At the age of 14, the British Cycling Talent Team programme visited Dani’s College – Hamble Community Sports College on a talent identification programme, which saw Dani ride a mountain bike round a field quicker than all the boys, confirming she had potential talent.
Dani joined the British Cycling Talent Team and progressed on to the Junior Olympic Development Programme (ODP), as a sprint cyclist initially, before transferring to the endurance side where Dani’s strengths truly lay.
Dani was not selected for the British Cycling U23 Academy, so left the British Cycling system in 2009 and started working with her new coach – Courtney Rowe.
Over the following years, Dani raced for a number of teams, namely; Vision 1 (led by Nicole Cooke), Horizon Fitness, Matrix and more recently Wiggle Honda, Cylance Pro Cycling and for 2018 – WaowDeals Pro Cycling.
Dani’s work ethic, coupled with the ‘no stone left unturned’ mentality to training resulted in Dani improving in leaps and bounds, where she was invited back in to the British Cycling set up in November 2010. Four months later, she was World Champion in the 3km Team Pursuit with Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenhagel establishing herself as a world-class athlete. At the same championships, Dani won a bronze medal in the scratch race, making her the most successful British Athlete at the Apeldoorn World Championships, 2011.
Dani has since won three World Championship Gold’s, Commonwealth Bronze, along with a handful of European and British Championship medals and titles. However, Olympic Gold in the Team Pursuit, London 2012 sits as Dani’s biggest achievement in the sport.
Dani is now a coach at Rowe & King, focused on coaching female riders.
Who inspired you to start cycling?
My dad – he was a 2 x Olympian in Biathlon.
A white and yellow peugeot with down tube gear shifters which I borrowed from our local triathlon club – Chapel tri stars in Hamble, Southampton.
First cycling club?
Kelly Holmes as she had so many ups and downs throughout her career yet never gave up.
What do you love most about cycling?
The feeling of pushing myself to the limit and reaching goals.
What has cycling taught you?
The body can be pushed further than you think!
I liked racing on the track – the adrenaline rush is incredible. However, on the road I loved the classic style races like Flanders.
Highlight of your career?
4th August 2012, Winning Olympic Gold.
If you were not a bike rider, what would you be?
A sportsperson of a different kind.
Main interests outside of cycling?
Being social with friends and family, plus I am a massive ‘foodie’!
Most famous person you have met?
Most embarrassing moment?
Putting my hands in the air thinking I had won, when actually there was another rider who was a minute up the road and had won solo! I come crossing the line, hands aloft, giving it the big ones!
Interesting fact about you?
I achieved grade 5 in Trombone.
First bike race?
A circuit race at Thruxton motor circuit.
Fajitas and Ice cream – but not together!
What keeps you going when you’re on the limit?
That feeling of success – it spurs me on every time I ride a bike. I train to compete and perform.
What would a perfect day look like?
A chilled morning followed by a steady bike ride to the cafe, with the sun shining. A social afternoon / evening with a massive BBQ with friends and family.