought I was funny but a little strange,” says the 50-year-old, who is now team manager of EF Education-EasyPost. “Four guys thought it was cool to be my team-mate, and everyone else would say they’d never want to be in the same room as me. I was messy, I was constantly losing my socks, I always had my nose in a book, I never watched TV, and I never talked about anything normal. To put it bluntly, I thought I was just weird.” 

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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.