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"If a pro cyclist could come into a football club and show the players how hard they work it would really open their eyes", says Ben Foster

In the inaugural episode of Drink at your Desk Live, the cycling goalkeeper Ben Foster tells us what he thinks footballers could learn from cyclists

Ex-England international and Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster said he believes pro footballers could learn a lot from professional roadies such as as Tao Geoghan Hart, in the first Drink at Your Desk Friday episode. 

Ben, who has his own YouTube channel, the Cycling GK, also spoke about his plans post retirement, his impressive collection of bikes, and who else in the Watford team is partial to the occasional Zwift session.

In the Q and A section of the episode, Ben was asked what he thought footballers could learn from the pro peloton. 

He said: "I actually think there is an awful lot pro football could learn from pro cycling in all honesty. 

"I was lucky enough to go out for a ride with Tao Geoghegan Hart, it was probably about six months ago now.

"Considering Tao is only [25] he has got his head screwed on so well it is unbelievable.

"He basically sees himself as a business and for him to get the best out of his business he has to run it properly.

"So he is in full control of absolutely everything he does - everything that goes into his body, his work schedule, his training schedule...

"I think footballers they grow in a world where everything is almost spoon-fed to them and is done for them and given to them.

"So they almost sit back a little bit too much if that makes sense and just let it happen to them.

"Whereas cyclists, they have to go and do it because they know if they don’t put in the hard yards, the hard miles they are not going to make the team they are not going to make the race days and ultimately they are not gong to get paid.

"I definitely think if a cyclist could come into a football club and show them how hard they work and what they do it would really open their eyes a lot."

Ben, now 37, also revealed he wants to get more into bike packing and gravel riding when he reaches the end of his footballing career.

He even hopes to head off to the Flint Hills region of Emporia, Kansas, to take on one of the world's biggest gravel events the Dirty Kanza. 

He continued: "The Dirty Kanza in America - that sounds to me like an absolutely incredible bike ride and something that I am dying to do but I never get a chance to do so because it is always held when the football season is on.

"Bike packing, real long sort of trips, excursions away, camping out all that kind of stuff is something I don't really get a lot of time to do at the moment but when I retire it's the sort of thing I cannot wait [for] that stuff really does tick a box for me." 

He also admitted he had managed to convince of few of his Watford teammates to take up cycling and they had been doing regular Zwift training rides. 

He added: "I have to say they got really good at it. They got really fast, really quickly. 

"We had Tom Cleverley who was doing it, he was an animal. Will Hughes was a sicko. 

"Troy Deeney has taken it up he just bought a beautiful Canyon bike as well actually.

"Adrian Mariappa got very good at it and one of the other goalkeepers who is not at Watford any more took it up."

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Gkam84 | 3 years ago

I started watching the live video, got very bored after a couple of minutes. Ben said something about dressing head to toe in Rapha, that was enough for me. I've watched a couple of his own videos. His football content is pretty good, I like the behind the scenes aspect and the in goal camera. His cycling content is just like every other "influencer" boring as shite

Me_ | 3 years ago
1 like

I haven't watched the video but did he cover why he feels the need to sandbag in Zwift and race in cat C?

ChrisB200SX replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
Ben Foster wrote:

If a pro cyclist could come into a football club and show the players how hard they work it would really open their eyes

Says man who stood between two sticks for a living 😆

Rick_Rude | 3 years ago
1 like

At the end of the day the skill needed is still kicking a ball not turn pedals over. You could probably be wizard on the pitch without needing to be able to a 160 mile stage.

stonojnr replied to Rick_Rude | 3 years ago

Is he not talking about the training commitment/effort Tao or any pro cyclist puts in to get picked to ride for the team, not the skills required ?

Eynsham replied to Rick_Rude | 3 years ago

Most footballers have fitness appropriate for football.  Cyclists have fitness appropriate for cycling.  The fact that it takes a lot longer to train for bike riding than for 90 minute football games is not really a good thing.

And most professional footballers aren't mollycoddled, even if some premier league players are.  Just like most cyclists don't get the sort of support that the Ineos riders get.

Velophaart_95 replied to Rick_Rude | 3 years ago

Turning the pedals isn't really a skill - in fact, road cycling isn't a 'skill discipline'. However, MTB, certainly is; no good having the fitness if you're technical skills are rubbish....

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Velophaart_95 | 3 years ago

"road cycling isn't a 'skill discipline'."

I would argue you need some skills to be able to ride in a group of 200 "wheel to wheel" at 35mph without coming off / bringing others down. Also descending a mountain pass at 70-80mphs needs some skills as well. However yes, as it is a team sport, most of the cyclists are more there for fitness etc with the more skillful becoming the "names". 

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