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Sigma Sports Podcast Archive

Episodes 61 - 70

Decorated sprinters, brother-coaches, competitive partners, broadcasters, cyclocross racers and more make up the guest list on this fabulous decade of podcasts. From Magnus Bäckstedt's recollection of his victory at Paris Roubaix, to Marcel Kittel's musical high jump contest and Joss Lowden's potato and onion rationed team building camp - there's something for everyone. 

Listen to the latest episodes over on the Sigma Sports Podcast page.

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Episode sixty one - Double Downing - Russ and Dean's Top Training Tips

Dean and Russ Downing join Matt Stephens in a New Year’s Special to discuss their top training tips, reminisce about Rotherham, and invent new biscuits.

Matt Stephens is joined by not one, but two Downing brothers as Dean and Russ share their expertise in this training-focused podcast. Both having enjoyed illustrious racing careers, they now run the hugely successful Downing Cycling; coaching ambitious amateurs and top professional athletes alike. Matt is keen to learn how time-crunched riders can maximise their training time, what the most common training mistakes are, and what their best piece of advice is for new riders. We hear how the Donny Chaingang went online during lockdown and has flourished from there. Plus there are plenty of distractions along the way, with the Rotherham quiz and the Random Question Generator causing all kinds of confusion.

Listen to episode 61 below.

Episode sixty two - Cameron Mason on the synergy of Cyclocross

Cameron Mason explains to Matt Stephens how showing motivation, passion and a good skill set all contribute to getting noticed by the best cycling teams in the world.

Matt Stephens chats with Cameron Mason about his impressive performance at the HSBC British National Cyclo-Cross Championships, taking home the Under-23 title and coming second in the Elite category at the tender age of 21. Wise beyond his years, Cameron credits his early-career success to his passion and motivation to learn every time he turns up to an event. With strong opinions on the maximum value of stock loaded into a Poundland lorry, a stunning performance in the Linlithgow quiz, and advice for what to pack on a 1000-year trip across the Galaxy in a UFO, this is an episode not to be missed.

Listen to episode 62 below.

Episode sixty three - Joss Lowden on turning pro in the nick of time

Joss Lowden tells Matt Stephens how living a full life before turning pro has allowed her to fully appreciate her late-blooming cycling career.

Matt Stephens learns how Joss Lowden bought a TT bike one Saturday, signed up for her first time trial on Sunday and set the course record on Monday. “Like a fish to water” doesn’t begin to describe the current Women's World Hour Record holder’s natural aptitude for bike racing. Now riding for Uno-X, the 2022 calendar looks incredibly exciting for Joss, but how will it compare to a Norwegian military-style team-building exercise featuring a single potato and a very large onion? And can it live up to the career highlight of standing on the podium with her partner Dan Bigham at Harrogate World Championships in 2019? There’s only one way to find out - enjoy the podcast.

Listen to episode 63 below.

Episode sixty four - Dan Bigham on engineering the perfect performance

Dan Bigham tells Matt Stephens he knows exactly what it will take to break the World Hour Record.

Matt Stephens and Dan Bigham talk numbers in their fascinating conversation about aerodynamics, power, watt-saving measures and pies. The British Hour Record holder is a formidable engineer, who specialised in aerodynamics - Matt is keen to learn how this unique set of skills helped him to earn his current title, and of course, Dan knows exactly what he would need to do to break the World Hour Record. Now working with INEOS Grenadiers, how will his knowledge be put into practice in a team environment, and will he share his winning formula even if it threatens to take his own record away?

Listen to episode 64 below.

Episode sixty five - Phil Gaimon on KOMs, hustling, and his un-professional cycling career

Phil Gaimon tells Matt Stephens how his ability to hold 400 watts for an hour is wasted on Strava KOMs.

Matt Stephens has an open and honest chat with Phil Gaimon about his admittedly stop-start professional cycling career, and how he never really got a fair shot at the races that suited him. Now carving out a creative path through riding with sponsorships within the world of cycling, Phil’s exciting new ventures can’t be considered a retirement. Having recently joined Jukebox cycling, a uniquely international setup of multidisciplinary cyclists doing what they love, he’s enjoying his cycling perhaps more than ever. However, he still considers his ability to hold 400 watts for an hour to be wasted on Strava KOMs.

