Since the start of 2014 season it has been my personal pleasure to be able to help former Commonwealth Junior 800m running champion Dani Christmas (@Dani_Christmas) in her quest to become a full time bike racer. 

Spin has supported Dani as both bike and wheel sponsor, and it has been truly rewarding to follow her progress from virtual novice to tackling the biggest one day classics, up against the very best in women’s road racing. 

This season Dani has a full calendar to look forward to from her new base in the heartland of cycling, cobbles, frites, mayonnaise and beer: Belgium.

After a tough opening Spring campaign with gutsy rides in Omloop Het Niewsblad and Le Samyn des Dames (where Dani managed to pick a fight with a barbed wire fence but still finished strongly) we got the chance to sit down with her seeking answers to some questions we’ve long had on our mind.

The Spin Q&A with Dani Christmas

Please tell us who you are?

I’m Dani, I’m currently attempting to live the cycling dream in Belgium, racing
for Isorex cycling team. Despite reaching the grand old age of 27 I’m relative
new to cycling having started in January 2013. I came to cycling after competing
internationally as a middle distance runner for 12 years. When I’m in the UK
I’m still very much involved in athletics having helped establish a local
running club which has gained 200 members in our first year of operating. I take
a great deal of pleasure in coaching and mentoring people to help them achieve
their goals.

What got you into racing your bike?

cycling career really started as a happy accident. My athletics career was cut
short when I fell foul of sports politics combined with a long period of
undiagnosed post-viral fatigue. I bought a bike to help my rehab process and
as they say the rest is history.

I’m not a massive believer in fate but I actually met my cycling coach through
a friend about 9 years ago so he was the first person I turned to for assistance with my
cycling adventure. It turns out that it was the best thing that could have
happened to me. Alan (Project 51) has been unbelievable and none of this would
have been possible without him.

Dani finishes Le Samyn despite picking a fight with barbed wire

Who is your favourite road racer of all time and why?

Current riders like Pauline and Marianne Vos are incredible
how they seamlessly combine multiple disciplines it’s so impressive how they
manage the calendar to be at the top of their game throughout the year. 

I’ve also taken inspiration from my first races of the season, riding alongside* the
likes of Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Johansson and Ellen van Dijk to name but a

* for the first 50km 🙂

When you’re attacking
the break, who do you think you are? 

I don’t ever pretend to be anyone but a better version of
myself. Throughout my athletics career I had a lot of comparisons made between
myself and long-term mentor and friend Dame Kelly Holmes. Whilst it is
flattering for the media to dub you the ‘next Kelly Holmes’ I’ve never wanted to
follow in anyone else’s footstep. Yes I would like to end up in the same
destination but I have my own path to take to get there.

During a race there’s no time for daydreaming: if you’re going to go, then go
full gas!

What is your proudest cycling moment? And how does
it compare to your other achievements?

Having achieved a lot as a runner my cycling achievements
are not yet on par but I am rapidly progressing in every race, and I believe that it won’t be long
before my big breakthrough result. I have high expectations and although many
would be pleased with finishing races such as the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald and being
competitive in UCI races, for me that isn’t enough! By the end of the season I
want to be at there at the sharp end of the race and then who knows….

What do you like most about working with Spin?

To put it simply without Spin’s unwavering support I might
not have been able to have a season at all. Spin are a true lifeline and it is
a dream to work with a company that are so passionate about hard core racing. 

Omloop Het Hageland

Dani, where do you want your bike to take you? Or put
another way, where do you want to take your bike?

As far as it is possible for me to go! I am already riding a
lot of pro races but I have no intention of just making up the numbers. I’m
under no illusion as to how hard it is but I believe I have the qualities needed to

Titanium bikes are for old men. Racers ride
carbon. What do you say to that?

False! Ride any Spin Speed Metal just 100m and that opinion will soon be put right. Spin only makes
highly focused road race frames that perform on par with top end carbon models.
Add to that the precision made Spin wheels and you’ve got yourself a dream
racing machine.

Finally Dani, apart from racing, what else is there?

As I mentioned earlier I’m still passionate about athletics
and I’ve channelled my passion down a
coaching and mentoring avenue. Whilst I’m in Belgium I look forward to helping
some of the younger members of my team with off the bike advice. And I’ll be
looking to improving my limited Dutch so I can truly embrace the Belgian way of

Many thanks for taking the time to answer all of our annoying questions Dani. It only remains for me to wish you luck and the very best legs for the 2015 season.  

You can follow Dani at and on twitter @Dani_Christmas

Photos courtesy of and thanks to Julien De Bock, Franky Crosserke and Geert Nachtergaele