On eve of the Sheffield Grand Prix, local rider Graham Briggs stuck his neck out to answer some of our bike related questions. Graham, or 'Briggsy' as he is known, was British Cycling Elite Circuit Champion a couple of seasons ago and won the Sheffield GP this time last year. A local lad that was born in Doncaster and trains on many of the Peak District roads that have inspired our Inventory thus far. Still riding for Raleigh this year surely 'cafe racer' Briggsy must be one-to-watch in tomorrow evenings race.
As a racing cyclist, which results are you most proud of and why?
Winning the National Crit Champs in 2011 as the crits are so big in Britain and have such good coverage by TV and Media.
Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on locally and what is it that you like about them? I like riding in the peak district around Hathersage as it is so scenic plus good training at the same time.
The same question for roads anywhere in the world? I love riding in Majorca, all the big climbs Puig, Selva, Sa Colobra - same reason as above and also peaceful and quiet before April.
What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling? Going to the U23 World Championships in Hamilton, Canada. Going to watch the Tour De France on Honeymoon in 2011.
Has racing affected your relationship with the bike? If so, how? I didn't have a relationship with the bike prior to Racing. I am very competitive!
Do you agree with Mickey Goldmill's advice to Rocky that 'women weaken legs'? No not at all. My wife is a huge influence on my cycling career. I wouldn't be where I was without her she is very driven. It has to be the right one however from what I have seen from other people experiences.
We are in the midst of a well publicised boom in cycling in the UK atthe 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? Yes greatly, when I first started racing there was only 1 team with paid riders on it and they still had to have another job to fund their living. Now there is a handful of teams all paying there riders with up to 15 riders on a team. Riders can now have the job as a professional cyclist and live in the UK. I believe this is down to British Cycling, Team Sky, Bradley winning the olympics & Tour De France, the british riders doing well on the continent in the biggest races. I hope it will continue, its good for the nation and a good way for people to get fit and get around the country.
Can't see any negatives.
All cyclists, whether they race or not, seem to obsess over the weight of their bikes. Why do you think this is? Because in cycling its all about power to weight, personally I think its better to watch what you eat rather than obsess over the weight of the bike.
Do you approach riding, or ride your bike, differently now to when you first got into cycling? I train a lot more specifically and a lot harder. I train with a Power metre.
Who has been your favourite pro riders over the years and why? I used to like Paolo Bettini because he was a similar build and rider to me.
What was you favourite era of professional bike racing? This current cleaner era.
Do you think Bradley Wiggins looks cool despite his long socks or because of them?
Because of them, I like long socks myself.