1. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I am James, 24 years old and a bike racer for team traveler. I'm British but now live in San Diego, I've also lived in Kenya, Catalonia and Venezuela. I speak French Catalan and Spanish. And my pancreas doesn't work properly.
2. How long have you been racing bikes?
I've been riding since I can remember but I think I raced for the first time as a junior at 17, maybe 16 on the mountain bike.
3. Tell us what has inspired you to start cycling.
I like being outside, I like the feeling of covering ground and seeing new places. Cycling has an epic scale unlike other sports, it covers whole countries. That's what I like about cycling but racing is different; In a race you can't look around. I love the total exhaustion after I finish and the tactics involved.
4. Share with us your plight with diabetes and how you hope to inspire those who suffer from the condition.
First of all it's not a plight and I don't suffer! I live with diabetes. It makes racing harder for sure, I have to check my bloodsugar (by making a hole in my finger and testing the blood) about 10 times a day. I use an insulin pump on my arm (see pic) to administer insulin. I have to think about all kinds of things, not just exercise and food but also sleep, caffeine, stress. They can all affect your bloodsugar. Being too high or too low can be fatal in a race so I have to carry sugar and insulin.
5. What advice would you give people who are just beginning to cycle?
Ride your bike more! At first it's all about enjoying the bike, don't focus too hard too early and don't worry about training, just ride. Always bring a snack and a basic repair kit, getting stuck somewhere with a flat or "bonking" when a 20 mile spin turns into a 5 hour epic is never fun.
6. What goals do you hope to achieve in 2012?
We're focusing on racing in the USA and Europe, I'd personally like to finish top 10 in a pro stage race, win a road race and finish the gullegem koerse, where I lived in Belgium in the front group. As a team we want to expand, grow and bond.
7. What equipment do you use when competing?
? Diabetes wise I use an omnipod wireless insulin pump, that's pretty much the coolest thing I'll ever own and it's literally changed my life. Without it I couldn't perform at the highest level. It also makes my biceps look bigger.
I'm fortunate enough to have a felt ar3 road bike, shimano udi2 electronic gears which are sweet, mercury wheels and FSA finishing kit. Of course I roll on boca bearings in the bottom bracket, hubs and wherever else our mechanics can squeeze them. Kit is important to me and it's nice to be working with some of the best people in the industry. Cycling is all about making little gains here and there, with an aero bike and ceramic bearings I'm saving energy for that final attack .