I started cycling at the age of 12 with CTC which gave me a love of bike riding. From there I went to Coalville Wheelers where I won National Junior 10 and Junior British Best All-Rounder. This led to a contract with North Wirral Velo which was one of the best teams at the time. After a number of wins including the Eddie Soens and National Under 23 road race series I received an offer from the World Class Performance Programme to ride for the Great Britain National Squad riding the world champs and many stage races abroad.
At this stage I thought I was on the road to starting my career as a professional bike rider, but I developed over-training syndrome. Unfortunately, we were pushed into races without proper training and the foundations needed for stage racing. Obviously this would not happen today; the science behind training and nutrition has developed dramatically since then.
I had to make the hard decision to pull myself out of that and have 5 months off my bike completely. This was quite a dark time for me as I had lost the love of cycling and needed some time out to see what I wanted to do. During this break I actually let my hair down and started going out more with my friends and this is when I first met my wife Kate - so everything happens for a reason!
After the badly-needed break, I returned to training and received an offer from a team in France called Nantes 44. This was all road-based and I really enjoyed my time there pulling off a number of victories including winning a stage in the Girvan 3-day stage race (a premier calendar). The highlight of this was taking the leader’s yellow jersey from Mark Cavendish. I remained road racing until 2008.
In May 2008 my first child, Isla was born. I had a full-time job, as a postman, and wanted to be a hands-on dad so I decided that I would focus on time trialling, as it was less time- consuming. I was soon winning lots of races but when it came to Nationals I was placing 3rd & 4th, with headlines reading “Always the bridesmaid never the bride”. My turning point came in 2010 when I was placed 3rd in the National 25 but I was well beaten and could see riders behind me were closing the gap. I knew I needed to look into different methods of training and aerodynamics and I came into contact with Bob Tobin from Cycle Power Meters. He introduced me to training with power, how to set goals and break everything down so I could reach my dream of becoming National Champion.
After meeting Bob, I was introduced to Simon Smart from Drag2zero and I knew I could get more out of myself through pushing myself, training harder, improving aerodynamics and believing in myself.
There aren’t many time trails I’ve not won in the UK, but the highlights for me are achieving the competition records: fastest time ever ridden in the UK 1:34:43 for 50 miles, 45:43 for 25 miles 2nd fastest ever 10-mile time 17:40. Winning every National Championship 10,25,50,100, circuit series, the Ron Kitching trophy and also a big highlight would be winning the prestigious Bidlake award for my cycling achievements. The list carries on with over 60 National medals and 500 races wins. The final highlight is having represented Great Britain Cycling team on over 30 occasions.
In 2014 after passing my coaching qualification, Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching was opened and I was able to use all of my racing experience and knowledge gained within the industry to pass onto others and see riders reach their goals.
It's fair to say I’ve been there and got the tee-shirt. There’s lots of success but also lots of failures, but it’s learning from these mistakes that has made us the company we are today. That is why we can help you achieve your goals. We don’t just offer coaching - we offer the whole package of custom coaching and that’s why every rider we work with will #Smashitup.
There is no magic wand. You will have to suffer but with the support around you from a dedicated team you WILL achieve your goals. Coaching has never been just a job to me. It is my passion to see others succeed. Failure is not an option.