Interview: Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis in 2014)


Q&A with one of the most consistent and high flyers of 2013, Tobyn Horton (UK Youth), who rides for Madison Genesis in 2014.

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Question time with Tobyn Horton


Where do you spend most of your time when not on the road racing?
Tobyn: This year I’ve been based in Jersey along with a few of the other UK Youth boys but it’s important to note I am from Guernsey!

How long have you been racing?
Tobyn: I started mountain biking when I was 14 but my first road season was at 18 in Belgium. That makes me feel old!

Do you have a favourite discipline?
Tobyn: I can easily tell you my least favourite, TT’ing! I’d have to say road racing. That’s how I learnt to race in my Belgium years and it also offers the most variation in style of course’s, terrain and the way they’re raced etc.

What has been the highlight of the 2013 season for you?
Tobyn: There were a lot of great times this year but the one that stands out most would be the team winning the Tour Series overall and being part of making that happen. For me, the Tour Series as a whole was a big highlight as I was riding consistently well there.

Which race has been the best one (most fun) to do?
Tobyn: It’s hard to choose between Durham Tour Series and the Lincoln Grand Prix. I really enjoyed both for different reasons. Lincoln because it’s a race that I always knew I could do well in but always had bad luck until this year. Durham, because I didn’t think it was suited to me so surprised myself with the ride I did there.

Would you rate this year as your best.
Tobyn: Yes, by a long way.

After not getting selected for the first Tour Series round, you became one of the most consistent top finishers. Is there a secret to that!
Tobyn: Erm, not really. After a quiet early season due to illness I was really hungry to get stuck in to racing which showed I think. Having coach Steve Benton training me as well, I went into the TS in the best condition possible.


Durham is noted for its climbing and you were up there challenging for the win – a surprise to you?
Tobyn: Yes, when I was told I was riding, I was excited but doubted myself as I had struggled there in 2012 due to back problems. When Steve told me that it suited me down to the ground, I knew I could trust his judgment as always and to prove him right was a nice surprise for me.

What would you say is your best asset as a rider – climbing, sprinting, etc.
Tobyn: I have become a bit more of an all rounder recently but my strength is still sprinting on a grippy/ harder finish.

As well as challenging for the podiums, did you have a support role to play in UK Youth?
Tobyn: At some point in the season, everyone played a support role for each other within the team. That was biggest difference for me, riding as a unit made the team so successful and everyone had their own opportunities, which makes everyone give it their all on the job they have on the day.

What did Steve bring to you in coaching that you found helped you move up.
Tobyn: I worked with Steve a few years ago and got back in touch and began working with him again in May 2012. I was happy when I found out he was working with the Team for 2013. Personally, he brought routine, facts and confidence through training with power so that you know you’re going into races in the best possible condition. Last year was my first structured winter being coached by Steve, which is where most of my progress was made

How many hours a week would you train on and off the bike out of the season?
Tobyn: No two weeks are the same and can be anything from 10-30+hrs

Do you tend to train alone or in a chaingang?
Tobyn: I do most of my training by myself in the week, but try to get out with a group on the weekends to try and ease the at times painful laps of a small Island, whether that be in Guernsey or Jersey.


What is the best thing about racing bikes?
Tobyn: The speed, adrenalin and freedom… and those rare days where you’re floating & feeling awesome!

And what is the one thing you enjoy least!
Tobyn: Turbos and driving round the UK

If you could change one of your weaknesses into a strength, which one would it be?
Tobyn: Tough question….Erm, probably eat less cake…I love the cake! Ha!

Are you ‘geeky’ when it comes to the equipment on the bike or you just ride what the mechanic puts in front of you?
Tobyn: I wouldn’t say I’m geeky, but I have always enjoyed working on my own bikes and therefore always check wheels and brakes as a rule before the start.

What will you be doing training wise during the winter? Do you break it up into phases or endurance, intervals etc?
Tobyn: Steve always keeps training interesting by mixing things up. There’s never any junk miles, which is good as it means that I’m not just doing lots of laps around Guernsey or Jersey. I’ve enjoyed a bit of mountain biking in the off season this year so I’m planning on doing a bit over the winter.


Will you race at all in the winter (cross, track, circuit races?
Tobyn: No, Maybe the odd local mountain bike race as a training ride.

Do you have a specific winter training bike?
Tobyn: I’ve got a my own winter hack bike which I’m using at the moment, but looking forward to getting on my new Team bike for next year shortly!

What do you enjoy doing most when not riding the bike?
Tobyn: As any cyclist will tell you, drinking coffee. I really enjoy surfing but haven’t managed to do any this year. It’s a nice mental break away from the bike while still keeping you fit.

Will you try and get away from the weather here and go abroad for a winter training camp or wait for the team to take you away
Tobyn: I’ve just booked a week in Lanzarote before Xmas so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll probably try to get away in January as well.

How do you feel when a major team signs you after a successful season with another top team?
Tobyn: It’s a great feeling! I noticed a difference having had a more successful season this year, which has led to more teams willing to talk, which was nice. To go to Madison who were this season, the new kids on the block and had a great year, they’ve clearly stepped things up for next year so how can I not be excited!?

What are the races you are looking forward to most in 2014?
Tobyn: Tour Series is always exciting and action packed. Lincoln Grand Prix is another one. I got confirmation yesterday that I am riding the Glasgow Commonwealth Games for Guernsey next year so am looking forward to that.

Is there a specific role Madison will be looking to your for in races?
Tobyn: I think the Tour Series is always going to be important for any team and I was consistent there this year but I hope that I can bring some results and experience to the team across the board really being quite versatile.

Finally, is winter a great time to relax or do you miss the racing already and are hungry to get going again …
Tobyn: Very much both! It’s nice to have some chill out time after training and put your feet up but you never loose the hunger to get stuck in to racing.

Thanks Tobyn and good luck in 2014!



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