Famous Last Words: Martin Gibbs

CW finds the hidden club time triallist inside the former British Cycling legal affairs director and the UCI’s new chief of staff

I have eight bikes. My best bike is my Colnago C40, bought from Ian at Sigma Sport in Kingston over 10 years ago and built up by Harry Webb.

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I grew up in Hampshire. My favourite ride is a loop from New Milton to Ringwood, past the High Corner Inn, Ornamental Drive, Brockenhurst and back to New Milton. It’s a beautiful route through the New Forest and reminds me of being younger and fitter.

I never leave home without my mesh undershirt. I’ve had it for years. My wife Nicky calls it ‘the teabag’.

I raced for a few years with Twickenham CC under the guidance of the legendary Doug Collins. I wasn’t that good, but on the time trial side of things, I had the engine, focus and motivation to do OK.

My karaoke choice would be ‘London Calling’ by The Clash. I would really like to have met [Clash frontman] Joe Strummer too.

I’ve always been a little bit proud that I was born in Westminster Hospital, right near Parliament, right at the heart of a proper city.

I was tricked into doing the National 100-mile TT Championship once. I did a 3-59, which I was really happy with. Paul Gadd and I once won our category at the Duo Normand [time trial], although that was definitely two-thirds him 
one-third me; I suffered like a dog!

There is great riding around Manchester. Out towards the Brickworks, there are great views and you’re soon right into the countryside or the Cheshire lanes around Mobberley.

I wanted to be a road worker when I was a child. My dad bought me some lights and the signs… I had a full-on roadworks set-up which I’d install outside our house and pretend to be hard at it. I was quite young and the kit dwarfed me; it must have looked really funny.

I’m really chuffed with my Brompton. I bought it after having had so much fun as British Cycling CEO Ian Drake’s grease monkey at the Brompton World Championships at Goodwood. It’s a fantastic runabout and I’m hoping to be able to hold his wheel at next year’s race.

I’m half French. I completed a year of French national service. I was really impressed by my officer in the French army, Lt Annette, who was waiting to be the second black officer in the Foreign Legion. He was killing time with our infantry regiment in Rouen, and he was the real deal.

When I was born, my dad drove me home in a black 1954 VW Beetle Karmann convertible. It was a lovely car that he kept till I was in my 20s, so I later drove it… and dented it!

This article was first published in the November 7 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!