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Sigma Sports Podcast

Sigma Sports is proud to introduce our podcast series. Available on a wide range of platforms, including Apple iTunes, Spotify, and Acast, this is a chance to get your audible cycling fix. After taking our first steps into the world of podcasts with the first instalment of Matt Stephens Unplugged episodes, a weekly chat show hosted by the Sigma Sports ambassador, we are back with a bang for more podcast goodness! Featuring special guest appearances from some of the sport's biggest names make sure you are tuned in.

Miss any of our previous episodes? Listen back by visiting the Sigma Sports Presents Matt Stephens Unplugged Series archive.

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Episode forty nine

Matt Stephens and Jake Stewart chat about development, growth and why you should never move house in the middle of the racing season.

Jake Stewart tells Matt Stephens how joining the French Groupama–FDJ cycling development team took some getting used to, before making his impressive breakthrough for the WorldTour team in the past year and feeling part of the family. Question marks are raised around the Coventry quiz, when the legitimacy of a local delicacy is put under scrutiny, and with his recent heroics at the Tokyo Olympics, Jake wants to know why Tom Pidcock won't share a little bit of his talent.

Listen to episode 49 below.

Episode forty eight

Matt Stephens and Kristin Armstrong discuss the transition from competing to coaching at the highest level of elite cycling.

Kristin Armstrong and Matt Stephens chat about the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, and how she is preparing her athletes to compete in the women's mountain biking and team pursuit cycling events. With three Olympic gold medals to her name as well as two World Championships in the Time Trial discipline, Kristin admits she now cares a little too much about her athletes and explains how that competitive feeling never really goes away.

Listen to episode 48 below.

Episode forty seven

Matt Stephens and Peter Stetina discuss the US Gravel scene and the potential for it to be ruined by the UCI.

Peter Stetina and Matt Stephens shoot the breeze about gravel, beer and Boulder. A former World Tour road racer turned Privateer, Peter is now one of the most successful gravel racers in the world, accrediting the switch to gravel grinding as the best career decision of his life. Find out why he loves it so dearly, and how his passion for craft beer is somewhat complementary to the carnival feeling you only get in the American gravel scene. Having come back from a potentially career-ending injury, Peter’s professional focus on returning to health provides a hint toward his ability to suffer, and how that brings him success. There’s a stewards inquiry on the Boulder quiz, and if you’re wondering what Peter would print with a magic printer, you’ve come to the right place.

Listen to episode 47 below.

Episode forty six

Matt Stephens and Nathan Haas discuss the freedom of expression afforded by gravel riding.

Nathan Haas chats to Matt Stephens from the comfort of his Pod-pod - a room specially modified for podcasting. We hear the Australian’s take on why you can’t compare Cav to Eddie Merckx and why he’s as much of a cycling fan as he is an athlete. Plus, he shares his take on why there have been so many crashes at the opening stages of the 2021 Tour de France. Find out what led the Cofidis rider to admit that he just doesn’t understand cycling anymore, how it’s better for everyone to think you’re stupid and say nothing than to open your mouth and prove it, and how in his fully enjoyable career - timing has been everything.

Listen to episode 46 below.

Episode forty five

Matt Stephens and Russ Ellis chat about what it takes to race the peloton to the finish line, in order to capture the moment.

Russ Ellis explains to Matt Stephens that by giving a little, he gained a lot, when a generous gesture to Chris Froome led to a chance of a lifetime; shooting with then Team Sky. Now revered as one of the most talented cycling photographers around, Russ is a regular at the Grand Tours and Spring Classics alike, updating his @cyclingimages Instagram account with regular masterpieces that capture action and emotion in equal measures. Australian arachnids, octopuses and exploding pigeons also feature along with the first ever Mansfield quiz.

Listen to episode 45 below.

Episode forty four

Matt Stephens learns that when Lukas Pöstlberger is satisfied with his performance, the results don’t matter.