Listen to episode 65 below.

Episode sixty six - Ben Healy training with power and racing on instinct

Ben Healy and Matt Stephens discuss the young WorldTour pro’s plans for 2022.

Matt Stephens and Ben Healy discuss the benefits of growing as a rider in the Under-23 category before making the step to WorldTour level. Ben’s career at the top level is in it’s fledgling stages with EF Education-Easypost, but he’s been putting out world class performances for a number of years, notably winning the Irish National Championships in 2020 at the tender age of 19. Now, he’s setting his goals for the 2022 season, and answering questions on his not-quite-hometown of Dudley.

Listen to episode 66 below.

Episode sixty seven - Jose Been on making the most of your opportunities

Jose Been explains to Matt Stephens that it’s a great privilege to be a cycling commentator.

Matt Stephens learns how Jose Been is like you or me; she’s a cycling fan. But when her knowledge of the sport began to get noticed on social media, she was offered her first commentary gig by Eurosport then quickly became a household name in the Netherlands, commentating on almost every race broadcast. With a talent for fact retention she often surprises herself with information buried deep in her brain, and considers the job of a commentator to include 365 days a year of research. But being in the public eye brought some unwanted attention from online trolls, leading her to step back from the sport for a short while in 2019. When she returned, she began commentating in English, and found that the warm reception gave her a second wind; making English-speaking cycling fans all the richer for it.

Listen to episode 67 below.

Episode sixty eight - Marcel Kittel on retirement, fatherhood, and following his own interests

Marcel Kittel tells Matt Stephens how designing a house is a bit like discussing a sprint with your team.

Matt Stephens and Marcel Kittel chat about his fantastic career as one of the best sprinters of the modern era. The former Etixx–Quick-Step and Katusha–Alpecin rider took an amazing 89 professional victories but is now enjoying his retirement by embarking on a number of personal projects. He discusses how becoming a father changed his trajectory overnight, and he has a lot to look forward to as he builds a new home for his family. But has he ever taken part in a high jump contest while music was playing in a festival atmosphere, and does he know the three most popular meats used in the sausages of his homeland? There’s only one way to find out…

Listen to episode 68 below.

Episode sixty nine - Magnus Bäckstedt on two-wheel drifting at Paris-Roubaix

Magnus Bäckstedt tells Matt Stephens how he’ll never forget the feeling of throwing his arms in the air at the finish line of the Roubaix Velodrome.

Matt Stephens and Magnus Bäckstedt chat about his famous victory at Paris-Roubaix, in this fascinating Spring Classics themed episode. A formidable figure on the bike, the big Swede forged his powerful legs in the world of downhill skiing, and he explains to Matt how he had to make a tough decision as to which sport to dedicate himself to. It proved a good choice, as his Alessio–Bianchi teammates of 2004 would attest, helping him to deliver a memorable victory at Paris-Roubaix. Now, Magnus dedicates his time to helping his two daughters achieve their own goals; with both Elynor and Zoë Bäckstedt riding at the very highest levels too. But how well does Magnus know the heavy metal rock bands of his hometown of Linköping? There’s only one way to find out…

Listen to episode 69 below.

Episode seventy - Connor Swift on premature celebrations

Connor Swift tells Matt Stephens how he learnt his lesson from throwing his hands in the air a fraction too early at Tro Bro Leon 2021.

Matt Stephens chats to Connor Swift about Steak Bakes, clothes horses, and premature celebrations. Listen to his captivating recollection of the moment he threw his hands in the air at Tro Bro Leon, 2021 only for it to go to a photo finish. The Arkéa–Samsic rider might have become British national champion at just 22 years of age but now, four years later, he really feels like he’s developing into a late bloomer. But what does that mean for young riders coming through the ranks now? And what does Connor know about the oldest goldfish in Doncaster?

Listen to episode 70 below.

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