Nathan Earle, 25, riding at the top of the National Road Series for team Genesys but set to move to Team Sky in the WorldTour next season.
“It’s the training, not the best gear” – Nathan Earle
Where are you now (for this interview?) and why? In bed! (laughs)
Where is home for you in Australia? Hobart, Tasmania.
What’s your home club? Hobart Wheelers.
Are you married? Engaged.
Did you come from a cycling family? No not at all, a very active family but not cycling. I was encouraged to try any sport I wanted.
How important are cycling clubs and club racing? Very, it’s great to have home races and get together with other local riders and it helps the up-and-comers get some local racing and mix it with the bigger, stronger guys. It gives everyone of all abilities an opportunity to race.
What’s your current team and best results? Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling. Nine UCI stages, best win Tour of Japan stage four. NZ cycle classic Tour win.
You are moving to the pro ranks next season. Yes!
Tell us more! It will be my first year pro and I can’t wait.
Which team and what is the arrangement? Team Sky for two years starting 2014.
Where will you be based? I will live in Monaco.
What races will you do? Not sure as of yet but likely Tour Down Under will be my first pro race of 2014, which would be great.
How do you feel about it? It’s all very exciting but I’m just taking things one step at a time. I’ve still got six months with Huon Genesys and I’m really just focusing on making the most of the rest of the year and racing with them.
Do you have a coach? Yes I do, Andrew Christie-Johnson.
How important is it for a rider, even a club rider, to have a coach? I think it is quite important as they push, challenge and motivate you. It is good to have someone training you as they have an outside view on things. Sometimes you can get carried away or lose track of yourself if you train yourself. But in saying that I know a few guys who self train and are successful. But it’s only possible to do it well if you have plenty of experience and have been trained previously by a coach.
What bike do you ride? Avanti Quantum Team Issue.
And components? SRAM-Red, Rival. Zipp wheels.
Is it your choice or the team’s? The team’s choice but some of the decisions come from rider feedback from previous years.
What would your choice of bike be if you could have anything? That’s a hard one, but at this stage I’d have to say my Avanti! It’s a nice bike!
How do you feel about living overseas? Excited and a little anxious. I’ve lived OS in the past for a while and enjoyed, it so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock.
What are you looking forward to? Racing in the pro ranks!
What are you dreading? Being away from my fiancée.
What are your goals for this year… and next season? Finish this season on a high. I’d love to win the Tour of Tasmania, being in my home State. Next season just get amongst it and do my assigned job!
Who are your main rivals and how do you plan to get around them? I have a lot of rivals or people to watch and respect in the NRS. There are a lot of talented riders in Australia and it’s getting harder and harder to win a race here. A few of which are from my own team, which is great by the way. Just do as we have been here at Huon Genesys; we ride well as a team unit and we are hard to beat.
How did you get into cycling? I’ve always loved riding my bike from a young age, particularly mountain bike riding. I raced MTB for a while before getting into triathlons and running but after a few injuries that forced me to stop running I just rode my bike and entered a road race; a club race by the way! I did all right and never looked back from there.
What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid? A train driver! Ha! I loved trains so much and I still think they are pretty cool now.
What do you want to do when you leave cycling? Lots of things. But I don’t really know yet. Hopefully that is awhile away yet.
Are you studying? No.
Do you ride any other kinds of bikes, eg mountain or track? Mountain bike a bit to mix it up or just for fun.
What do you do for training on a typical day or week? Depends on the time of year but usually 500-plus kilometres a week. Up to 1,000km in the pre-season and that can include efforts. I’m a climber so I usually go and find a few hills.
What’s your NRS experience? You just won the Santos North Western Tour, tell us about that. I’ve been racing the NRS on and off now for over six years. I’ve won three NRS tours and a one day classic, plus numerous stages. Yes we won the SNWT. It was a great tour and nice to be able to win it. We also won two stages, team classification, KOM and young rider’s jerseys.
Do you think the NRS is a good thing? Why? Yes it’s great. It’s becoming a real stepping-stone for Australian riders to go somewhere bigger and better. The racing is harder and it just lifts a level each year. Australian racing is becoming more and more recognised around the world.
Who maintains your bikes? Do you do it yourself? Do you trust others to do it for you? We do most ourselves at home. On tour we have a mechanic and yes, we trust them. They are pretty good. I’m a bit fussy sometimes (annoying) and like to check my bike myself just because I like things a certain way sometimes (laughs).
What makes you ride better – food, rest, goal setting, training, your mum? All of the above and my partner of course. She is a huge support to me.
What’s more important – the training/preparation or the bike and gear? It’s great to have the best gear but as long as it is in working order and safe, definitely the training and preparation!
What is it you love about cycling? Why do you do it? Everything – the challenge, the feeling of freedom, the feeling of winning! The adrenaline rush and just striving to be the best you can be.
Have you had any injuries bad enough to keep you off the bike? How do you keep motivated when you can’t train? We know of one rider who does heaps of housework when injured. Yes, plenty (laughs)! Injury, providing you can get better and back on the bike just makes you a stronger and more determined athlete in every way. I’ve had a knee op, broken ankle, ankle op, broken ribs, teeth, wrist, fingers, shin splints and the usual amount of skin a cyclist loses. But it is part of the sport as a lot of other cyclist out there can relate to, I’m sure! The main thing is just keep your focus on the big picture and your long-term goal of what you’re doing it for. Sure you have ups and downs during time off, but if you want it bad enough you will recover (without rushing it!) and get back on track towards your goals.
How do you create your own life and make it work all the way to the top? Can you have a life outside cycling? Everyone is different. I just focus on my goals and live a normal life really. Except riding is my job. Sure I can have a life outside of cycling but at this point no I don’t want to. I have a lot of interests and friends outside of cycling life. I find it is a good balance.
Bicycling Australia readers love riding. Some don’t want to race, but they all want to perform better – any tips? Sure. Mix it up a bit. If you’re stuck in a bit of a routine try and break it up, go and do a hill hard. If you’re short on time, a short solid ride is as good as a long slow one sometimes and definitely better than nothing. Remember if you train a lot, recovery is as important as training. And always leave time for a coffee after, or maybe before…