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McGee's steps to cycling glory
Around the Academy:

Brad McGee wore the leader's yellow jersey at the 2002 Tour de France after winning the prologue
McGee finished 8th in the 2004 Giro d'Italia

Brad McGee is one of the leading bright lights in cycling.

The Australian lined up for the 2004 Tour de France having enjoyed his best career result in the Giro d'Italia in May.

He finished in 8th place overall at the end of the gruelling three-week stage race - one of the three Grand Tours.

He won the opening day prologue time trial at last year's Tour to take the leader's yellow jersey and is aiming to grab a top-ten spot in Paris this time around.

Unfortunately Bradley had to pull out of the 2004 Tour during stage 5 with back and hip problems caused by a crash.

Here he gives his five tips to bring the best out of you in the saddle.

1. Consistency: This does not mean you have to cycle every day but at least five days in a week is the way forward on the bike.

You then have to learn to pedal consistently - we're not born to pedal.

2. Enjoyment: If you don't enjoy getting on the bike, what's the point? If the enjoyment level isn't there, when it comes to the tougher times you'll have little inclination to push yourself that much further.

3. Toughness: Cycling is one of the hardest things in the world - even if we do try to make it look easy sometimes!

Bradley McGee in time trial action at the Tour de France
You've got to push yourself hard

You have to push your body pretty far and, for that, you need mental as well as physical toughness.

The Tour de France is as harsh as it gets and some days you think: "Not today thanks."

But having the toughness to overcome that is the key.

4. Support: Without the support of my family and friends I never would have won a stage of the Tour de France last year.

I'd almost say that's the most important of these five.

People have made sacrifices to get me where I am today and for that I will always be grateful.

5. Dreaming: It's always handy to be a bit of a dreamer.

From a young age I always dreamed of winning a stage on the Tour de France and, if you continue dreaming about these things long enough, they may eventually come true.

These five tips have worked for me. Now you try and put them into practice and be the next big star.

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Did you know?
Brad has been known to stop while training to buy a pen and paper to write down his thoughts - he also writes poetry!

Brad facts
Born: 24.02.76 in Sydney, Australia
Height: 1.82.5m
Weight: 70kg
Tour de France: 2001 - 83rd; 2002 - 109th (winner stage 7); 2003 - 133rd; 2004 - DNF
Olympics: 1996, Atlanta - two bronze track medals; 2000, Sydney - bronze track medal

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