2008 was a stellar year for British cycling, but what did the riders in the pro and domestic pelotons make of their season, and what are they hoping for in 2009?

We asked a selection of riders what they thought, and they told us.

Go to our rider profile database>>

imageMark Cavendish

Highlight of 2008: First stage of the Tour de France

One thing you?d rather forget: The Olympics

One thing for 2009: The green jersey in the Tour

imageGeraint Thomas

Highlight of 2008: Obviously winning gold in the team pursuit at the Olympics. We worked hard for three years and despite the pressure it all came together on the day.

One thing you?d rather forget: I was pretty happy with my year but I?m still disappointed I crashed in the prologue at the Ster Elecktrotoer. It was there for the taking.

One thing for 2009: Win a road race! It doesn?t matter if it?s a prologue time trial, an Italian one-day race or a stage in Venezuela or something. I want to win on the road.

imagePaolo Bettini

Highlight of 2008: Retiring. I only decided the day before the world championships but I now know it was the right moment to bow out.

One thing you?d rather forget: The Olympic road race. It was one of those rare occasions when I ignored my instinct and followed a pre-planned tactic. I followed Valverde all day and so missed the winning break. It was a huge mistake.

One thing for 2009: Ride my bike. A lot less than when I was racing, but I?m going to be busy launching my holiday company in Tuscany and even riding my own sportif on March 22.

imageDan Martin

Highlight of 2008: Route du Sud. Having the whole team work for me, a new pro. was really something, and on top of that all that mountain climbing, racing against the people I did was amazing.

One thing you?d rather forget: the argyll arm-warmers we wore at the beginning of the year.

One thing for 2009: Have fun

imageNicolas Roche

Highlight of 2008: 13th overall in the Tour of Spain. It was my second major Tour.

One thing you?d rather forget: There?s three. Not doing the Tour de France after getting sick just before it started, f***ing up at the Olympics when I could have got a top 20 place and ran about 50th, not winning a stage in the Tour of Spain by a tyre?s-width when there was just two of us for the sprint. But it?s too easy to have regrets. I?ve re-run that sprint about 35 times in my head and I still haven?t won it. So I have to say, ok, there was a chance, you didn?t get it, move on.

One thing for 2009: The Tour de France. Next year?s my fifth as a pro, so I want to make sure I do it.

imageRoger Hammond

Highlight of 2008: That?s easy. There weren?t any.

One thing you?d rather forget: That stretch of cobbles where I crashed in Paris-Roubaix, knocking me out of contention.

One thing for 2009: Be ready for the Classics.

imageJohn Herety

Highlight of 2008: Newton?s points medal in the Olympics.

One thing you?d rather forget: not signing Rob Hayles.

One thing for 2009: sign Rob Hayles.

imageCharly Wegelius

Highlight of 2008: The Giro. Without some of the work I did on the mountain climbs, the race would have had a different shape to it. I feel very proud of that.

One thing you?d rather forget: there weren?t any. No sickness, no injuries. I rode well right the way through to the end of the season, so my relationship with Liquigas [Wegelius is moving on to Silence] ended on a higher note.

One thing for 2009: win the Tour de France with a Silence-Lotto rider.

imageDavide Rebellin

Highlight of 2008: Winning the silver medal at the Olympics. I?ve become a bit of an eternal second but a silver medal in the Olympics is a achievement, not a defeat.

One thing you?d rather forget: The end of the Gerolsteiner team. I?ve found a place at Diquigiovanni but lots of other riders are struggling to find a team for 2009.

One thing for 2009: Race all season. I?m 37 and 2009 will be my 18th season as a professional but I?m going to target the classics, the Giro and the world championships in Mendrisio. I?m also going to race in 2010 but it might be my last year.

imageBob Stapleton

Highlight of 2008: It?s difficult to know where to start because we won so much. Key moments of the year came at the Giro d?Italia, when the team learnt to lead out Mark Cavendish in the sprints, and then did it so well again in the Tour de France. The way everyone worked together really created a strong team spirit in the team which we will build on in 2009.

One thing you?d rather forget: The doping scandals. We all started the year hopeful for the future but the CERA positives were a set serious back. Fortunately there is more unity in the sport than ever before to fight the problem.

One thing for 2009: Win less. We know it?ll be almost impossible to win as much as we did this year. In 2009 we?re really targeting quality over quantity and hopefully we get results in some of the biggest classics and stage races.

imageDaniele Bennati

Highlight of 2008: Beating Mark Cavendish in Carpi at the Giro d?Italia. He was the revelation of the season but despite my injury problems I still managed to beat him.

One thing you?d rather forget: The time I spent off the bike. In the last 2 years it?s been really hard to keep making comeback after comeback.

