This week's On The Drops comes from everyone's favourite smiley climber, Maximilian Stedman. Max has had a strong start to the 2018 season, already bagging a 6th place in a (very) hard Chorley GP. Following victory in the UCI 2.2 Tour of Quanzhou Bay in December 2017, Max is clearly carrying good long-term form, so is one to watch ongoing. Speaking from personal experience, however, he's not a good rider to draft behind.
Name: Maximilian Stedman
Born and Bred: Frimley / Crowthorne
Ice breaker – describe yourself in three words.
Resilient, Loyal, Smiley.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
First bike was yellow and dinosaurs on it that’s all I can remember. Favourite bike is probably a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX decked out with a pair of HUNT 36 Carbon Wide Aero… obviously.
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is… always fun when you’re my slight build. It has been claimed I’m only good cause I’m light.
If you weren’t a pro, what would you be?
Not sure, hopefully I’d be putting my Sports Science degree to good use…when I finally get it finished.
Where and how did your cycling story start? Did you always know this was the life for you or did it come about more organically?
I went to watch my Dad at Hillingdon in the Spring when I was 7 and thought I’d have a go at it the next week and basically haven’t looked back since then! I would say I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete of some sort when I was younger but I didn’t really know what in, I tried my hand at quite a few other sports (mainly running and football) but easily enjoyed cycling the most.
Who’s the messiest guy on the team?
Harry Tanfield, he’s always leaving clothes and bike bits around.
As a pure climber, what’s your favourite climb you’ve ever done? Why?
Repitidor Di Mijas, near Malaga. It’s a 5k dead end climb to an observatory (which you can see from about 1.5k in) horrendously steep, averages 10%, but you’re rewarded with a mega un-spoiled coastal view from 1000m up at the top, I’m a massive sucker for a good vista, especially after some hard graft to get it.
Are you a bit of a data geek or do you ride more on feel?
When I’ve got efforts to do in training then I am a 100% data geek as a power meter is such a useful tool, but if I’m just riding then I’m not too fussed by it.
What grinds your gears?
What’s your worst cycling habit?
Almost guaranteed to be late when meeting for rides, not something I’m proud of, I’m pretty grateful for my friend’s patience sometimes. (Ed. Ollie and Jack at Hunt can confirm Max's poor timekeeping for rides)
Giro, Tour or Vuelta?
Jersey pockets or Saddlebag?
Dream place to ride?
The dolomites, never been but looks pretty damn cool.
Thoughts on Cyclocross?
Great to watch, looks fun to do in the late summer/ autumn, but the thought of paying to get muddy in the winter months baffles me.
We know you love a good crash story… give us the low down on your worse crash.
Maybe not my worse but it’s a good story, in December 2016 I led one of the University Club rides, temperatures dropped below freezing overnight, so I gave a big speech at the start of the ride about being careful with ice around etc. It was going well till I led the club down a wrong turn but I decided to commit to the lane as it didn’t look too bad, I bombed down the outside of the group and famously claimed ‘’Look, it’s just slush’’, quicker than you can say Max I was sliding along on my arse on what was definitely not slush but a big sheet of ice. I was expecting to have to shouts of chopper etc come my way as I started to get up, but as I turned around it turns out I’d taken 8 out of the 10 guys on the ride onto to the deck with me, quite a few expletives were chucked my way, which was fair.