Interview – Jon Dibben


Taking to the track in London today is 21 year old Jon Dibben in the first round of the Team Pursuit for Great Britain. We spoke to him during the winter about his aims.

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Interview – Jon Dibben


Where ever you look at the articles pre Worlds, it’s all about Wiggins or Cavendish. They are for sure the big names, the ones who have already achieved huge things in their careers. In the mix though is a 21 year old who has had three years on the academy and learnt the ropes of what it takes to ride at the very top of his game.

Jon Dibben.

Whilst it’s impossible without being there with the team, which I was for so many years, to know what is what with the riders and the pecking order they are in, the fact that in the starting line up for the GB team in London today is the name Jon Dibben, says volumes of how well he is going.

I watched Jon at Revolution in the winter when Mark Cavendish looked quite ordinary on the boards (early days for him) and Jon was nothing short of ‘mint’ in his races. Now, in London, Jon and the GB riders are getting ready to go into battle for rainbow jerseys. For Jon, it’s the Team Pursuit today but one event he’s done a lot of for GB gathering valuable qualifying points, the Omnium, sadly looks like being missing from his programme as Mark Cavendish is given a chance to show what he can do.

In Olympic year and even without the Omnium, the Worlds in London will still be Jon’s biggest test so far however as he slots in with GB’s A team. He, like the others, hasn’t lost sight of what the real goal is – Rio.

“It’s the biggest aim of my career so far” he told VeloUK. “I’m definitely motivated to do all the right things and hope it all comes together.”

Jon explained how when ever they put the GB jersey on, it matters but with the Worlds and Olympics in their face, now it really matters. “With the Olympics, you’re never short of motivation to do the right thing in training. You can sense that in the whole group. Take guys like Steven Burke who has done two Olympics. The shape he is in right now is probably the best shape I’ve ever seen him in all the time I’ve known him.”

Jon added that with the Olympics now visible at the end of the tunnel, everyone is really fired up including the staff as they all know what it means to the team as a whole.


Looking back at 2015, Jon says “it was an alright year” for him. “I did some good races with Team Wiggins like the Tour of Britain and then it was back into the GB stuff for the winter. We won the Euros with GB which was good and went pretty quick there. I rode the Omnium also and went okay to finish with a medal more through a good hack in the Points race than a solid set of results together.”

“Then we went to Cali and the Team Pursuit was alright but the Omnium was good. I have got a lot of confidence from the Points races I’ve done and learning how the Omnium works. As long as you go into the Points race within touching distance, you can do all the damage you need to do there”.

“There’s work for me to do in the Omnium with the Devil being my weak event. If I can do a good Devil, I’ll definitely be up there.”

“I have done quite a few Omnium’s now and the first day is full gas. The Scratch and Pursuit are pretty simply in my eyes. The Scratch race is the easiest one and then the Pursuit, it’s full gas for four and half minutes then job done. The Devil is the complex one”.

Asked what complicates the Devil, he says “whilst people say it’s a lottery, the same people do well all the time. You look at Laura Trott, Viviani and so on. It’s the same in the Scratch and Pursuit; riders have their good events but it’s my bad event and I have done a lot of looking into how to make my race better”.

“It’s about learning how to ride it safe as such. You don’t have to win it, but you can’t come 15th. You can lose the omnium in it so I’m looking at ways to do alright”


Jon explained how they had all their Worlds qualifying done in Cali and after that were able to concentrate on training up to the Worlds. He added they’ve done a lot of gym work, much more than they used to as well as altitude work topped off with some track training.

Looking ahead for 2016, and what his programme is likely to consist of, he explained “there is going to be a lot of road even though it’s Olympic year (track). The track is the focus but you can get so fit on the road as the racing is hard. There are certainly benefits doing that.”

Heiko (Salzwedal) (coach) likes to have very defined blocks in a season, track blocks and road blocks says Jon before explaining how the team in the run up to the Track Worlds had a two week road training block, Challenge Mallorca and then Tour of Dubai before a track block up to the Worlds.

Looking ahead post Worlds, he says they have a lot of good road races coming up. “We have the Tour of California which will be a really good one. We have a big block of road out there including two weeks at altitude. We’ll then come back to the track and fine tune the speed.”

Its all in the name – Wiggins.
Interestingly, when asked what kit he trains in, Wiggins or GB, Jon, ever the pro LoL, explained that if it’s a GB camp, the GB kit and bike and if it’s not, then the Wiggins kit and bike. He also said that it was the Wiggins kit that attracted the most attention showing just what a draw card Bradley Wiggins is.

“He is so iconic” says Jon. “His name on the team means the fans get quite excited when they see us racing or training. Brad’s backing of the team means the team gets boosted up a level higher than it actually is (UCI conti) .



Finally, the Team Pursuit. The event that the team have had such success in – not just in the last 16 years where they have medalled in it but even before the lottery days, the Team Pursuit was an event GB were known to be good at.

“We’re going quick” says Jon. “We have done a lot of strength work, gym work, speed work, to go quick and I think we have moved away from where we were. Heiko is looking to take us to the next level and we’re not far off. Rather than dialling in the changes and riding smooth, he’s looking at getting out of the blocks full gas and hanging on”.

For Jon, getting a ride in round 1 will at least see him racing the event along with the icon that is Bradley Wiggins. Only four riders get to race on the track at once and whilst the team may well change the line-up for each of the rounds, making that selection for a round of the event shows how well Jon must be going.

When you look at the riders at the Worlds, Steven Burke (two Olympics), Mark Cavendish (another British icon in cycling), Ed Clancy (the best Team Pursuiter there is), Owain Doull (3rd in the tour of Britain), Andy Tennant, Chris Latham and of course, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Jon has done very well indeed to be in the mix.

That’s a lot of talent the team has to work with. Of them, Mark Cavendish is expected to race the Omnium and it’s said, if he doesn’t medal, that well leave the door open to Jon in the Omnium where him, Cavendish and Chris Latham are the contenders for the Rio spot.

Fingers crossed for Jon at the Track Worlds and his ambition to ride his first Olympics later in the year.



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