Lukas Pöstlberger cooks dinner while Matt Stephens quizzes him on his hometown of Vöcklabruck and learns how wearing your national colours helps you to identify your socks. The proud Austrian has spent seven years with Bora Hansgrohe and become one of the most technically gifted riders on the planet; listen in to find out his top tips for corner and descending. A generally laid back guy, Lukas puts his foot down when it comes to the choice of music on the team bus, and explains how getting it wrong can cost the team the race.

Listen to episode 44 below.

Episode forty three

Matt Stephens and Marianne Vos chat about the importance of relaxation and the value of a really nice cake.

Marianne Vos tells Matt Stephens all about her upbringing in the Netherlands, and how cycling was like a second nature to her. Having won her first World Championship at the tender age of 19, her life changed overnight - Matt was keen to find out how the Jumbo-Visma rider succeeded in becoming one of the most successful cyclists of all time while dealing with the pressures and expectations of such early promise. And if you’re wondering which kind of cake Marianne would choose if she had to be paid in cake, you’ve come to the right place!

Listen to episode 43 below.

Episode forty two

Matt Stephens and Mitch Docker chat about the sacrifices required to race against the new era of pro cyclists.

Mitch Docker and Matt Stephens shoot the breeze with a meandering chat about retro cycling fashion, tramp bikes and the challenges of being a road captain. The EF Education-Nippo rider still loves racing his bike, but explains how realising what matters most in life helped inform his decision to retire. The Hometown Quiz brings us the lowdown on Melbourne, while the Random Question Generator fires off a doozy featuring the Spice Girls!

Listen to episode 42 below.

Episode forty one

Matt Stephens and Tai Woffinden discuss the addictive nature of road cycling and how it can become an obsession.

Tai Woffinden tells Matt Stephens how a snap decision at just 12 years of age set him on the path to becoming the three-times Speedway World Champion he is today. His impulsive nature is also responsible for his growing addiction to road cycling, and if he’s not racing Speedway, he’s riding his road bike as hard as he can; on the tarmac or in his custom-built Zwift cave. While the Perth native might reside in Poland, Matt grills him on his birthplace of sunny Scunthorpe, and gets more than he bargained for.

Listen to episode 41 below.

Episode forty

Matt Stephens and Ned Boulting (sort of) live from the 2021 Giro d'Italia talk about this year's race up to the second rest day and who would be in their darts dream team.

Ned Boulting explains the virtues of a good darts game to Matt Stephens and the duo discuss why they are out at the Italian stage race. Ned shares his thoughts on the lack of crowds at the 2021 race and if a diminished Tifosi makes a difference when it comes to watching a bike race unfold. Tune in to find out how well he knows his hometown on Andover and what the Tour de Ned would look like.

Listen to episode 40 below.

Episode thirty nine

Matt Stephens and Matteo Trentin discuss rider safety, the merits of turning pro after university, and which animals are the rudest.

Matteo Trentin admits to Matt Stephens that the modern era of road racing is brilliant for the spectators but extremely difficult for the riders - so it’s a good thing he’s a fan. He credits the amazing team spirit of UAE Team Emirates to the collection of social riders they’ve put together, and measures this by how difficult it is to leave the dinner table. Tune in to find out which is Matteo’s favourite cog, and what his dream bike would look like.

Listen to episode thirty nine below.

Episode thirty eight

Matt Stephens and Elisa Longo Borghini chat about their childhood obsessions with the Giro, and how dreams can come true.

Elisa Longo Borghini tells Matt Stephens how a period of reflection during lockdown helped shape her give-it-all attitude toward the 2021 season. The Trek Segafredo rider remembers geeking out on the Giro d’Italia as a kid, and can’t help but enjoy adding to the hurt her competitors feel on race day. Tune in to learn all about her vow to entertain on the road, and the magical connection between herself, her mother and the Olympic games.

Listen to episode thirty eight below.

Episode thirty seven

Matt Stephens and Lachlan Morton chat about dream bikes, dream events and nightmare hypothetical scenarios.

Lachlan Morton explains to Matt Stephens how cutting down his road race calendar has meant he can now enjoy each race as if it’s his first, thanks to the alternative calendar afforded to him by EF Education-Nippo. As a world-beating endurance rider, he tells us how he’s had to harness his inner McGuyver to fix a range of trailside mechanicals. The Random Question Generator was on overload, dictating a number of meandering tangents, while the Port Macquarie quiz tackles nudist beaches and Aussie cover-bands visiting Lachlan’s hometown.