One thing for 2009: Hopefully stay injury free and win a big classic to prove I?m more than just a sprinter.

imageGiovanni Visconti

Highlight of 2008: Definitely my eight days in the pink jersey at the Giro d?Italia. I wasn?t actually in great form because I hadn?t had a good racing programme in the spring but I got in the right break and then gave everything to hold onto the jersey.

One thing you?d rather forget: The Italian national championships. I was defending champion but it all went wrong when Simeoni got away in the finale. Nobody helped in the chase and then to make things worse I won the bunch sprint for second.

One thing for 2009: Hopefully win some important races. I?ll be team leader at ISD and so I?ll finally be able to decide my own race programme.

imageIvan Basso

Highlight of 2008: Riding the Japan Cup after the end of my ban. I finished third but was just happy to be back.

One thing you?d rather forget: Being banned for most of the year.

One thing for 2009: Try and win the Giro d?Italia. Armstrong says I?m the favourite. He never gets anything wrong and so it should be an interesting race…

imageOli Beckingsale

Highlight of 2008: Finishing ninth in the Fort William World cup in a four man sprint for fourth place. It was great to be near the front with the home crowd shouting for me.

One thing you?d rather forget: I lost some of the fun this year and took things a bit too seriously.

One thing for 2009: More specific speed work on my mountain bike, doing harder than race pace intervals while practising technique.

imageKurt-Asle Arvesen

Highlight of 2008: Winning a stage of the Tour de France.

One thing you?d rather forget: The weather in the Tour of Poland, and my crash.

One thing for 2009: I?ll try and end the season as good as I start.

imageSimon Richardson

Highlight of 2008: My stage win in the Irish Milk Ras. It had been a while since I crossed the finish line first and that was a beautiful stage to do it on.

One thing you?d rather forget: The image of Russell Downing?s back wheel in the last 100 metres of races.?

One thing for 2009: Some sprint training. Well, technically I?ve already started that one.

imageMagnus Backstedt

Highlight of 2008: The Giro team time trial that we won.

One thing you?d rather forget: Breaking my collar bone five days into the season.

One thing for 2009: Try even harder to win another cobblestone in Paris-Roubaix.

imageMark Beaumont

Highlight of 2008: Cycling past the Arc de Triomphe to set my world record, but it wasn?t the euphoria of doing the record, that came later. My over riding emotion was relief to be finished after 18,000 miles and nearly 195 days on my own and to be back with family and friends.

One thing you?d rather forget: Nothing really. My life has changed beyond recognition from the post university debts and doubts pre the record, to the opportunities and career I have now. The only negative would be not having more time to stop and appreciate things.

One thing for 2009: Row the Atlantic from New York to Falmouth. The plan is to break the world record of 55 days for the 3300 mile row with team of 12. Find out more at www.oceanrowevents.com.

imageSteve Cummings

Highlight of 2008: Winning the Bernocchi Cup.

One thing you?d rather forget: The road worlds. I had a lot of personal problems just before and I wasn?t even sleeping. I couldn?t perform.

One thing for 2009: It?s won?t do really. I won?t ride the track any more. That part of my cycling career is over.

imageJonny McEvoy

Highlight of 2008: Riding the road worlds for the first time.

One thing you?d rather forget: Picking up a knee injury early on in the year.

One thing for 2009: I like to think I?ve helped others win some big races, so now I want to win a big one myself.

imageTom Southam

Highlight of 2008: Becoming hungry to race again. It took a bit of time but I went from a disgruntled acceptance that I had to ride my bike to taking pleasure in it, and understanding why. It’s hard to try to do something well with no real passion, in 2008 I went looking for that passion. I rediscovered it over time and was pleased the bastards hadn?t ground me down. Rob winning the Nationals was pretty special too. That was the turning point for me.

One thing you?d rather forget: The last climb of stage one of the Girvan. It was horrific and I still find it hard to talk about it.

One thing for 2009: I am going to confound expectations. I am also going to finally win the John Maclean memorial here in Bendigo (I’ve been second the last two years) and be made a freeman of the city. My sheep will graze where they will.

imageKristian House

Highlight of 2008: That would have to be the tour we did in Hungary. Not only because I was going well and won a jersey, the crit and actually had yellow on the last stage with 500 metres to go, but to see and help Ben Greenwood come back after the shocking year he had. Real team leader qualities. Also taking a jersey at the London stage of the Tour of Britain, even if it was the mountains jersey on the flattest stage.

One thing you?d rather forget: Getting dropped on big climb on the second to last stage of Tour of Ireland. Don’t know why it happened. Went from fourth wheel to 30th in the space of 400meters. Not cool.

One thing for 2009: Win more races. Also fix up my Morris 1000. And design my new website…

imageWouter Weylandt

Highlight of 2008: Winning a stage in the Vuelta and the end of my season generally.

One thing you?d rather forget: The first part of 2008, nothing went right.

One thing for 2009: I?ll start 2009 like I ended 2008.


Cycling Weekly rider profile database