Facts about me
Name: Tobyn Horton
Born: Guernsey, Channel Islands
Job: Professional Cyclist
Team Sponsors: Madison, Genesis Bikes
Team Website: www.teamukyouth.co.uk
Years Cycling: 16
Other Interests: Surfing and the odd game of squash in the off season.
Favorite Holiday: Lanzarote or Bali
Personal Sponsors: www.eqrmp.com, www.ianbrowns.co.uk, www.blix.co
I was born in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands situated in the English Channel. The Island is small with a circumference of only 40 kilometres. I lived there from birth until I moved away to spend seasons cycling in Belgium.
I originally started mountain biking at the age of 10, racing in Guernsey Velo Club organised events on the Island. I left school at 16 to start work and it was at this time when I began road cycling in order to train for mountain bike races which I was competing at in the UK. I was fortunate in late 2004 to have an opportunity to race in Belgium on the road for the 2005 season and I jumped at the chance to try and take my cycling to the next level and see how far I could take it.
In April 2005, I left Guernsey to start racing in Belgium for Kingsnorth International Wheelers, based in Gent. My first race was a kermesse with 191 riders. Having lived in Guernsey, I had only ever raced against a maximum of 15 riders, so was very much out of my depth. I completed 4 laps before getting dropped from the peloton. In July 2005 I competed in the Shetland Island Games placing 12th in the Road Race and 9th in the Road Criterium. I returned to Belgium after the Island Games and continued racing making some big improvements in fitness, results and experience. By the end of the season I had earned myself a place in the team to represent Guernsey in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in which I finished 68th after a badly timed illness.
I continued to race in Belgium for the following 5 seasons, winning my first Belgium Kermesse race in September 2006, which was a big step during some consistent late season results. In 2007 I rode for Team Onder Ons Parike and had my first experience of an Interclub race. Again this was a step up from the kermesse races I had been doing and in my first race finished a respectable 27th, however, I never got the opportunity to race in any more. I knew that I could do better, I just needed to gain more experience and be given some time to develop. In July 2007 I represented Guernsey in the Rhodes Island Games and after some hard work by my teammates won the Criterium race, held on a short, windy course. This was the first time a Guernsey cyclist had taken home a gold medal.
For the 2008 and 2009 seasons I rode for Team Deschuytter Westkerke. My team manager there believed in me and knew that given the chance I would really improve, through simply riding more Interclub races and learning the skills to get results in them. I did and throughout the season had some top 15 finishes in UCI 1.2 and Interclub races. For the 2009 season it was much the same story, my results were getting better and better and I was feeling much stronger, which showed in my results. I achieved two podium places in Interclub races and again several top 15 finishes. For the 2008/2009 season I was supported by the Dave Rayner Fund which assists ambitious riders to make a successful career from cycle racing in Europe. This proved an invaluable resource and I was very grateful for their support over those years.
For the 2010 season I signed my first professional contract with Team Sprocket Pro Cycling which was run and managed by Magnus Backstedt and Martin McCrossan. The season went well although unfortunately missed out on the elusive win, but with some good results none the less. Before the season started I spent two months through the winter training in Melbourne in preparation and it really paid off. I had had the best season of my career so far and importantly felt much stronger than previous years right from the first race of the year. This season was a step up, riding my first ever UCI 1.1 professional race, Nokere Koers, and finishing in with the leaders. Throughout the rest of the season I gained several top 15 places and did a lot of work for the team in one day and stage races.
In October 2010 I proudly represented Guernsey again at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. I had high expectations and was confident of a good result. The race was very controlled by the bigger teams/ nations until about half distance which was when the real race started. There were attacks going all the time, I followed as many moves as possible and tried a few myself but with no luck. Eventually the break of the day went and I had missed it. With all the bigger nations represented it was obvious it wasn't coming back. The peloton then split in three - I made the second split and came home in a very disappointing 27th place having suffered from cramps on the last lap.
I am coming into my 3rd season racing for British UCI Continental teams. I spent a year with Team Motorpoint in 2011 and had a difficult season due to injury last year with Team Raleigh, still managing to pick up some good results and having a pretty successful year.
For 2013 I have signed for Team UK Youth. UK Youth being a National Charity with over 100 years of history, that directly works with in excess of 750,000 young people each year. The team continues to be zero-cost to the charity, underwritten by the charities President Nigel Mansell CBE, and family. I am delighted to be a part of this team and am already seeing the massive differences how riding for such a professional outfit can help and cant wait to get stuck into racing for them. Plese keep an eye on my Blog, Calendar and Results page for what I am/ have been upto.