Listen to episode thirty seven below.

Episode thirty six

Matt Stephens and Eric Min talk about creating a new cycling community and the importance of social impact.

Eric Min tells Matt Stephens how his unemployability meant he had no choice but to start his own company, Zwift. A bike racer in his youth, Eric has cycling in his DNA and is now rediscovering the joys of riding outdoors since moving house to rural England. Matt demands a pat on the back for his extensively researched Seoul quiz while Eric reflects on the importance of having a positive social impact through business, and how building an online community can be just the ticket.

Listen to episode thirty six below.

Episode thirty five

Matt Stephens and Nic Dlamini chat goals, hunger and the future of racing for young South Africans.

Nic Dlamini tells Matt Stephens all about growing up in hunger and how that has shaped him as a person and an athlete now. The Qhubeka Assos rider started riding a bike for a very cool reason, and now races to change people’s lives, with his team’s primary sponsor doing such great work in providing bicycles to people who need them in Africa. In the Cape Town quiz, Matt stumps Nic with a question about his hometown’s penguins.

To learn more about Qhubeka and perhaps make a donation, visit their website.

Listen to episode thirty five below.

Episode thirty four

Matt Stephens and Rebecca Charlton chat gender judgement, adrenaline and Disney soundtracks.

Rebecca Charlton tells Matt Stephens how she wanted to be a broadcaster from a very young age, and how the role of cycling in the pursuit of her dreams was somewhat coincidental. The pressures to adapt to a male-dominated industry in order to thrive encouraged her to do just the opposite, carving her own path in her own personal way. Rebecca has her work cut out in the hometown quiz, as Matt’s done some diligent research on Shoreham-by-Sea - plus the Random Question Generator serves up an existential head-scratcher!

Listen to episode thirty four below.

Episode thirty three

Matt Stephens and Michael Matthews talk about finding the right path and taking your chances whenever you can.

Michael Matthews explains to Matt Stephens just how professional bike racing has changed since he turned pro 10 years ago. How he owes his hugely successful racing career to an unlikely source of inspiration, and how he fell back in love with the sport of cycling. There’s a world-first in the hometown quiz, and Michael is asked to sum up his experience with all of his former teams in just one word.

Listen to episode thirty three below.

Episode thirty two

Matt Stephens and Lauren Steadman chat about keeping sight of your goals and never giving up.

Matt Stephens chats to British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman about her impressive career so far and how moving from swimming to triathlon unlocked her potential as an Olympian. It’s no surprise that the psychology graduate backs up her sporting talents with immense mental strength, but how well does she know her hometown of Peterborough, and how will she react to the interruptions of the uncontrollable Random Question Generator? - There’s only one way to find out!

Listen to episode thirty two below.

Episode thirty one

Matt Stephens and Richard Hughes discuss playing the biggest venues in the world and riding the biggest rides.

Matt Stephens chats to Richard Hughes about his impressive musical career and his undying love for cycling. Having grown up using his bike for fun and to get to band practice, the Keane drummer has gone on to complete some of the toughest rides in Europe. He talks candidly with Matt about how the bike really helped him cope with a hiatus from gigging, and the merits of planning your next challenge before you complete the current one. Having shared the same stage as his musical heroes, and the same roads as his cycling heroes - the parallels between the two are plentiful.

Listen to episode thirty one below.

Episode thirty

Matt Stephens and Adam Blythe talk about hanging on in races, getting out of the game and the merits of corned beef.

Adam Blythe and Matt Stephens discuss the modern era of road racing, and how competing against the likes of van der Poel and van Aert is a whole different ball game. There are two tenuously linked stories about the Junior Axel Tour, and Adam gives us an insight into how it feels to ride pillion on an in-race moto at the Tour de France. The pair imagine a bike race without bikes, talk at length about Bubble and Squeak and Adam tries to phone a friend to gain a competitive edge in the Sheffield Quiz.

