Tables Turn – The Pro Cyclist Interviews the Super Fan

L to R: Andy’s Dad, Andy Corkill & Ben Swift

Tom Murray chats to Andy Corkill

 

The 2012 Tour of Britain is set to be the best and most supported one ever, thanks to a hugely successful Olympic Games and a certain achievement of Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in the Tour de France you may have to fight for your spot on the roadside to watch it!

One of those you can guarantee will be on the road side this year is Andy Corkill. Andy along with his dad has followed the Tour of Britain in its trip around the country each year since it took to our roads again in 2004. That’s not just a stage here and there but each stage each year.

In fact Andy is in danger of achieving fame at this rate. He isn’t hard to pick out along the route thanks to his ever present hat, which travel along during to the race too. In fact he is recognisable too much of the organisation, teams and even riders now, I spotted Andy myself while riding in the 2012 Tour Series crit easy enough. Who better to ask then for the fans opinion on the 2012 edition, than perhaps the most recognisable fan out there than Andy himself?

 

Andy, the 2012 Tour of Britain is upon us, are you ready for another hectic 10 days? And is your dad; someone you say on your own blog isn’t much of a cycling fan on board for another lap of the country?

I’m not sure, I am never ready for the start of the race, I have good intentions when the route is announced and have a grand scheme to plan where we are going to be on the side of the road, but it always arrives quicker than expected.  I always end up the night before a stage planning my route.

You are right; my Dad isn’t a cycling fan. He never follows what’s happening throughout the year, but he always attends events with me. He still says he doesn’t understand the racing and it goes too fast for him to pick out anybody. He loves the atmosphere at races and being with his son!

I always say it, but I must thank my wife who puts up with me disappearing to races all year and leaving her at home with the kids. Thanks Jo.

 

What do you most enjoy about following the race around?

I just love being there; I like the racing and the way it all works. Guess I’m nosy and being there every day allows you to see glimpses of what happens behind the scenes. It is so far removed from my day to day work sitting in front of a computer.

It may sound strange but driving is another part of it. I love driving and would drive all day every day. So if any team out there needs a driver get in touch!

 

The hotels, same as the riders or tucked away in a corner?

We always stay as near to the start as we can so there isn’t much driving first thing in a morning. We have never stayed in the same hotel as the riders, I’m sure the last thing they need at dinner or breakfast is fans leering at them.

I decided a long time ago that riders, NEG, police and the organisers had their own jobs to do and I’m not going to interrupt them. If people want to talk to us that’s fine, but I don’t ever want to be in the way.

 

You and your dad have become part of the race in a way now, back in 2004 when you when all this started did you see it going this far? 

When we first went in 2004 I had no intention of attending every stage again, it just grew into a life of its own.

It has been fantastic to see the event grow into the world class race it is now. It has established itself as a great race and is run at a perfect time to sharpen up for the world championships.

The number of spectators have grown year on year and this year, after the successes Britain has had, will be amazing. I’m worried that I may not get a good viewing spot at the finishes this year, there are going to be huge crowds.

 

The hat’s, we had to ask why and when did that happen? 

We started wearing the hats in 2007 so my older children could see us on the TV. I must admit, we used to be a bit embarrassed about it. We used to carry them until we got to the finish line, now they are the first thing on when we get out of the car.  It has been fun wearing them; we get recognised every day and have been asked for photo’s and once an autograph.

 

…and this year, a new design or the old faithful?

Old faithful. We have discussed a different one for next year for the tenth running of the race, but no decision yet.

 

So the 2012 edition…

 

Who are you most looking forward to catching a word/photo with on the race this year?

Rider wise, it’s got to be Bradley. But my youngest children’s favourite riders will not be riding the event, Tom Murray and Malcolm Elliott, they have never seen Malcolm racing as they are only 4 & 6, but fans of both men.

Other than that my son will think I’m the coolest if I get a picture with Kristian House.

 

Give us a prediction?… British winner this year maybe? 

As Cav has already had a stage race victory this year, maybe this could be one for him. I think Brad would ride for him to win the Gold Jersey.

 

Where will the race be won, do you see a crucial stage in there?

I think the final selection will be made in Wales and Devon. I know lumpy roads don’t suit Cav but he could find the legs especially with the support of Sky.

 

Who is going to bring the IG Markets gold Jersey home and win overall on in Guildford? 

Heart says Sky, head says Ivan Basso.

I have never been any good at picking winners except the year of 2009 with 3 predications right. That was Boasson Hagen’s year.

 

Keep up to date with Andy throughout this year’s Tour of Britain and beyond at www.corkadillo.co.uk

 

 

Thanks to Andy for his thoughts on the 2012 Tour of Britain, keep an eye on cycling shorts for more on the race.

 

Tom Murray

@tomminty

www.tommurraycycling.co.uk

Pro Cyclist for Team IG-Sigmasport

 

Cycle Show, TOB and other news…

 

Yanto & Darren


Please accept my apologies for such intermittent blog updates. Here is a picture of what I have been doing this week. In the photo me (left) Darren Moore right and middle. We spent the day at the Cycle Show at the NEC yesterday which was great. An opportunity to speak to everyone under one roof. It did feel a bit like a pressure cooker with people I wanted to speak to every 10 paces but was very pleased to have got everything done that we set out to do.

The main story I suppose was my signing for the UK Youth team with Magnus Backstedt. I am so excited, we have talked about racing together for years and I’m so pleased that next year will be the one. The team line up look s great and I am so excited to be back up to international UCI level. After co-presenting on ITV4 for the TOB (Tour of Britain) it was great to see the home based guys getting stuck in and mixing it with the big boys over from the continent.

Another interesting thing to talk about maybe, is this time of year. Its end of the season and were all looking to next year with more articles of who’s signed for who coming out every day now and is set to continue as the last riders find their places. But its not over yet. Part of the season is the end of the season. A time to look back and asses the performances of the year for both myself and other riders, especially up and coming ones. I’d like to give a quick mention of some to watch next season.

I think best improved rider of the year is Tom Last (Sigma sport Specialized) The Richmond GP (last premiere) was where I really noticed the lads strength. At the top of the last climb we were down to about 12-15 riders left in the group and Tom was there giving it big licks in the finale. A real talent and one to watch next year.

Ride of the Year for me was JTL (John Tiernan-Locke) on stage 5 of the TOB attacking and dropping some of the best riders in the world up the climb to Hay Tor in Devon on home roads, with home crowd and on the most glorious day. Made me proud he did as I watched from the lead car. Thoroughly deserves a proper world tour team contract.

Most Charismatic rider. For me Mark Cavendish is head and shoulders above the rest. He is a megastar. Even before the worlds win he was getting such a warm and positive reception every stage start and finish on the TOB. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of times on the race and thought he was such a good personality for the sport in this country but for the world of cycling too. Cav if you read this keep up the good work you are a hero to many.

Nicest guy in the peloton. Alex Dowsett, But also the smoothest pedal action too which helped take stage 8a at the TOB along with many more wins to come. They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but in the case of Dowsett its not true. If you do get to say hello you will go home glad you made the effort.

I could go on and on here, so will save a bit for later which will also give me a reason to keep up dating this blog.

Thanks for reading.

Take care, ride safe,

YB
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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