In the 70’s, very few British riders graced the Euro peloton; this year there are four just with Cervélo alone.
VeloVeritas caught up with the latest young Briton to cross the channel, Southend’s Daniel Patten, who has signed with Martin McCrossan and Magnus Backsted’s Team Cyclesport.se -MagnusMaximusCoffee.com for season 2009.
Tell us a little about yourself, Daniel.
“This will only be my third full season as a cyclist; I was a distance runner originally but picked up a niggling injury.
“I rode the bike for fitness when I was at Loughborough University and in the summer of 2006, I took out a licence and thought I’d see what I could do.”
How the Swedish connection?
“I had a good season in ’08 and I started to look around to see where I could go to develop.
“I saw an interview with Martin McCrossan and as a result, I emailed him with my resumé. Things just carried on from there.”
What are your best results so far?
“I have had a few local wins and a fourth place in the Tour of Pendle – that’s my best result in a Premier Calendar.
“I raced in Belgium and got some top ten placings in kermis’s that helped a lot with getting my contract, I think.”
Describe yourself as a rider.
“Initially I thought I was going to be a climber and when we eventually decide I should specialise then that’s the route I think I’ll take; I only weigh 65 kilos. But my results in Belgium show that I’m quite powerful.
“I suppose I’m a strong all round rider. I’ve not had a lot of experience of tactics – coming from running you just attacked from the start, I’m a bit more controlled now, though.”
Do you have a coach?
“Yes, Adrian Timmis; I was on a sports scholarship at Loughborough and British Cycling’s Gary Coltman did some tests with me. It was he who said I should have a coach and introduced me to Adrian.
“We have a good relationship, we speak twice a week, but we exchange emails and texts virtually every day.”
Who’s your role model as a rider?
“Thomas Voeckler, I like how he gives it his all with that attacking style of his. He won at Plouay by jumping away and holding on, when no one thought he could.
“I’ve also gained a lot of inspiration from ‘the Two Dans’ (Fleeman & Lloyd), they’ve moved up from quite a modest set up to the highest level, with Cervélo.”
How’s your Swedish?
“Not very good! All the guys in the team speak good English, but I’d like to learn a little Swedish so that I can have basic conversations with my team mates.”
“Yes, we’ve had a get together in Biaritz; they’re a good bunch of guys. I was made feel very welcome – most of them have raced together when the team was an amateur set up.”
Was Magnus there?
“Yeah, he was out with us every day, setting the tempo for the first part of the day and then we were riding through and off. We did some interval work, but it was more of a get together.”
How’s the training going?
“Really well, I’ve had a long winter’s training; I broke my collar bone at the end of last season and started as soon as that was healed. All my training is based around power – the Hunter Allen ‘Training Peaks’ system – and the figures are better now than they were last summer.
“It’s not traditional mile-based training, it’s more about quality. The longest run will usually be three hours, four at an absolute maximum, but during those three hours I’ll incorporate intervals at a precise level.”
Do you know your programme yet?
“It’s been changing a bit – and Magnus has been saying that if we start the season well, we’ll get more invites. We’ll be in Belgium to start the year then we have stage races in France – it’s a good programme, very varied.
“Later in the season we have races in Sweden – they’ll be important to us; but we also have events in Poland, Estonia and Serbia. We’re hoping too for a ride in the Tour of Britain – that would be a real highlight.”
Have you got your new Viner yet?
“Not yet, they’re made and being sprayed as we speak. I went down to London to get measured for mine, they are all custom made for us.
“As well as Viner decals, they’ll have the coffee graphics too – I think they’re going to look great. Maggie is trying to get us on the frame model that suits us – there’s the Primus, Maximo and Perfecta.
“It also means that the full range of Viner frames is on show to the public.”
What sort of year do you want 2009 to be?
“A year of getting experience, a few results and showing people that I’m going to have a bright future. I especially want to do well in the UK, to show people that I have the ability.”
“To get to the top level and join a Pro Tour team. I’ve not been in the sport all that long but my ambition is the same as it was when I ran – to get to the top. Adrian and I both believe that it’s possible.”
With thanks to Daniel and Martin McCrossan, and wishing Team Cyclesport.se -MagnusMaximusCoffee.com all the best for 2009.