Ali Cigari

Name : Ali Cigari

Ali Cigari like a few in the club, has a rowing background and joined the Kingston Wheelers after being told it was the "best cycling club in the world".

What made you start cycling : I had a cheap mountain bike during my last summer in sixth form and used to go cycling around the roads of Hertfordshire with a foot pump and a puncture repair kit. I was on the look for a cheap road bike when I moved to uni, and bought one soon after. Although my main sport at university was rowing, I rarely rowed during the holidays, so cycling was my way of keeping fit.

Why did you join Kingston Wheelers : I was moving down to Surbiton after finishing university and according to Will Meers, Kingston Wheelers is the best cycling club in the world, so I didn't have any choice but to join.

Date you joined the Club : October 2007.

What bike do you ride? My training bike is a Fausto Coppi, nice and tough but well heavy. It is the first road bike I ever bought. I have been riding it for around five years now, although everything has changed on it apart from the frame and fork. I bought a PedalForce RS last year, which I do my racing on. Time trialling, road racing, sportives, it does them all.

Give us a brief cycling background : Not much to say, I was seriously unfit when I started. I completed my first ever 10 mile TT in just over 30 minutes! It has picked up a bit since then, I came 52nd in the British cyclosportive last year, and have scored a few top 20 places in time trials. My road racing season started well, but it has gone downhill a bit since then!

What was your best performance : We did the first stage of Tour de France last year in Kent on closed roads in the morning of the stage with a couple of friends. We woke up at 3.00 am, after plenty of mechanicals and getting lost a few times, got on the route. We went through the second intermediate sprint before getting kicked off by marshals. The two fourth Cat climbs we did were incredible, they were filled with fans (6/7 hours before the main bunch were to come!), and they were all shouting, sounding their horns and encouraging us. Felt amazing.

What was your worst day on the bike : Probably that very same day, we cycled for around 210 miles that day racing each other for most of it and the last 50-60 miles were very painful.

Who is your favourite pro or inspiration : Chris Hoy, what an absolute legend. I will never forget his kilo win in Athens, and how about three World Championships he just won? Also, I had barely thought of cycling as a serious sport before moving the UK in 2001, and US Postal's and Lance Armstrong's domination in the tour got me all excited about riding.

What is your favourite bike food : Jam Sandwiches, dates, bars, anything goes.

Where is your favourite cycling location : I have only cycled in England and Wales, so not much to choose from, but I did cycle to Wales last year for a weekend and spent the day cycling around the Black mountains, before cycling back the next day. Nice roads, beautiful sunshine, plenty of hills, what else would you want.

Most likely to say : "Oh hello Pablo, (...you are out a bit early tonight.)"

Least likely to say : "No, you have that last piece of cake. I am on a diet."