Further Personal Information
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||His cycling career started seriously at the age of 16 when he entered a regional heat of the British Cycling National Challenge. He went on to win the competition and was noticed by Stuart Hallam who advised coach Dave Le Grys he had found a kid who looked and rode like a sprinter.
|Why this sport?
||He began this sport because he had natural ability.
|Club / Team
||Sky Track Cycling: Great Britain
|Name of coach
||Iain Dyer [sprint]
|Coach from which country?
||He trains every day except Sunday. He spends two days a week just training on the track, two days of double sessions combining track and gym work for power and the other two days road cycling.
||The Edge. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008)
||Making music, metal work, playing golf. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008; thisislondon.co.uk, 13 Feb 2012)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Winning a silver medal behind Chris Hoy in the keirin at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (britishcycling.org.uk, 08 Feb 2012)
|Most influential person in career
||His first coach Dave Le Grys and multiple world champion Frederic Magne who coached him during his time at the UCI's World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. (velodrome.org.uk, 16 Sep 2010)
|Hero / Idol
||France's world and Olympic champion sprint cyclist Arnaud Tournant. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008)
||He suffered bruising to his calf muscle in a crash with South Africa's Pierre Bernard Esterhuizen in the keirin semifinal of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. (scotsman.com 06 Oct 2010)
In 2003 he suffered from slipped and ruptured discs in his back which hampered his training. (NOC, 31 Jul 2008)
|Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
||He avoids listening to songs he knows before a race because he ends up singing along instead of focusing. (velodrome.org.uk, 16 Sep 2010)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"I don't think you ever stop learning, but I think the older you get, the more automatic it gets." (scotsman.com, 09 Jan 2005)
"I've been riding keirin for a long time now, and you pick-up a few tricks as you go along. Fred [Magne - his former coach] used to tell me that you should only make one move in a race, but it should be a good one. Obviously, positioning is important, as is timing your effort." (veloveritas.co.uk, 23 Oct 2006)
|Awards and honours
||He carried Scotland's flag at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. (bbc.co.uk, 24 Jan 2012)
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, he became the first Scotland athlete since swimmer W Francis in 1934 to win a full set of medals at a single Games. (scotsman.com 20 Mar 2006; sportscotland.org.uk, thecgf.com, 08 Feb 2012)
||To compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (skysports.com, 15 Feb 2011)
He carried Scotland's flag at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. "I never imagined I'd be the flag bearer. I never saw myself as someone who'd be chosen to do it. But it means more because it's been voted for by my fellow athletes, so I'm really proud and I feel that I've done my family proud." (scotsman.com, 01 Oct 2010; bbc.co.uk, 24 Jan 2012)
He admits to being pretty hairy but draws the line at waxing after a traumatic previous experience. "I once went for a back wax and never again. It was far too painful. I don't believe anyone has to go through that much pain." (thisislondon.co.uk, 13 Feb 2012)
During a 2011 warm-weather training camp in Perth, Australia, Great Britain teammate Chris Hoy persuaded him to do a barista course and learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee. "There's a lot that goes into a really nice cup of coffee." (thisislondon.co.uk, 13 Feb 2012)
BIG IN JAPAN
He's made several trips to Japan to compete on the country's renowned keirin circuit with the aim of refining his technique and race tactics. "It is so different to what we do. Their tracks are outdoor and concrete rather than indoor and wooden, and it's a totally different style of riding. You can't really cruise, you slow down very quickly, so you need to make all-or-nothing efforts and you have to time your effort to perfection." (skysports.com, 15 Feb 2011)
Although he was born and raised in Newmarket, England, he qualified to represent Scotland through his father David, who lived in Kilwinning, Ayrshire until he was a teenager. "I could never ride for anyone else. My dad's a passionate supporter of Scotland." (scotsman.com, 20 Mar 2006, 01 Oct 2010)
His talent was recognised at an early age and he was sent to the UCI's World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, where he trained for three seasons under the tutelage of France's multiple world track cycling champion Frederic Magne. "When I went [to Aigle] I had a best of 10.7 for 200m, when I left it was 10.2." (veloveritas.co.uk, 23 Oct 2006; skysports.com, 08 Feb 2012)