Interview: Future GB Star Jon Dibben


This weekend at Manchester, a young British rider will be racing against the Worlds best; Jon Dibben

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It wasn’t that long ago, a couple of years, that Jon Dibben was racing National Series Junior events and doing some cyclo-cross in the winter for Hargroves Cycles. On Friday, he’ll start his campaign in the Men’s Omnium at the Manchester World Cup in a spectator packed velodrome.


Jon’s track season has already ‘pretty much’ in his words, started with the European Championships where he rode several bunch races including the Madison with Owain Doull. Talking about his racing in Holland at the Europeans where the likes of Tour of Britain stage winner Elia Viviani was racing, Jon said the Madison was good and the Points race quite brutal.

“The Madison was the better of the two races I rode” he explained. “We knew getting points might be difficult with Viviani but with the Madison you can sit in and wait and then get a lap at the end and be right up there. That was the plan. We tried to go for the lap in the final 40 laps and nearly got it but then got pulled back. I enjoyed it though.”

“I don’t like Points race and so that was hard. I don’t think I could have done much different. Maybe a smaller gear but I didn’t have it. I wasn’t at the right level for that and I suffered.”

Jon is one of three existing riders to be joined by a new intake of four riders into the Men’s GB Academy. Chris Lawless, Oli Wood, Jake Ragan and Germaine Burton are the newbies we understand. Still there are Jon, Owain and Chris Latham.

Jon is finding though that the group is split with him and Owain doing the podium track training sessions and the rest doing normal academy training. “After nine in the academy last year, it almost feels like a whole new group” he says.

Jon admits that when you come into the programme, you can perhaps get away with one year of learning the ropes but now he’s into his second year as a senior on the track, he and the others do have to start looking at getting in some good performances and results.


In GB colours, Jon races into Knowlsey Safari Park in the time trial.

Asked for a highlight this year, he points to the Fleche du Sud in Luxembourg which he rode with the GB academy including Simon Yates who is going to Orica-GreenEdge next season. “That was my first senior stage race, a UCI 2.2. On the last stage, we helped lead out Yatesy (Simon) and he won the bunch sprint (3rd).”

Jon then explained how in another stage race, he and the GB team combined again to get one of their riders on the podium. As for personal highlights, making a break in the Tour of Britain also stands out.

His season is certainly very different to the one he had in 2012 now that he is travelling the world with GB. Not so long ago, it was travelling round Britain to go to cyclo-cross races but now he’s racing track. Jon says that he’s always been used to racing in the winter so the track work isn’t that much of a shock.

“I never really had a big end of season break and always went straight into the ‘cross or track seasons. I have a bit of a break after next weekend which I probably need but I don’t feel too bad.”

After a year on the Academy and asked for what stands out in what he has learnt, Jon points to the road races being so different. “Everybody in junior races attacks each other and although there is team work, it’s not really planned. Some-one will be going a bit better than you so you lead them out but the leadouts are not the same as we have to do in international races”.


“One of my first road races I did this year was the Under 23 Tour of Flanders at the start of the year and until the break went after 15k (one guy), it was hard and then it settled down and teams started to ride on the front and I was able to chill out. So it’s how to race and learning to pick your moments”.

The Tour of Britain was one of Jon’s last road races and he made a break on stage 2 as well as got to know what it was like racing with the world s best including getting a top 10 on the stage 1 bunch kick. Talking about his days at school in Britain’s top pro race, he explained “the first day was over six hours and for most of that, you have to conserve, sit in, eat and get through, saving it for the end.”

Asked what that felt like to be racing with world tour stars like Wiggins etc, he replied “before the race I was quite excited and I remember watching it the year before on TV at an ODP camp before the Worlds. This year I was riding it! But to be honest, when you’re in the race and they’re going hard, you don’t really care who the riders are around you who are kicking your head in, you just hold the wheel.”

“There are times when it is going easy it can feel quite cool to be racing with them (World Tour pros) but it doesn’t make a difference to the way you race it.”

Looking ahead and his goals, Jon says the Track Worlds and the Team Pursuit is one. Then there’s the Commonwealth Games. “Everything I do on the road next year will be about learning again and using that as training for the Commy Games and then at the back end of the season, it will be similar to this one, hopefully with the Tour of Britain on the programme.


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