The manager of women?s British team Swift Racing spills the beans on living abroad, Belgian booze and what it?s like hanging around with a dozen women, day and night.
Swift Racing have enjoyed great success. What?s the secret?
I think it comes down to hard work. I try my best to create a good team spirit and ensure that we communicate. I know that communication is key.
You?re based full time in Belgium, what?s different there?
The basics of it come down to logistics. If our riders are to get to the top, they need to ride world-class events every week. We couldn?t do that if we are travelling from the UK. It?s too expensive and it?s too much travelling for the riders and staff. We do have UK-based riders as well, so we try to have success in both countries.
Has running a team always been an ambition of yours?
Not at all. It kind of just happened. I was asked to run a women?s team in the UK in about 2003, and it has moved on from there. I?d already stopped racing myself by then as it sucks to get beaten by your wife. Now I have long-term sponsorship commitments so it?s where my foreseeable future lies. I have serious ambitions now though to take this team to the top, so we?ll see what happens.
Is there anything you miss about not being in the UK more?
Curry and a pint. The girls on the team just don?t seem to have the same appetite for Old Speckled Hen and chicken jalfrezi that my friends do back home (thankfully).
Spring Classics or cyclo-cross?
Cyclo-cross. Every time. I don?t think cycling gets much better than cross, when you are at a major race in Belgium with thousands of spectators.
Is Belgian beer much better?
It?s certainly stronger. It?s great beer and you?ll never run out of choices. Some bars have over 100.
What?s new on your playlist?
Band of Horses have just been added following a great appearance on Jools Holland the other week. Plus my regular favourite, The Dead Sea Sound.
What have you been watching on the box?
If you?ve ever lived with up to 12 women at a time, you?ll know you have no choice what?s on TV. So I watch anything from Neighbours to Strictly Come Dancing.
Name one thing that annoys you about cycling.
The industry is small and most people know each other, but some people learn this too late. Too many people are ready to put others down without thinking of the consequences.
If I wasn?t a team manager, I?d be?
Wealthy, with thicker hair.
What would you buy with £10,000?
A VW Karmann Ghia.