Interview with Yanto Barker

11 Nov
 

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Yanto Barker, 30, is a professional cyclist who rides for the British Pendragon Sports-Le Col-Colnago team.

The former junior British road race champion represented Wales at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and again in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia, before retiring in 2006.

 

During his retirement Barker developed Le Col, a range of cycling clothing “for the discerning rider”.

After two years out of the saddle Barker came out of retirement and in 2010 rode for Pendragon Sports-Le Col-Colnago, a British team co-sponsored by Le Col, who competed in the Premier Calendar, Tour Series and a number of criterium races.

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Hi Yanto,

How did you get into cycling
I have been into cycling ever since I could walk. But I started to take it more seriously at the age of 14 and I realised I was better then all my friends and enjoyed dropping them on our weekend rides ha ha…

Who or what has been your biggest influence in cycling
Well there have been a couple of people. My friend Jeremy Hunt soon to sign with Sky. My Coach Gary Dowdell ex pro with Walber in the 80’s. They both helped me out with training and making good decisions in the sport.

Who were your cycling hero’s 
 
My hero’s were two riders from my youth. Miguel Indurain, he was winning the tour when I was watching it as a teenager. I thought he was just so amazing! Also Michelle Bartoli who I had the pleasure of racing with in the Tour of Britain 2005. He was the first poster I had on my bedroom wall winning the Tour of Flanders in 1996.
 

What was your very first road bike
My first road bike was an old Raleigh, black and gold as it happens. I bought it because I was mountain biking and someone recommended a road bike was good for training. I loved it so fast and efficient and I never looked back

Why choose Colnago to race
What a question!! The list would be too long to even begin. They are the best bikes in the world. Image, performance, Finnish, design. I have had the privilege of racing them for the past two years and I love my bike!! Makes me happy to go out every day rain or shine it looks after me and I look after it.

It must of been a great feeling representing Wales in the Commonwealth games
I have done two commonwealth games but due to work commitments didn’t go this time. I was very sorry to miss it as its a proud moment to put on a national jersey.

Looking back over your professional career, what have been your proudest moments
There have been a couple of these two. Representing GB for the first time was a really proud day. The Tamworth two day 1997 in the team with a certain Bradley Wiggins amongst others. Then winning the National champs as a junior was a really great day. I was the best in the country that day. Lastly to be best brit and 8th on GC in the Tour of Britain 2005 was also a pleasant achievement for me. I worked hard for that.

How do you find riding the Colnago EPS in competitive racing

I was delighted to be able to use such a fantastic bike to race. As a pro you don’t always get the best bikes available and you have to ride what your given so to race a EPS was great. But it is such a lovely bike that it enhances your training experience as well and when you have to go out and do 500 miles a week that matters. Its a great bike and I love it!

What bike are you riding at the moment

 EPS with Campag super record.

The press reviews on Le-Col clothing have been very positive, could you please tell us about Le-Col

Thanks, Le Col is my Brand of clothing. I have designed a product for enthusiastic cyclists with all the features and quality I think you need to be safe warm and comfortable to train properly. I have put millions of miles of racing and training experience to make it competitively the best brand of clothing in the world. Its my passion so if I can help or enhance someones riding with my clothing then I’m happy. Its been a long road to get it here but a very positive experience building the brand culminating in a deal to sell in Harrods where it currently out sells Assos.

What are you goals for 2011
To expose and build my brand Le Col as one of the most desirable sports brands in the world. Plus a medal at the nationals would be good.

 

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Yanto, best wishes for the future,  thanks very much for talking to Colnago Con Brio.

For further information on the Le Col range – please visit http://www.lecol.net/

For further information on Pendragon – please visit http://www.pendragon-sports.com/pendragonNews.aspx

 

 

 

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