When I look at the football Premiership there always seems to be dissatisfaction bubbling below the surface. Even if you look at the most successful teams in the Premier league – Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea – even at these clubs that win trophies, there always seems to be an underlying under-current of dissatisfaction. A few loses and everyone turns on somebody to blame. I watch highlights of the Premier League on Match of the Day for the beautiful goals, but usually fast forward through the football punditry in between. ‘The beautiful game’ does seem driven by money and the need for results. That’s the modern game, and perhaps people enjoy the pressure, tension and all that goes with that. But, if I had to choose between the riches of being a professional footballer and an amateur cyclist, I’d jump an the chance to pay £7 to ride up and the A31 before you have chance to say ‘it’s only a game.’
For me sport is something to be enjoyed, not in the traditional sense of a nice pleasurable experience. It is a very different kind of satisfaction that you get from racing at the limit. I try to do the best I can, and to win is a real bonus. But, that’s not the only motivation for sport. I’d like to think I will keep enjoying cycling, even when the advancing years, start to push me down the results board.