Listen to episode thirty below.

Episode twenty nine

Matt Stephens and George Bennett talk honesty, cultural differences and the importance of a good team setup.

George Bennett and Matt Stephens discuss how fine margins win races, but fine margins are easy to close. From his apartment in Andorra, overlooking the empty pistes, the New Zealand native looks back at his career to date and explains how he’s grown as a rider. Now with Jumbo Visma, the Kiwi national road champion is flourishing at a team that really knows how to mine his talent. The Random Question Generator serves up a doozie, and Matt gets out his notebook to swat up on George’s hometown for the Nelson quiz.

Listen to episode twenty nine below.

Episode twenty eight

Matt Stephens and Lizzie Deignan talk about her perfect World Road Race Championship victory and how she’ll keep racing for as long as possible.

Lizzie Deignan is enjoying life as a pro cyclist more than ever, and in this exclusive interview she tells Matt Stephens all about her preference to train outdoors, whatever the weather. They look back at her confident victory at the 2015 World Road Championships in Richmond, and discuss the future while touching on their shared addiction to property listing websites. Matt’s done his research in the Otley quiz, and Lizzie doesn’t disappoint with her local knowledge.

Listen to episode twenty eight below.

Episode twenty seven

Matt Stephens and Steve Cummings talk about motivation, cycling culture and how tactics can beat power.

Steve Cummings tells Matt Stephens how his working class background makes him uncomfortable with doing nothing. Now busy with a postgrad course and his new position at Ineos Grenadiers, Steve recognises how privileged he is to have lived a dream, and now to be in a position to start all over again. The random question generator is back, and Matt struggles to find questions about Steve’s hometown, in the Pensby quiz.

Listen to episode twenty seven below.

Episode twenty six

Matt Stephens and Karl Kopinski chat brushstrokes and pedal strokes, and how you can always spot a bluffer on the bike or in the art gallery.

Karl Kopinski steps back from the easel to spend an hour with Matt Stephens and chat about their shared loves of art and cycling. Famed for his breathtaking illustrations and captivating portraits, Karl enjoys nothing more than unwinding with a hard session in the saddle. On his way to becoming the celebrated artist he is today, the Nottingham native worked as a pool attendant, did a shift in a pie factory, and spent a day as a refuse worker. But, it was an in-house stint at Games Workshop followed by a chance meeting with designer Paul Smith that really changed his life...

Listen to episode twenty six below.

Episode twenty five

Matt Stephens and Matt Holmes talk about the doggedness required to compete at your first Grand Tour.

Matt Holmes takes a break from training on his snowy local roads to chat to Matt Stephens about his first Giro d’Italia and admits that while he’s not the best climber or sprinter out there, working hard can get you far. The Lotto–Soudal rider lays out his goals for the coming season, tackles the Wigan quiz, and explains how his newfound fame has changed the way he waves.

Listen to episode twenty five below.

Episode twenty four

Matt Stephens and Kasia Niewiadoma chat about escaping small towns in Poland to take on the world stage.

Kasia Niewiadoma tells Matt Stephens how she first took up cycling to prove herself to her father, and ended up making him incredibly proud and excited by winning the Amstel Gold Race in 2019. Tune in to find out how the Canyon-SRAM climber prepares for a big race, what drew her to cycling as a youth, and exactly how Matt managed to lose a quiz he wrote himself.

Listen to episode twenty four below.

Episode twenty three

Matt Stephens and Jonathan Vaughters discuss winning creatively, upsetting the apple cart, and how the whole team matters.

Jonathan Vaughters explains to Matt Stephens how his EF Education-Nippo cycling team is the natural home of intellectual misfits, and how no rider is greater than the team itself. With a personal love for individual expression, JV practices what he preaches and is known for standing his ground and swimming against the tide. But just how will he fare in the world’s first cycling-podcast-based Denver quiz?

Listen to episode twenty three below.

Episode twenty two

Matt Stephens and Alec Briggs discuss cycling heroes, being an alternative cyclist, and how the bike represents another level of freedom.

