When you work on a cycling magazine, it’s not uncommon to receive emails from young riders bidding to get themselves featured. Some just want to show off, others are labouring under the illusion that getting pictured in the mag might launch their career into pro cycling. But this email, which dropped into my inbox five years ago almost to the day, was different. 

“Apologies for the contact out of the blue!” it began, endearingly, followed by a flattering paragraph about the “real insight” of our recent fitness content. The writer then cut to the chase. “In September 2018 I decided to take the plunge and commit to cycling full-time, having previously worked in a bike shop. I saved up and quit my job to allow full focus and commitment to the season ahead.” 

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