Getting into the mind of Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins! The Boston man helping to keep Team GB’s Olympic cycling gold rush on track

Bradley Wiggins in Tour de France action.
Bradley Wiggins in Tour de France action.

AS TEAM GB’s cyclists once again speed across the finish line, leaving the rest of the world in their wake, those dominant men and women on the bikes are getting the plaudits that years of dedication deserve.

However, much of their success is attributed to one former Boston man who continues to stay in the background, but also revels in the team’s success.

Bradley Wiggins.

Bradley Wiggins.

Dr Steve Peters is British Cycling and Team Sky’s psychiatrist, also acting as head of medicine with his team.

He is also the man who gold medallist riders Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton have cited as one of the major reasons behind their successes.

And if that wasn’t praise enough, Team Sky and GB performance director Dave Brailsford has also described him as ‘the best appointment I’ve ever made’.

A keen athlete himself, Dr Peters is still a member of Boston and District Athletic Club and competes in international veterans competitions.

But this is only when work allows. To say he has had a busy year is an understatement.

As a member of the Team Sky backroom staff, he has already played his role in Bradley Wiggins becoming the first British rider to ever finish the gruelling competition with the yellow jersey.

An this was quickly followed by the Olympics.

At London 2012 so far, Team GB have claimed eight golds, two silvers and two bronze medals on two wheels.

But what is Dr Peters’ secret?

He is the author of The Chimp Paradox, a mind management model which aims to help overcome your fears.

His theory suggests a human has two brains – their rational one and the inner chimp.

Dr Peters was also credited by snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan as the man who helped him overcome his demons to win his fourth World Snooker title earlier this year.

Discussing how he helped O’Sullivan, Dr Peters told the BBC: “If you work on mental skills the probability of succeeding rises.

“We have to split the two brains up. The chimp was saying. ‘I’m looking at consequences, I’m looking at what will happen if I lose. It defines me to win’.

“Ronnie as a human being is sat there differently, calmed down and saying to me ‘I’d like to win, that’d be pleasurable, but actually I’ve got other values in my life which I’m not really sticking to as my chimp’s hijacking me into believing that I’m defined by my snooker’.

“We had two people I’m talking to and Ronnie started to recognise the difference, thinking ‘it’s not going to define me to the point where I think life is impossible to live if I don’t win’.”

Team GB’s cyclists won gold through Jason Kenny (men’s individual sprint), Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King (women’s team pursuit), Victoria Pendleton (women’s keirin), Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke (men’s team pursuit), Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy (men’s team sprint) and Bradley Wiggins (men’s individual time trial), Sir Chris Hoy (men’s keirin) and Laura Trott (women’s omnium).

Lizzie Armistead (women’s road race) and Pendleton (women’s sprint) picked up the silver while bronzes were draped around the necks of Ed Clancy (men’s omnium) and Christopher Froome (men’s individual time trial).

The BMX events are yet to be completed.