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Spin All Star Triathletes: Matt Fisher

Posted by The Dr. on

Fleshing out our roster of top triathletes, and helping to balance the gender equality in the current SAS line up is our newest member, Matt Fisher. Matt's a go getting sort of chap who likes nothing better than to jump off a gruelling long haul flight and get straight on his bike. And then go for a swim. On the way to the gym. 

We find it hard to keep up with Matt so we thought we'd nab him for a quick chat before he jets off around the world again.

Matt, please introduce yourself to our avid blog reader, and that other feller who once liked us on facebook.

I'm Matt Fisher, I'm 41 and when I'm not cycling, running or swimming I run global marketing for a fast-growing software company.

So what was it that got you into triathlon?

Having lost a lot of excess weight, I eventually got bored of just working out in a gym all the time and wanted to be outside! I saw the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon taking place on a work trip to San Francisco and reckoned that had to be more ‘fun’ than just pumping iron.

And how long have you been riding your bike?

I've been riding mountain bikes for many years, but only been a roadie / TT'er since 2010. As with most MAMILs, my lust for all-things carbon has steadily developed and it’s fair to say that my current bikes bear no resemblance to the kit I started out with just five years ago!

That's completely normal Matt. One of the things I've always loved about cycle sport is that it really is within everyone's reach with a bit of effort to own and ride top race winning equipment.  And you can't say that if you're an F1 fan, can you? Unless you're Bernie Ecclestone perhaps.

Now, I'd like to find out who is your favourite road racer or triathlete of all time and why? You're not allowed to pick me by the way.

I’m not sure I have a single favourite. From a road racing point of view, I love Cavendish’s ‘heart on sleeve’ approach to racing, but then this year I've been super-impressed with Richie Porte. 

Of course as a TT'er, Wiggo and der Panzerwagen Tony Martin are inspirational. And you can’t ignore how (on their day) the Brownlees can destroy the opposition on the bike, and then still run a 30-minute 10km off the back of it!

I suppose not. Now then Matt, whenever I'm allowed out for a spin on my bike, I normally catch myself pretending to be Hennie Kuiper or more recently, Luca Paolini. So I'd like to know who you are when you ride?

Honestly? I’m just me. I don’t know how to ride like anyone else. Sometimes I find myself mimicking a grimace like Cav or sticking my elbows out wide like Froome (I'm also fond of staring at stems!) but most of the time I confess I’m too busy turning the pedals to worry about looking good ;)

From a triathlete’s perspective, what do you make of road cyclists?

Hmm, triathletes are always rich grounds for p*ss-taking from roadies. We sometimes break the established rules on acceptable clothing (we like sleeveless tops, what can I say?!), typically we can’t ride in groups and we put our gels in bento boxes on the bike rather than in our jersey pockets!

That sounds very Tokyo Matt! Look, there's one on your bike:

As a triathlete, road cyclists are often embittered old hacks who resent us stylish triathletes crashing their party! Just kidding...

Well, I like riding with road cyclists as actually I believe it makes me a better triathlete, able to deal with more situations. 

If you haven’t done much bunch riding, you’re not going to be very comfortable bombing down mountain S-bends at over 60km/h with hundreds of people around you - anyone that’s done Mallorca half-ironman will know what I mean!

Matt: is cycling the new golf?

I bloody hope not! Plaid belongs firmly on the golf course - Yes, Garmin, I’m pointing directly at you!

What’s more important: bikes or beer?

Bikes. The N+1 rule doesn't apply to beer. It just gives you a sore head.

I'm not sure about that. Perhaps you need more training Matt! Belgium or Italy?

Well for food it’s Italy! As for cycling, I can't claim to have ridden in either. Mallorca is my usual destination for training camps. But I’d have to reckon the weather is nicer in southern Italy!

How do you get ahead in marketing?

Say it like you mean it. Sound convincing even if you’re not convinced yourself.

Is there anything modern triathletes can learn from crazy old road cyclists like the Spin Dr.?

I've already mentioned group riding. ‘Small chain-ringing’ is another thing triathletes often neglect, so riding with roadies is good for that. And finally, as a triathlete my normal bike riding involves prolonged periods at a measured effort - to simulate the TT-style bike leg. 

Roadies typically don’t ride like that (not round here, anyway!) and there’s always some numpty sticking in an attack or going off the front. I find that can actually a) be refreshing to mix up the training a bit and b) gives you the ability to react more quickly in race conditions - we have a drafting rule in triathlon which sees you busted if you take more than 30 seconds to overtake, so you need to be able to accelerate past people quickly.

What’s the best car in the world?

Oh jeez, I used to be a car nut but now I drive an Audi… If I had silly amounts of money, I’d probably buy an Aston Martin, but then I’d also need a Range Rover to transport the bikes. I guess the best car in the world is the one you have the keys to, but that’s not yours, has a full tank of fuel and happens to be parked on the start line of a motor racing circuit!

Now you're talking Matt! But you know, there's really not much wrong with Audi - our good friend and fellow SAS man Tom Kristensen has driven a few of them to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the years that we've been riding together. But now it's time to find out the really important stuff: what is it you like most about Spin Industries?

{Switches mic off: That's if you wouldn't mind awfully making something up, Matt}

In all seriousness, what has impressed me most is the tons of free advice I’ve already benefitted from. Learning about the wheels, their characteristics and how to get the most out of them. 

Customer service is something the ‘big brands’ generally just don’t do.

That's very kind of you to say Matt.  Well, having come so far in the worlds of marketing & triathlon, what’s left?

There’s always new adventures to be had. Sometimes you need to make a sharp turn along the way. No plans for that right now though; I still feel that I’ve got a lot left to accomplish in both fields. 

At the first Ironman race I attended (as a spectator), there was a 72 year-old Japanese guy who earned a Kona slot. That gives me at least another 31 years ;)

Apart from racing, what else is there?

Family.

Finally, is there a question I didn’t ask that you wish I had, and what’s the answer?

My most embarrassing moment in triathlon… Maybe I’ll tell you one day!

We look forward to that Matt! Many thanks for taking the time to share with us your inner-most thoughts, marketing wisdom and gel transportation tips all the way from Japan.   

You can keep up with Matt on twitter @m_j_fisher and instagram

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