Prior wants his new cycling team to be as open as England’s 2010-11 Test side…
England cricketer Matt Prior says comments directed at him by former teammate Kevin Pietersen have not hurt his enthusiasm for a new cycling project.
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Prior has entered the world of professional cycling as the co-founder of ONE Pro Cycling and will begin at UCI continental level from April.
Pietersen, who painted Prior as a bully in the England dressing room, used his controversial book to use Prior’s love of cycling against him.
“KP’s book didn’t dent my enthusiasm for cycling,” Prior told The Guardian.
“If anything it simply showed how passionate I am about it. And I’ll be off the bike. I’m CEO and that’s what I’ll be doing. I’m not going to pretend I’m a pro cyclist. I have huge respect for what these guys do and I’ll only look stupid if I try to get involved that way.
“So now I’m going into the business of professional cycling and I wake up every day loving what I’m doing.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Prior also said he wanted to use the openness of England’s 2009 Ashes side as a template for ONE Pro Cycling.
“In 2009 the England team took the decision to play our cricket in the manner of a club side. To have fun and enjoy the moment,” he says.
“Of course we wanted to work harder than anyone else – there is a professionalism there when you’re playing Test cricket but the environment behind it was relaxed. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re not going to reach your full potential – I’m a huge believer in that.
“Graeme Swann’s video diaries on that [2010-11] tour were a great example of it. They showed the team at its best. It’s important for any sports team to have that openness, because people warm to it.”
Prior said the England side were then closed-off to the public – to the detriment of the dressing-room.
“But somehow we came away from that. We became less accessible, we didn’t put ourselves out there in the same ways – the right way. People saw us as closed-off and you could sense it in the dressing room,” he said.
The 32-year-old says he wants his cycling team to be as open as the Ashes side from that era, but refused to be drawn into talking about the inside of the dressing room post-2011.
“I don’t want to speak about that dressing room too much – it will just spark a war of words again. But the main point is that ONE Pro Cycling want to be like that England team was in 2010-11.”