Luke Rowe enjoyed a seamless transition into the professional ranks last season and will be aiming to go from strength to strength in 2013.
His first stage victory came at the Tour of Britain and earned him a spell in the leader’s jersey, and the Welshman savoured further trips to the podium in 2012 after temporarily topping young rider and mountains classifications during the Criterium International, Tour de Wallonie and Tour of Denmark.
When Rowe isn’t going for victories himself, he is a highly-adept domestique and lead-out rider, and his robust displays mean he could well become a Classics specialist in the future.
Q & A
Who inspired you to start cycling?My dad used to race so I took after him. My parents and grandparents have cycled all their lives.
First bike:A purple Peugeot.
First cycling club:Cardiff Ajax Cycling Club
Childhood hero:Laurent Jalabert because he was always aggressive and had a go. If he didn't win, he'd go again the next day.
What do you love most about cycling?It's my passion, my perfect job, and even if I wasn't getting paid I'd still be riding my bike.
What has cycling taught you?Travelling the world makes you more rounded and cycling teaches you a lot of respect.
What keeps you going when you're on the limit?You can't panic - you have to relax and find your own rhythm, take your brain out and battle on.
Favourite race:I like any of the brutal Cobbled Classics like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
Highlight of your career:Winning a Tour of Britain stage in 2012 and wearing the leader's jersey.
Funniest team-mate:CJ's always good for a story.
If you weren't a rider, what would you be?Either in the army or the fire service.
Main interests away from cycling:Ice hockey. I support the Cardiff Devils and go watch them whenever I can.
Favourite film:Twin Town
Favourite music:The Stereophonics
Best friend in the peloton:Pete Kennaugh and Ben Swift.
Favourite food:Fish and chips
Most famous person you've met:Donald Duck at Disneyland
Most embarrassing moment:Crashing on a club run and ripping my shorts right across the back and having to ride 30 miles home with my bottom hanging out.
Interesting fact:When I was 11 I won the Welsh Open Clog Dancing Championships.
Best advice:Eat less, train more.
European Track Championships - 1st team pursuit; Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Juniors - 3rd
European Track Championships - 1st Madison; Niedersachsen Rundfahrt - 3rd overall; Tour du Pays de Vaud - 2nd overall
ZLM Tour - 1st overall; Trofeo Antonietto Rancilio - 1st
Tour of Flanders under-23 - 5th; GP Industrie del Marmo - 3rd;
ZLM Tour - 1st overall; Thüringen Rundfahrt - 1st stage seven
Tour of Britain - 1st stage one; Duo Normond - 2nd