Good Luck for 2013 Tom, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and give us some insight into your life and racing.
Name: Tom Evans
Race Category: Elite
Club/Team: Ben Wyvis CC/Dryburgh Cycles
Part 1: Cycling
MB: What bike do you ride?
TE: I ride a Cannondale F29. I got this bike from a friend of a friend at the start of 2012 at a great price. It was the first proper top end bike I owned. This year I have upgraded the wheels and drivetrain, with help from Thumbprint Tuning, Just Riding Along and Dryburgh Cycles.
MB: When and how did you get into cycling?
TE: I was quite a late starter in cycling. It all started in 2009 when my dad, older brother, and friend of mine joined me in a four man team to race the Strathpuffer 24. After this I was approached by Andy Russell who was working for the local bike shop and he asked if I was keen to take cycling further and start racing. My first race was an SXC at Laggan Wolftrax. Even though I was no where near the front and can't even remember where I finished, from then on I havent even thought twice about carrying on and getting to as many races as possible.
MB: What are your aims for this season?
TE: For the 2013 season my main aim is gain qualification standards for the Commonwealth Games next year in Glasgow. It is massively competitive for places in the team and, as one of the younger hopefuls, I would love to get a place for the Games. Also, as this is my first year in the elite category, I am taking this as an introductory year and not looking too much into the results I get in comparison to last year. My main aims also include winning the Scottish XC series and hopefully getting in a good number of races abroad at World and European level. A massive target is the British Championships in July.
MB: How are you finding the move up to elite this season?
TE: It is a big move but I am relishing the opportunities. So far the weather has played havoc with the opening races of the year but it would seem that we are out of the bad weather now and I can look forward to great year racing. As I said, I’m not looking too much into results this year but things like qualification times for the games and races where an under 23 category is present, those are the main targets for this year.
MB: What is your best cycling achievement to date?
TE: I think my best cycling achievement would have to be winning the British XC series in 2012. With a different rider winning every round, it came down to the last round which I was able to win and, at the same time, claim the overall series. Last year I also gained selection for Great Britain to ride at World Cup's in Belgium and France.
MB: What is your favourite thing about being a mountain biker?
TE: My favourite thing is that whatever is happening in my everyday life, I can just take a break for a few hours and go out and ride my bike. It is a way of forgetting everything that is going on and just about having the most fun I can. I also enjoy where my bike takes me, either on local adventures or all over the world, it is fantastic.
MB: Where is your favourite place to ride your bike?
TE: Definitely the local trails around my home up in Strathpeffer. I never appreciated it until I moved down to Edinburgh to study in September 2012. While Edinburgh also has some great places to ride, it can't beat having unlimited trails on your doorstep. There are still many places I have not explored around my local area. What also makes riding up there so great is local network of cyclists, on and off road. With the formation of Ben Wyvis CC last year, I have seen a massive boost in the number of riders joining the club and getting out on their bikes, it's great to see
MB: How do you juggle Uni commitments and training?
TE: So far I haven’t found this too difficult. I guess it has always been the case that, at this age, school and uni work comes first and once that is done, I can go out on my bike. I am studying at Napier University and one of the reasons I chose Napier was that I had previously done fitness testing there and saw the brand new, amazing facilities at the Sighthill. Throughout my first year at uni, the staff have been really helpful with sessions weekly and are always at hand if I’m struggling with the uni work. Big thanks to Lesley Ingram and Geraint Florida-James.
MB: What do you listen to on your Ipod while you warm up?
TE: I actually keep on meaning to make a playlist for warming up but I change my mind on music so often I would just change it. But I’m not the kind of person that needs to listen to rock music to get psyched up. I normally listen to radio 1 or a specific genre on Spotify.
MB: Have you riden the new Commonwealth Games track at Cathkin Braes? If yes what did you think of it?
TE: I’ve visited the track once and it is fantastic. I raced there in 2011 and I could not recognise the area at all when I visited last month. The course is fantastic. I think the features are in the times with XC and showing the shift in course design. It is up to date and genuinely a world class facility.
Part 2: Random
1. What is your favourite type of cake?
I am a massive fan of carrot cake.
2. What is the last film you went to see at the cinema?
I went to see Sinister a while ago. It was scary.
3. Who are your favourite band?
Not sure if I have a long term favourite band, I change music taste very frequently. At the moment the up and rising "The 1975" are my favourite
4. If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
To be able to teleport. Because I’m not a big fan of travelling.
5. What is your favourite TV show?
Definitely Top Gear. However since I have been at uni, daytime television has crept into my life, such as Deal or No Deal and The Jeremy Kyle Show. It’s a guilty pleasure.
6. What is your favourite sport other than cycling?
I also love football. I love getting a few friends together and watching the big matches.
7. What one thing could you not live with out?
Comfy combo of loafer slippers and Adidas tracksuit bottoms. Also my iPad, it does everything I could ever need.
8. What would you choose as your last meal?
Would have to be an extra large pizza from Pizza Hut with garlic cheese bites instead of the crust.
9. What is your favourite song?
The 1975 - Chocolate
10. Tea or coffee?
Not particularly keen on either but tea with extra milk and sugar if necessary.
11. Cheese and onion or salt and vinegar?
Cheese and onion hurts less in cuts, so I am going to go with that.
12. Summer or winter?
Summer all the way, the excitement of snow wears off after about 3 days. But you don't get sick of the sun and heat.
13. Blonde or Brunette?
Not too fussed. But if had to choose, brunette (hope no one reads into this too much!)
14. Style or speed?
Personally chosen speed, but style is cooler. But I can't do style so I just try and go fast.
15. Chinese or Indian?100% Indian. One of my favourite type of meals is Indian. It’s a classic when I'm home. Getting an Indian carryout and watching football.