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05:59 GMT         Day 21 of 90, Season 61    

A rare interview with Adler Talcott
by Tim Johnson, at 26/11-09 - 20:40 GMT

  Today a local newspaper managed to secure a rare interview with Gradient Levellers' young rider Adler Talcott. So far, Talcott has been somewhat protected by the Team management and has refused any one on one contact between the press and the rider. However, today this changed and a reporter was able to get beneath the skin of one of the Nation's rising talents. All questions had to be submitted in advance of the interview.
  So Adler, how have the last few months been?
  "Well, it's hard to say - so many things seem to have happened. 3 months ago I was riding Amateur Sunday races for the local Bath team. Now, I'm at a Pro team and part of the England squad. It's all a bit hard to take in. But obviously it's great, I'm enjoying every part of it."
  What have been your favourite moments?
  "Phew! Which one to choose? Getting on the podium for the first time in Rennes was a big boost for me. It really gave me the belief that I could compete professionally. However, the win in Denmark at the ACSS Lobet was truly special. To stand up there and hear the crowd's applause brought a tear to my eye."
  So far it's been the hilly events which have favoured you. Do you plan to stick to those or try some other races?
  "Yeah, the hillier the better it seems. The team's focus

are the Hills and the other riders have helped out tremendously. I live in Bath which is surrounded by some pretty stiff climbs, most notably Brassknocker hill which I train on most days. I've got a turn of pace at the end, so if there are enough hills to get rid of the big sprinters I fancy my chances. However, in the future I'd really like to try a Tour or two. My time trialling isn't too hot at the moment, so I'll need to sort that out."
  You recently got called up to the England squad. How did it feel walking in to the England dressing room?
  "To be honest, I've never been so scared in my life! Walking in and seeing the likes of Fergal Lemire (cway) and Truman Woodson (scuppernong) was intimidating. Fergal is my idol and I felt like a bit of a kid around him. But everyone's been really nice and welcoming, especially Truman who's looked after me. I've got a lot of respect for the guy and he's taught me a lot. I just hope that one day I can keep up with him going up Alpe D'Huez - all I ever see is him disappearing around the hairpin!"
  There's been a lot of talk in the press recently about your teammate Montague Scogin. What do you make of it?
  "I don't want to say too much about the issue. Monty and I joined the team at the same time so we're quite close. He is a gifted rider and if he keeps his focus he could go far.

But, how shall I say it, he likes the perks that come with being famous."
  How about you? How do you keep your feet on the ground being famous?
  "Well, I've always been a pretty down to earth guy - my parents brought me up like that. I'm lucky that I've got some close friends and a long term girlfriend, so they stop me from getting big-headed. I've got a great opportunity here to spend the next 10-15 years doing what I love and being paid for it, and I'm not going to throw it away."
  Last question Adler, if you could choose to race against any rider who would it be?
  "That's a good question! There are so many cracking riders out there. I'm a big fan of what Äme Anderberg (Team Zyte) has done for the sport of cycling. I grew up watching him on TV. In fact, it was his World Championships win in Spain a few years back that made me join my local club. FFL's Nico Holt is another. I actually met him a few weeks ago when we had a training camp in Wales - nice guy. However, if I could ride against just one rider it would be Elias Marquez (Team Weeny). He's not only a gifted cyclist but has a will to win which gives him something extra. I really respect the way he's dominated the Tour of Germany in the last few years and I think a lot of that has been his mental strength and attitude. Not sure I'd stand a chance against him though!"


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