The Dan Lloyd Interview - reloaded orignally from 2010
Photo: Dan Llyod, Cervelo Test Team - Tour du Poitou-Charentes TT in 2010. Words: PelotonRacer Image © PelotonRacer
Thanks for agreeing to be Pelotonracer’s first interviewee.
You’ve made a real leap moving to the Cervelo test team from the AnPost/SeanKelly team, ultimately what do you think made Cervelo sit up and take note of you?
I'm not sure if it was one result in particular or just the fact that I was pretty consistent in 2008 and also the year before. I think they also looked into rider’s personalities through different people before signing them to make sure they were going to get a team that gelled and was willing to work for each other.
Since joining Cervelo have there been any/many changes to your training/preparations, how did this winters preparations differ from previous years?
Things haven't changed that much. My winter was quite similar to what I'd normally do, although there was a two week training camp in January with the team and I've never had that before, we all came out of that going very well, it was hard at the time but it set us up well for the whole season.
You rode your first grand tour (Giro d’italia) in 2009, how was it being Carlos Sastre domestique?
It was a great experience. A little nerve wracking when you consider the people who have been his 'domestiques' before now. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to do the job in hand but it went very well and Carlos was happy with me and everyone else in the team too. He's a great guy to work for, never stressed and quick to give helpful advice. It was his 20th grand tour so that is a lot of experience to be able to learn from!
It is said that competing a Grand Tour brings you on a level, what does that mean in real terms, and can you feel the difference now?
I do feel stronger as the years go by, and I'm sure that after I've had a break at the end of the season I will notice the difference going into this winter. It's just a huge load on your body over three weeks which I assume gives you a larger capacity for work in the future, not just in racing but training as well.
Any funny stories you can share from the Giro?
There was a fair play classification at the Giro, the winning team got €5000, and to win it you had to have the least number of fines. Jeremy Hunt didn't bloody sign the right number at the start of one stage and that ended up being the only fine we got during the whole race! Only one other team didn't get a fine so we lost €2500 because of that, and we remind Jez of that regularly!
Going back to earlier in your career you started out with a couple of smaller European teams (Endurasport and Flanders) before making the step to the Giant Asia team, how did that move come about?
It was basically because I'd run out of options in Europe at the time and I didn't want to finish cycling. I had a good year there, the racing was different but it was enjoyable and we won a lot as a team.
How does the style of racing in Asia vary from that of Europe?
It’s just not as fast! There are some great riders racing over there but in the big races in Europe almost every rider is a great rider.
You have made it to the highest level without help from BC, that must be quite satisfying?
It's nice to have made my own way to this team but it's taken a long time, a lot of hard work and a lot of help and support from family, friends and sponsors, so I can't say I did it on my own. BC just didn't really have a road system in place when I was younger. Besides, I don't think I was good enough at an early age to have 'made it' anyway. I look at the guys now on the academy in Italy and they are far better than I was at that age. Had I been in the same position I may well have felt I wasn't good enough and given up there and then, so it might have been better that I took my time.
You turned Pro in 2003 with Endurasport and spent the next 6 years with similar sized teams, has there been a point when you thought of packing it in?
Yes, most winters I've almost given up! For the last 5 years before Cervelo, I haven't known what team I was going to ride for until late December or even late January. There were two times when I actually said right, that's it, I can't continue it's not going to happen, obviously now I'm pleased I carried on but I'm lucky I've got an understanding wife who supported me and I was lucky to have Barry Clarke of Hotel Collingwood and Nick Collins of DFL supporting me with cash, without that I could never have continued.
How does the set up at Cervelo differ from that of div 3/Continental team?
It's just a whole lot bigger. The An Post team was good, it was well organised for a small team but the budget just isn't comparable and there is only so much you can do on a small budget. Now at Cervelo I have the best equipment, if I have an illness or injury there is a team doctor and sports clinic in Switzerland on hand, there is a nutritionist, a physiotherapist and loads of staff and vehicles. It's just a huge operation, and I think coming from the smaller teams gives me a much better appreciation of how good I've got it now.
What’s been your biggest win to date?
Probably either the stage or the Tour de Qinghai Lake or the overall of Vuelta Extremadura last year. I'm not a prolific winner but I'm consistent, which is a good asset now that I'm generally working for other riders at races.
What has been you most satisfying ride to date?
Probably the Tour of Flanders this year. It was a dream just to be on the start line, and then I spent 60km off the front after Chavanel, Leif Hoste and Quinziato followed my attack! The whole thing was like a dream. There were so many brits on the side of the road too which made it even better. I'll never forget that race. I was dead at the end but Heinrich had got 2nd, just a fantastic day.
You’ve just been invited to the pre-worlds selection camp in Mendrisio, Italy. Previously you have seemingly been overlooked by GB for selection, especially last year’s worlds and Olympics even though you have ridden very consistently, do you think that now you are with Cervelo and racing at a higher level they will take more notice of you now?
Maybe - British Cycling is very results oriented, and with Mark Cavendish we know have a true potential world champion. The idea of this camp and future camps is to get the current British pros together, build a team and learn about how to work together. Obviously most of the time you are riding with your pro team and so just coming together on one day a year it can be hard to get it right, so BC are making a great step setting this up. I'm never going to be World Champion but I'd love to be a part of a team that wins it, so I just need to show BC that they need me there!
If you could win any one race which would it be?
Lucratively you'd have to say the Tour de France, but I think I'd actually prefer to win Flanders.
Any advice for weekend warriors or newbie’s?
If you are a weekend warrior, a power meter is a good investment. It makes you get the most of the few hours that you have to train.
If you would like to hear more up to date details from Dan,
then you should go to Global Cycling Network (GCN).