Currently leading the National Junior Road Race Series, Mark McNally recently won gold in the team pursuit at the Junior European Track Championships.
CW: When did you start cycling and what made you try it?
Mark McNally: I watched the 2000 Olympics with Jason Queally and the others on television and decided to have a go. I got a bike from one of my Dad?s mates and just carried on. I?m not from a particularly sporty family, although they?ve encouraged and supported me all the way.
What?s the best thing you can think of about cycling?
I love it because it?s a big relief from the stresses of everyday
life. If I go out on my bike I just forget everything.
What?s the worst thing you can think of about cycling?
The drugs, at the moment. It?s not an easy problem but we?ve got to deal with it. As long as we keep it clean it?s got to clear itself up eventually because we?re the future generation. Hopefully, the problem will die out as the older riders retire.
Where do you intend to be in three years? time?
That?s a hard question. Hopefully I will be on a professional team somewhere and preparing for the London Olympics in 2012.
Where do you intend be in 10 years? time?
Hopefully I?ll still be on a professional team, but with a couple of Olympic medals and a few trophies on my mantelpiece.
What sort of training are you doing at the moment?
My coach Darren Tudor gives me a regular training programme. I?ve just left college, so I have more time now, whereas previously, training was either before school or after. But now it?s at least three hours a day. Going on to full-time training isn?t such a big jump because although we had to fit in school, we were already used to going away on training camps, which are full time.
Where would your dream training location be?
I?ve never been, but I?d like to get over to America for a bit of training, somewhere hot. The best place I?ve been to is the Lake District. We used to rent a cottage when I was younger and there are some great rides in and around there.
What has been your best moment in cycling so far?
Being the best nation at the European Track Championships in Germany was pretty special.
And your worst moment?
Crashes can be pretty unpleasant. I remember riding a junior six-day with Adam Blythe once. He came down the banking to change and I just rode into him and I lost a lot of skin from my leg.
What?s in your CD player at the moment?
I?m into Calvin Harris at the moment. It?s sort of techno dance stuff. It?s pretty cool to train to. Either that or Air Traffic, which is indie rock.