Sigma Sports is proud to present Matt Stephens Unplugged, a regular catch-up with cycling’s favourite character, Matt Stephens, as he chats with special guests and explores the bowels of his own fruity mind. With lots of surprises along the way, the route-map has been torn up; so who knows what direction we’re going in, or where we’ll end up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
David O’Doherty on the role of cycling in his comedy
1:21:45Matt Stephens is impressed by David O’Doherty’s cycling knowledge, and in particular, his obsession with the racing bikes of the late 1980’s that’s led him to own a collection so big he now operates on a ‘one in one out’ basis. David is famous for being one of the most successful Irish stand up comedians of all time, with a host of awards and appearances on QI, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Would I Lie To You, and the upcoming series of Celebrity Bake Off. But given his chosen subject on Celebrity Mastermind was The First 100 Years of The Tour De France, surely he’ll ace the hometown quiz?
Wout Poels on beating Remcos and other Wouts by using the art of racing
1:04:05Matt Stephens and Wout Poels chat all about his thus-far illustrious career. With recent stage wins at the Tour de France and La Vuelta Espana for team Bahrain Victorious, the 36 year old is enjoying a long career which he credits to keeping his routine fresh. The pair have differing memories when they raced together at the 2010 Tour of Britain, with Wout taking a stage win and Matt doing his best to keep up. Having grown up in a small town in the Netherlands, you’d expect Wout’s knowledge of Blitterswijck to come in handy in the hometown quiz - and when the questions feature his fan club’s favourite pizzeria hotspot, surely he can’t go wrong…right?
Alison Jackson on being the first Canadian to win Paris-Roubaix
1:05:25Matt Stephens and Alison Jackson discuss her incredible Paris-Roubaix victory and what it meant to the nation of Canada. Having proven her wisdom at the Spring Classics, Alison’s EF Education TIBCO-SVB teammates now listen closely to her tactical calls, but how would she go about winning Roubaix for a second time in 2024? Born competitive, Alison grew up on a Bison farm in rural Canada dreaming of one day becoming an Olympian - the only question was which sport to choose. Luckily for us fans, she chose cycling! The Canuck’s next goal is to have a street named after her in her native Vermilion, and Matt gets the idea of starting a petition to help make that happen…
Ben Swift on switching between the World Tour and the local 10-mile TT
1:13:08Matt Stephens chats to two-times British Road champion Ben Swift about his impressively long career, which has just been extended for another two years with INEOS Grenadiers. Having ridden with the team since the inception of Sky Procycling, Ben has seen the sport change exponentially in recent years, and claims he enjoys the thrill of racing now more than ever and continues to develop as a rider in his mid thirties. In a podcast packed with stories about teammates Adam Blythe and Geraint Thomas, Ben reflects on how his true idols are the heroes that taught him to ride on his local chain gang in Yorkshire.
Matej Mohoric on becoming UCI World Gravel Champion
1:13:59Matt Stephens chats with a humble and reflective Matej Mohoric, who was recently crowned UCI World Gravel Champion. The Slovenian explains how he grew up riding off-road and started racing in order to dodge working on his parents’ farm. But will he get to wear the famous rainbow stripes racing on gravel next season? And having won stages at all three grand tours, what’s next for the all-rounder? With a touching tribute to Gino Mäder, Matej explains how his whole Bahrain-Victorious team re-evaluated their lives after the tragic passing of their much loved teammate.
Sir Chris Hoy (Live) on turning self-doubt into a superpower
1:22:20Matt Stephens and Sir Chris Hoy are joined by a live audience at the Sigma Sports Electric store to discuss the incredible track cycling career which led him to become Britain’s most successful Olympian in his heyday, and brought him a knighthood for services to sports. Chris shares his approach to increasing his maximum power output, explains how his self doubt was a catalyst for success, and enjoys taking questions from the audience about all sorts. No stranger to the hot seat having appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for charity, can Chris survive the added pressure of Matt’s Murrayfield quiz?!
Zoe Bäckstedt on choosing her favourite rainbows bands
1:16:44Matt Stephens and Zoe Bäckstedt chat about bike racing and family. With both parents and a big sister already proving themselves in athletic terms, it's no surprise that Zoe has had such a successful junior career - winning World Championship jerseys for road racing, time trialling, cyclocross, and even some track disciplines. And in the 24 hours since recording this podcast, she’s become European U23 Individual Time Trial champion too! But Matt is keen to learn which discipline is her favourite, and how it feels to switch teams mid-season from EF Education-TIBCO-SVB to Canyon-SRAM, where her father Magnus is Directeur Sportif. Zoe also rates Matt’s Lego collection, and gets shocked by the price of Fish and Chips in her hometown of Pontyclun.
Freddy Ovett on Going Solo Through The Mud
1:10:33Matt Stephens chats to Freddy Ovett about his development from a middle distance runner to a globetrotting road cyclist to one of the best gravel pioneers in the world. Freddy will be the first to point out the flaws of Pro Cycling Stats, as he proclaims his love for the extra plotlines written into every gravel race that the stats just don’t tell. With spells at AG2R, BMC and L39ION of Los Angeles, Freddy has seen the world and tried all styles of racing before finding his true calling as an independent gravel racer; writing his own story by racing the way he wants on the elite gravel circuit.
Josh Tarling on Keeping Calm and Colouring In
1:11:38Matt Stephens chats to Josh Tarling about his breakthrough season with Ineos Grenadiers. Recorded just days after he became British National Time Trial Champion, and weeks before he earned a podium at the UCI World Championships in Glasgow, Josh is relaxed and candid as he chats about his goals for the season. A fascinating retrospective listen, the young rider fantasises about custom Pinarello paint jobs, describes how he keeps pre-ride stress at bay, and shows his knowledge of local chippies in his hometown of Aberaeron.
2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Special - Glasgow Didn’t Disappoint
36:27From the heart of the action, Matt Stephens has been recording clips at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow. With so many disciplines at the first ever “Super-Worlds”, Matt witnesses Van der Poel’s crash in the company of several Belgians, signs a man’s leg at the Road Race finishing circuit, enjoys an irreplicable atmosphere at the Cycle Ball, and loses his muff at the Cross-Country MTB.