Who was your sporting hero growing up?
Gavin Hastings, the Scotland rugby captain. I played rugby at school and, when I was around 10, he came to training one day. I was overjoyed to meet my hero like that.
When did you realise you would become an elite sportsman?
Not until I was called into the Great Britain team in 1996, for a World Cup event. That was when I realised “oh, this is where I can become a top cyclist”.
If you hadn’t been a sportsman what would you be doing?
I have no idea! Before I transferred to Edinburgh to further my cycling and study sports science, I was in the middle of a physics degree! So I probably would have completed that and done something with it. What, I don’t know...
What was the first record or CD you bought?
I’m not sure if it counts but it was a comedy album called ‘All Aboard’, a compilation of comic songs like ‘The Laughing Policeman’ and ‘Goodness Gracious Me’. But the first proper album was ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits. I had it on cassette, I was around eight.
What was the most recent music you bought or downloaded?
It hasn’t arrived yet, but I have pre-ordered the new deadmau5 album.
What was your first car?
A second-hand BMW 318.
If you could change one thing about cycling, what would it be?
Its image. The Tour de France drug scandals. It’s changing, but it would be great to draw a line under it so we don’t have these occasional positive tests that continue to tarnish it. We’re getting there.
And finally, are the wheels really rounder?
Ha! It’s ironic because, of all the times the French could have made comments about our technological advantages, they picked the one where our bikes were made in France, by a French company!
The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications. The campaign concluded at an event attended by ambassadors Sir Chris Hoy and Liam Tancock who celebrated with the successful recipients of this year’s grants.