When the opportunity to live life as a 'full time' athlete presents itself you have to grab it with both hands.
People saw something in my ability and I worked hard to be the best athlete I could be as a cyclist and as a triathlete. I spent 6/7 years training, racing, travelling and making the most of the amazing opportunity I had been given. It helped me grow into the motivated and passionate person I am today, someone that wants to be the best I can be at everything I do.
I have so many people to thank from this period of my life and although I probably can't name every single person, here are a few names who were instrumental. In no particular order, My Mum and Dad, Alan Nichols, Greg Bryce, Jamie Burrow, Kevin Worster, Trevor Maddern, John Freeman, Gary Fryett, Martin Branfoot.
I am still competing now but my motivation and objectives are very different. My partner Marsha and I use competition to travel and compete in places across the World that we want to see. Don't get me wrong we are both still competitive but we race because we enjoy and embrace the lifestyle that sport offers us and hopefully we will continue to do so for many years to come.
I started triathlon at School when I was 16 years old, by 18 I was doing quite well and included in the junior Great British set-up that was just starting its time as a lottery funded sport with the World class Performance programme.
I finished college and decided to try my hand as a 'full time' triathlete using a combination of lottery funding, sponsorship and parental help to pay my way. During this time I was lucky enough to travel all over the UK and to many places across the globe racing and training. Some of the places I visited included Saudi Arabia, Australia, Cyprus, France and Italy, a place that unknowingly would become my home later on in my sporting career.
I represented Great Britain and England as a triathlete and am very proud of what I achieved during my years as a triathlete. I never knew then that triathlon would play a much bigger part in my life than I ever imagined with RG Active and my other businesses.
After taking the decision to end my triathlon career through repetitive injury worries I was persuaded to try my hand as a cyclist. My ability as a road cyclist had been progressing considerably in my last few years of triathlon competition.
With some very well connected friends and supporters backing me I spent a season racing the British National under23 series and learning more about being a cyclist before packing my bags and leaving for life in Italy.
I was fortunate enough to live, train and learn from Jamie Burrow (US Postal rider and under23 World No1). Jamie was inspirational and became a very close friend during my time in Italy. After learning what I could from Jamie I found an Italian based professional team called 'Kopstal SIDI' who I signed for in 2003.
My road racing career was relatively short but one of the most amazing experiences I will ever have. I was lucky enough to race and train with riders who now are some of the biggest names in the professional peloton. I competed for Kopstal SIDI in Italy and France on some of the most iconic roads and race courses in cycling.