Matt Bottrill: Famous last words

Matt Bottrill, second men, British National 25-mile time trial 2011

The fastest postie in the UK talks DIY, guinea pig testing for the GB squad and missing out on track riding.

It all started when I was 12. I started racing with the Coalville Wheelers at the age of 13 and basically I've just carried on racing from there. I went to North Wirral Velo and then to the GB cycling team.

I've never been out of the sport. I've always loved it. I'm 33 now and I think I'll always be riding. I can't think of anything I'd do instead. DIY is my main hobby and being a full-time dad is probably the biggest thing in my life - I've got a daughter.

I make my living from being a postman. I ride my bike for my rounds. I'm as quick on the job as possible and I'd like to think I'm the fastest postman in the country.

The biggest mistake I made in my career has been when I was riding for GB. I should've gone for the track. I didn't make it to the next level on the road, and I could've had a go on the track but I didn't. I'd like to have had a go at the pursuit. Whether I could've done it I don't know.

I got over-training syndrome on the GB squad. Back then we were the guinea pigs for everything that there is now. It was nothing like it is now. We were the first year of it all.

After I got released from GB I raced in France. Nom 44 was the team I raced with - they're a big team in Brittany. We mostly did stage racing around France, mainly in the Brittany area. I lived in Nântes itself. It was a good experience.

Racing in France made me realise that I wasn't going to be a professional bike rider. It's a hard life and it made me realise I didn't want it. If I'd made it I would've been a domestique. I found it hard being away from home.

I've always done road racing. The hours you need to put into training are immense though and I haven't really got the time. I could do it now and just get round, but I don't really want to do that.

My one bit of advice for any aspiring young time triallist would be to always believe that you can do better. Look at what you can do to achieve it, and try to improve - always. Think ‘what can I change' and do it. No one's ever doing anything perfectly, not even the big pros like Bradley Wiggins.

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