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Interview: Dani King
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 10/18/2011
Interview: Dani King
 

Interview: Dani King
Interview with 20 year old GB academy cyclist and Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo rider Dani King. Dani is a world class Track rider being World Champion, National Champion and U23 European Champion.


Dani started cycling at the age of 14 when in 2005 she skipped a maths lesson to ride bikes on a school visit from British Cyclingís Talent Team. Now a few years later Dani is a rising star in cycling as she is a Track World Champion (Team Pursuit), multiple National Track Champion and U23 European Track Champion. She also is an excellent road rider. At the moment Dani is preparing for the Senior European Track Championships in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands (October 21-23) where she is aiming for the gold medal in the team pursuit together with her team mates Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell. An interview with the 20 year old Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo cyclist.

You are in your preparations for the European Track Championships in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands (October 21-23). How is the preparation going?
Really well thanks, Weíve got a great group of girls who get on really well so although training has been hard, its really enjoyable.

Which events are you going to do this weekend?
Team pursuit and potentially the pointís race.

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Team pursuit World Champion alongside Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenaghel. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

How important are the Track Euros for you and the whole GB team with an eye on the 2012 London Olympics?
The event is another stepping stone to enable qualification points. We would also love to win, as in all of the competitions that we race in.

One of your main targets for London 2012 is the Team Pursuit in which you are a World Champion already. Can you tell us how a preparation and a race goes? As you have to take care of your two teammates as well as determination and cooperation are very important key points.
Yes, I am focusing 100% on team pursuit. The event is getting faster and faster so you need a team that can start fast but ultimately be able to deliver good turns for 3km.

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Dani also took the bronze medal in the scratch race. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

You are on the GB cycling academy. Can you tell us more about the academy? And what they do to make good cyclists.
Itís a great program with the aim of providing support to young talented riders who have the potential to achieve medals internationally. Itís a full time training programme which requires a strong work ethic.

To become Team Pursuit World Champion and to take bronze in the scratch. How did the Track Worlds in Apeldoorn changed your life? As in the British media they all said you were the unknown one.
It was a whirlwind for me, this time last year I was recovering from having glandular fever and now Iím preparing for the elite Euros having won the World Championships and under 23 Euros. Itís amazing but nothing has really changed, Iím working as hard as ever to reach my goal of becoming an Olympic champion.

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Celebrating the World title. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Next to a Track World Champion, European Champion and National Champion you are an excellent road rider as well. How do you look back at the road season with Horizon Fitness Ė Prendas Ciclismo?
Horizon Fitness is a great team who nurture their riders bring out the best in them. Iíd say the highlight for me would have been the team series in Britain which we dominated as a team. I also gained experience riding with the team in UCI races and it has really helped with my development on the track

Turning into an Olympic year. Do you fully focus on Olympic Track Disciplines with British Cycling or you will do some road races with Horizon Fitness as well?
Iíll be fully focused on the track however, Iím hoping to fit some road racing in after the World Championships as my final Olympic preparation

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On the way to gold in the team pursuit. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Horizon Fitness Ė Prendas Ciclismo looks like the best possible team for you to combine road and track at the same time. How do you experience that?
Yes theyíre great when it comes to helping me juggle road and track. The team always want whatís best for me and are extremely supportive to me and all of the girls.

I read somewhere that you said the Tour of Flanders is the most beautiful road race of the year. What about your road ambitions for the next years?
Yea I'd love to become professional on the road in the next few years and think Flanders would be my kind of race.

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Dani is also an excellent road rider. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What will your program more or less look like between the European Track Championships and the main goal London 2012?
Iím going to Kazakhstan to ride the Omnium then hopefully London World Cup. In the new year preparation will be towards World Championships and then on to London

Recently there was a discussion/debate about a minimum wage for women cyclists. UCI president McQuaid stated that the sport donít have the level yet. Vos, Teutenberg and Bronzini took offense and supported the idea. What are your thoughts? Or what needs to be changed to get this idea started.
Womenís cycling doesnít get enough coverage on TV so a minimum wage would be difficult to finance, but itís a vicious circle. Womenís cycling needs better promotion and coverage and then a minimum wage would be a great idea.

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Dani did well in the races in Luxembourg in early May. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Are you optimistic about the growth and popularity of women's racing?
Yes, its getting better and better! Cycling is the fastest growing sport in the U.K. And womenís cycling alone has become a lot more popular in the few years that Iíve been cycling so I believe itís only going to get bigger and better!

What are your goals as a cyclist and as a person for the long term after the 2012 Olympics?
I havenít thought that far yet, I want to be in the Gold medal winning team in the London Olympics and then keep progressing until I reach my full potential as a cyclist so 2016 and further is a real possibility.

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Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo dominated the Johnson Health Tech Women's Grand Prix Series. Dani won in Stoke-on-Trent and finished second behind team mate Annie Simpson in Oldham (photo). Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What is Dani doing when not riding a bike?
Chilling with my friends or boyfriend, going shopping or the cinema.

You are doing a University course in Business Studies if I am correct. How do you manage to combine this study with being a cyclist? Or do you study and doing exams while being away.
Yes, I have actually completed the first year and am now having a break until after the Olympics are over as its getting too hard to juggle.

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Dani has a great future ahead, she is only 20 years of age. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Your Dad competed in two Winter Olympics in Biathlon and read in an other interview he is a real inspiration source for you. Can you explain how he inspires/encourages you to be the best you can be?
- Yeah both my parents have always supported me 100% throughout my cycling career. They both just want the best for me and ultimately say I always have to enjoy what Iím doing. My Dad has always been there through the ups and downs and has encouraged me to keep going all the way!

Final question. What do you want to share about yourself what people maybe donít know?
When I was young I use to have ballroom dancing lessons and Iíve always loved music so if I wasnít a cyclist Iíd love to be a singer!!!

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