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  • The Knowledge: Ben O’Connor on appreciating the details

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    The Girona based Dimension Data rider tells us about the the things that make him tick

    Photographs: Benedict Campbell
    Ben O'Connor, 18.6 the Knowledge, B Campbell

    Reading is a big part of my life. I am a massive Tolkien fan. The films not so much, but definitely all the books. Normally, I will talk a lot, but I enjoy my self time too, sitting in a meadow or wherever it may be.


    I grew up in Perth, where it is dry and hot, and we went to the UK on holidays when I was younger – my parents are from Liverpool. Go north to the Lake District, or south to the Cotswolds, and it is green and lush and beautiful.


    Facts and figures fascinate me. A lot of people love drinking wine, but I look it up and do research too. And watches. Like this one, for instance. It’s a 1969 IWC, a beautiful watch. It’s not shouty, you wouldn’t notice it, but I do. It’s all in the little details.


    I devour every page of the race road books. Every single stage, the profiles, what the descents look like, the finishes. I research like crazy. There is never an issue, ever. And I spend an awful lot of time on Google Maps. It is my favourite app by far.


    This feature was first published in Rouleur 18.6


    Further reading:

    The remarkable rise of Ben O’Connor

    On time: the parallel worlds of watches and two wheels

    Paolo Bianchini: from champion cyclist to winning winemaker

    A road cyclist’s guide to Girona

    The Road Book: Ned Boulting’s 2018 season in review