Rider Chat: Dan Patten (Merlin Cycles)

Former Team Wiggins rider Dan Patten, based in Belgium, is racing for Merlin Cycles in 2018 … we chat

Rider Chat: Dan Patten (Merlin Cycles)

In the last two major British events, Dan Patten has been looking to get over illness and a lack of racing to kick start his season for a new sponsor, Merlin Cycles.

He is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton after a decade or more of racing. After he graduated from University, Dan started to ride and race his bike full time and over the years has ridden for Magnus Backstedt, teams in Belgium like Flanders, in the USA for teams such as Smartstop and also in Asia (7Eleven) before a few years at Team Wiggins.

From all that, you can see that Dan, from Essex originally, has quite a bit of experience of racing in different teams and countries and in 2018, has taken the route of going solo backed by the Chorley bike shop, Merlin Cycles.

Dan racing last weekend in the CiCLE Classic for an East Midlands team

He explained “In sport at this level, there is never a lot of stability so from year to year, I never knew what team I was going to be with until opportunities sprung up. This year I am taking a different approach which allows me to be very flexible. In the past, I have always played a team role and taken a lot of satisfaction from that like what I did with team Wiggins.”

“There were days when you’d take a chance in a breakaway and if not, you might be riding on the front but I always enjoyed it.”

This year though is different for Dan with only himself to look after and on the day we spoke, the day before the Chorley Grand Prix, Dan was there with the Merlin Cycles shop owners John Moss and wife Debbie where Dan was presented with a new bike, the 2018 Merlin Nitro Aero Ultegra R8050 Di2 Carbon Road Bike.

John said of Dan: “he’s a credit to the sport and the ideal person to represent Merlin at the Elite level of bike racing. With our backing, Dan will be able to race our bikes at the highest level and focus on races in the UK and further afield”

Dan is well acquainted with riding the Merlin brand having ridden the Merlin Nitro SL in 2017 and that bike will be his training one for 2018 with the brand new 2018 Nitro Aero his race bike, fully kitted out with ENVE carbon wheels alongside the Shimano Di2 groupset as well as 3T bars and stem, Stages power meter and Sidi shoes.

“I’m being very well supported by the shop which has an incredible set up and I thank them for their help” Dan said of the sponsorship. Being a lone rider in such a sponsorship deal, Dan is better off than he would in many a team with the shop fully backing him in his goals to get some results wearing the Castelli branded team kit available from Merlin Cycles.

Based in Belgium in the beating heart of bike racing, Dan explained how he will be racing there as well as selected events such as some prems, in Britain. “There are day to day kermesses in Belgium and that’s good because I get to race there when I want and they are also great preparation for the races here too.”
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Dan is down to ride the Klondike Grand Prix this weekend in a season which has started quite late for him (and many others) and he will then look forward to races like the British Road Championships.

Dan explained how his aims and aspirations in the sport have evolved over the years but how the basics are the same – “ultimately, I want to continue to progress and do the best races I can do. I feel I have unfinished business in showing myself in bigger races and I’m still looking for opportunities to do that.”

Asked about career highlights so far, he replied “some of the wins I have had in Belgium and the USA have been nice and going to some real big races like the Tour of California, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tour been great and I got to feature in them which was nice as well.”

For now, a long way from the Middle East, Dan will be braving the British weather again this weekend at the Klondike Grand Prix and looking to put the racing in his legs so far to good use for his sponsor, Merlin Cycles.

Dan’s New Bike the 2018 Merlin Nitro Aero Ultegra R8050 Di2 Carbon Road Bike.


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