Local Riders Q&A - John Tanner

John Tanner was born in Doncaster. He first joined the CTC before joining his first proper cycling club, The Doncaster Wheelers. John competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and has won the BC Premier Calendar five times. In 1999 and 2000 he won the British National Road Race Championships. Other notable wins include the prestigious Lincoln International GP (1997 and 2001) and the Tour of the Cotswolds (2001).


As a racing cyclist, which results are you most proud of and why?

Winning the Commonwealth Bank Classic stage race in Australia in 1995. It was a nice ending to the season, especially being in Australia. National Titles two time road race - 1999 and 2000. Also the Crit Championship in 1996. It stays with you forever that you are an ex-national champ.

Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on locally and what is it that you like about them? 

Where I live is we are spoilt, you can go into East Yorkshire where it's really quiet roads and flat or you can go into Derbyshire for the hills so a mixture of both.

The same question for roads anywhere in the world?

I'd say same answer as last one.

What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling?

There are loads to choose from and it's hard to answer. Probably touring round Holland the first year I started cycling aged 11 with family - that got me into cycling. It gave me a sense of freedom travelling and seeing new places.

Has racing affected your relationship with the bike? If so, how?

Not really. It's different when when you're racing though. There comes a time in the year when you've had enough of the bike and need a break but when I don't have a full season I can't get enough of it. 

Do you agree with Mickey Goldmill's advice to Rocky that 'women weaken legs'?

Yes definitely.

We are in the midst of a well publicised boom in cycling in the UK at the moment. Has it affected you? Do you have any thoughts about why it has happened and whether it will continue? Do you see any negatives to the increase in popularity?

I work part time in a bike shop (JHL Bikes) and have seen the increase of people on bikes. It's good that they are all car drivers, so it makes people aware more of what it's like on a bike. The way British Cycling has turned around since the lottery and medals won over the years has put cycling in the limelight. It just gets people thinking "I'd like to try that or bet my kid wouldbe good at it".

All cyclists, whether they race or not, seem to obsess over the weight of their bikes. Why do you think this is?

It's more the new comers to cycling that are more obsessed, I think they forget about what they weigh personally.

Do you approach riding, or ride your bike, differently now to when you first got into cycling? 

Yes obviously with computers that are available now you get to see how hard or fast you're going. 

Who has beenyour favourite pro riders over the years and why?

It would be from today's era Mark Cavendish , Ian Stanard and Dan Martin. 

What was you favourite era of professional bike racing?

It's a mixture of the British pros from the 80s with all the TV crits, to today's era with the success Britain are having.

Do you think Bradley Wiggins looks cool despite his long socks or because of them?


Mudguards, mudguards and mudflaps or racing bike with clip on guards through winter?

Clip on guards with flap on a racing bike.

Do you enjoy a cafe stop or do you prefer to ride straight round?

I enjoy both if I'm in a group. I like a cafe stop for social or when I'm on me own I'll go straight round.

Assos, Rapha or neither? 

Both over priced!

What is your favourite piece of cycling kit (either something you currently own or have in the past)?

A cycling computer.

Do you prefer to get your head down on the A6, keep a good tempo going on the B roads or get onto the back wacks? What about the rough stuff on your road bike?

Keep a good tempo on B roads definitely. I hate anything off road on any kind of bike.

What do you think about Strava?

I think it's great. Not so much bothered about the segments but like to see what everyone's been up to and find it interesting. 

What do you thinkabout Sportive rides?

They're a good idea to get people on bikes but personally I'm not interested in them.

Do you have any cycling pet hates?


Are there any cycling traditions that you think have been, or are being, lost as a result of changing attitudes and behaviour? And are we better off or worse off as a consequence?

No can't think of any.

Cotton cap or helmet?

Helmet. Having done most of years riding without one I can't go out with out it now. 

The benefits of spinning a low gear compared to mashing a high gear is often discussed. Putting aside the serious, physiological and mechanical aspects, what cadence you think looks right?

Being on top of the gear from 85 -100 revs.

White, black or coloured socks?

Depends on the weather. Socks are expensive so black in rain and white in sunshine.

Frame pump or mini pump?

Mini pump with canister.

What do you like to talk about when you are on a ride with friends/team/club mates? Do you prefer to keep the subjects lightweight or get your teeth into something contentious or controversial?

There's not much talking with group I go out with - we are all on t'rivet!

Comments on this post (1)

  • Oct 18, 2015

    John tanner was and still is awesome!
    Have just bought a corrado racing bike looks
    Good and should be great over winter.
    Owner claimed it was originally used by john
    Tanner? Can this be right?
    Corrado bikes…….anybody any ideas?
    Would love some proof :)

    — Alex mcvey

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