HomeNews & FeaturesMTBExclusive: Interview with Sid Taberlay

Exclusive: Interview with Sid Taberlay

Sid Taberlay originally from Tasmania, Australia raced through club level, to state level and eventually becoming Tasmanian State Junior Champion. In 2000 Sid finished 3rd in the U23 National Championships and was selected for his first National Team for the U23 World Championships in Spain.

Nicknamed the “Tasmanian Devil” for his never say die attitude, Sid Taberlay is a 5X Australian National Champion, along with World Cup Cross Country podium finishes he is Australia’s most successful XC rider. The Tassie Devil currently racing for ShoAir/Specialized took some time out to talk to us.

RC chats to Sid for Bicycles Network Australia (BNA)

BNA: You’re having a great season so far, you must be happy with your form?
Yes training has been going really well, I’ve got good team mates and a good group of people around me. It’s hard not to have form with that much support.

BNA: So what’s your schedule between now and the end of the year?
Four more USA National Series races, through to September. Hopefully I’ll be back to OZ with the GU four man team, for the Canberra 24hr in October. Then I might do some local cyclocross races in California??

BNA: What’s been your best experience since you started racing?
Not really anyone experience, I’ve been fortunate to be able to make a lot of good friendships alone the way. It’s always nice to be able to put a smile on someone else’s face.

BNA: Moving the United States in 2008, how did you find the difference in racing in Australia and the US?
The competition is a lot harder in America, there are several guys here who have finished top 10 in a world cup, in Australia it is currently just Chris and I. Plus you have team tactics to deal with, though we seem to have the strength to use tactics to our advantage at the moment.

BNA: What does your training consist of?
I think I would call myself more of a roadie than a mountain biker when it comes to training; at best I only touch the mountain bike twice a week. I do more double training sessions in a day, rather than the long drag of kilometres; quality over quantity.

BNA: Do you have a favourite event or track you have ridden?
I guess you always remember the courses you do well on, though I wouldn’t say I have a particular favourite. Atmosphere also has a big factor on the event. Unfortunately it’s something that only a select few events have in Australia.

Sid Taberlay

BNA: With World Cup medals, what’s been the highlight of your career so far?
My first top 10 at a World Cup, especially given the circumstances. I had a lot of Team issues in 2003 in Italy and then Cycling Australia turned their backs on me. I came out and finished 9th in first World Cup of 2004 in Madrid, (with the fast lap of the day) and made the Olympic selection criteria. It was nice to get a letter of apology from Damian the head coach of CA at the time, about how he was wrong to have ever doubted my ability. It was a nice felling to be able prove to CA they were wrong.

BNA: Who is your favorite person to race against?
Anyone I know I can beat 🙂

BNA: You’ve been racing quite a few years now and the international results have come for you as you’ve matured. Do you see any up and coming Australian riders making it to the top level like you have?
I don’t really know the current group of juniors?? The current group of U23’s may be able to get there with the correct mentoring and support?? Which will be difficult considering the current level of funding, unfortunately these guys have to try and juggle training, racing and work to support their racing.

BNA: Fellow XC rider, Cadel Evans has become one of the world’s best road racers, any chance of you changing to road?
I’m not really into 6 hours days in the saddle at this point in time.

BNA: Will you be coming back to Australia anytime soon? Any chance of you racing in Tassie again?
Hopefully Andrew Lloyd at GU will be keen to defend our 4 man 24hr title in October.

BNA: Do you want to give a shout out to your sponsors?
Personal: Shoair, Specialized, Sram, H2O Overdrive, YOR Health
Team: www.team-shoair.com

BNA: Good luck for the rest of the year and we’ll be rooting for you.
Thanks, hopefully I can keep things on track 😉

photos: Michael Darter

has contributed this article to Bicycles Network Australia.
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