Alec Briggs chats to Matt Stephens about the importance of developing bike handling skills above power and aerodynamics. With his Tekkerz cycling team poised to tackle 2021 head-on, the Lewisham native is determined to add to the cycling world; not replace anything. But just how did this self-professed snack expert manage to cause Matt to suffer ‘snack confusion’ in a first for the podcast?

Listen to episode twenty two below.

Episode twenty one

Matt Stephens and Hugh Carthy chat about always having a positive career path in mind, and the potential benefits of cross training on a snooker table.

Hugh Carthy tells Matt all about his recent success at Vuelta a España, and how it all came down to a massive team effort from EF Education First Pro Cycling. From his residence in Andorra, he’s been training in sub zero conditions, but can he keep his cool when faced with Matt’s custom-made hometown centric Preston quiz?

Listen to episode twenty one below.

Episode twenty

Matt Stephens chats to Cherie Pridham about getting knocked down, getting back up again, and sending the right email at the right time!

Cherie Pridham tells Matt Stephens all about her excitement at becoming the first woman to manage a cycling team at WorldTour level, inspiring the next generation, and how hard work always pays off... eventually. But where will she place on the Guess That Snack leaderboard?

Listen to episode twenty below.

Episode nineteen

Matt Stephens chats to Sepp Kuss about his meteoric rise to becoming one of the best climbers in the peloton.

Sepp Kuss explains to Matt Stephens how growing up at altitude has helped him race in the mountains, and how his tongue usually only falls out of his mouth when faced with crosswinded flat sections. But can he use his famous poker face to cause an upset in the Guess That Snack leaderboard?

Listen to episode nineteen below.

Episode Eighteen

Matt Stephens and Austin Healey share their experiences of growing up with freedom, overcoming injury, and the joy of a really good cardigan.

Autsin Healey and Matt Stephens have plenty in common; both are former professional sportspersons of the highest level, both are now successful commentators, and of course, both love a good cardigan. From an international rugby player to a competitive amateur cyclist, Austin’s journey has seen him take the reins of ITV game show ‘The Fuse’ and almost podium as a contestant on BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. But, looking back, is there anything he’d do differently? Tune in to find out

Listen to episode eighteen below.

Episode Seventeen

Matt Stephens learns how Justin Williams created a new home for cyclists who want to do things differently.

Justin Williams tells Matt Stephens all about growing up in LA to a family of black cyclists, how his dad left him at the roadside for wearing boxers under his bibs, and how his L39ion of Los Angeles Team aims to spark curiosity and hope. But perhaps even more importantly than that, Matt’s keen to find out if Justin wears his socks over or under his leg warmers?

Listen to episode seventeen below.

Episode Sixteen

Matt Stephens chats to Cal Crutchlow about finding his competitive edge through road cycling.

Cal Crutchlow tells Matt Stephens all about exceeding the limits of adhesion, running out of talent and taking a gravel bath. The MotoGP legend has some shocking average heart rate figures. We also find out when it comes to getting race fit, Cal does it on two wheels of another variety. At a pivotal moment in his career, Cal talks candidly about what matters most in life, his heroes, and feeling like a Gladiator in the paddock.

Listen to episode sixteen below.

Episode Fifteen

Matt Stephens chats to top broadcaster and cycling journalist Orla Chennaoui about finding her voice and using it to fight.

Orla Chennaoui describes her version of heaven to Matt Stephens, which involves an elevator, reliable wifi and the freedom to chat ad nauseam. She shares her inspiring attitude to the difficulties of life and explains how hope trumps despair. But can she deliver a shockwave to the Guess That Snack leaderboard?

Listen to episode fifteen below.

Episode Fourteen

Matt Stephens gets the hairdryer treatment from one of the best goalkeepers in the game when Ben Foster releases his passion for cycling.

Ben Foster explains to Matt Stephens how bike riding always brings a smile to his face, and there’s nothing quite like the buzz of winning a Zwift race. In a first for the pod, Matt’s up against a total expert in Guess That Snack; a man who rides his bike hard so he can grow his snack knowledge, guilt-free!

Listen to episode fourteen below.

 

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