How do you become a pro cyclist? How do you move from aspirational amateur, to getting paid to ride a bike full time?
It’s a question we get asked a lot, so we thought we’d get some of our riders to tell you how they did it.
2008: 5th British time trial championships - juniors
I think you just need to enjoy riding your bike. If you’re forcing things, it'll catch up with you.
Enjoy your riding and always aim to ride with people better than yourself, it brings you on loads.
Race as many different disciplines as you can, all the skills are transferable and you don’t want to pigeon hole yourself when you’re 16 because you probably won’t be in the same hole ten years later.
The first piece of advice is simple, enjoy the bike and the opportunities it provides.
When you are fighting to achieve your big results the hard times will be harder and the good times will pass you quicker if you are not enjoying racing your bike.
Enjoying racing also makes hurting yourself and pushing that limit a lot easier mentally!
2008: British junior road race champion
The best advice I always give to any young riders is to make sure you are enjoying your racing.
It’s such a hard sport that you have to enjoy so much to be able to carry it on as a career. Obviously everyone has times when they don't enjoy something, the odd bad ride or whatever but overall you should enjoying it and working hard and then the results will come.
It’s also always important to have people around you that can help and guide you people that can give advice be it training, racing tactics etc... you learn a lot from listening and watching others.
2011: 2nd junior Tour of Wales
Just race as much as you can and just do it for fun. It's not all about being a pro. I think it's something that just happens if you are naturally good.
Best piece of advice would be to race, get as much race craft as you can and don’t be afraid to get stuck in as it will get noticed and respected by potential teams. Try to get to the continent, Belgium, Holland or France and gain as much experience as you can.
Enjoying riding your bike is the main thing! Don’t lose interest in it by overtraining and focusing on numbers.
In addition to this always try to push yourself more. Training and racing with guys that are better than you is only going to make you progress even further.
I would also make sure you look back at races when you feel good and see what you did in the weeks before that race and try and mimic that again for the future. Finally, always believe in yourself!
2006: 2nd British road race championships - juniors
I think you need to want it a lot, have the hunger to race and love doing it.
When I was younger I just wanted to race.
Road, cyclo-cross and track, too.I suppose it’s results that will get you into teams or good performances without pulling off a result.