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newsid: 176037

UCI World Cycling Centre: providing opportunities for hopeful mechanic

Richard Eglon at the UCI WCC workshop
Richard Eglon at the UCI WCC workshop

After years of working as a designer for large multi-national companies, Richard Eglon has decided to take a dramatic change in career path.

That decision has brought him to the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, where he is training as a bicycle mechanic. The British-born designer-cum-mechanic is on the second of seven courses scheduled at the UCI WCC in 2016.

Professional reconversion had been on Richard Eglon’s mind for some time. While working as a freelance in 2013, he trained and qualified as a personal trainer, nutritionist and masseur. However, at the end of that same year, he returned to the corporate world, and spent nearly two years in Singapore as Design Director for an international pharmaceutical company. Back in Europe, he has chosen to leave that world behind.

“I see it as a rebirth,” he says. “I already have these other qualifications in the sports area, and I wanted to round myself off. Doing this mechanics course gives me the opportunity to further my expertise."

“I’m passionate about cycling. You can ask anybody. I bore them to death with it.”

The 57-year-old has been a cycling buff since the age of 12, when he first took up the sport. Although he has never trained as a mechanic or worked in the profession, he is a natural handyman and has built his own bikes.

“Everything I knew had been self-taught. Now when I get on my (self-made) bike, I’m thinking: ‘this is no good.’

“The depth of knowledge here (at the UCI WCC) is incredible and even though it’s still early days, I have already learnt a lot."

" I’m really getting an in-depth understanding of the profession.”

The intensive eight-week course includes bike building, wheel building, maintenance, servicing, race preparation, position on the bike and familiarisation with rules and regulations. As part of his practical training, Richard Eglon works alongside the UCI WCC trained mechanics and the centre’s athletes, including accompanying them to races.

Former graduates of the UCI WCC mechanics course have gone on to work for professional teams, National Federations or in bicycle shops. Richard Eglon is not sure what the future has in store when he graduates in the middle of May, but one thing is certain: he will be settling in Mallorca.

“Cycling is huge in Mallorca and that’s where I want to be. I have bought an apartment there and will see what openings there are. I believe in living in the present and enjoying the moment. I am concentrating on that and my training here at the UCI World Cycling Centre.”

Click here for more information about the UCI World Cycling Centre mechanics courses.