Q&A: Perry Ap Gwynedd

Guitarist Perry Ap Gwynedd is a famed musician who you may have seen to the stage with Pendulum and Faithless, or heard performing on countless records. In our arena though, he’s probably better known as a pundit and commentator for Le Tour De France.


So Perry – you split your time between musical and cycling endeavours. Which was your first love?

Probably music. There was always music in our house when I was growing up, but the bike came very soon after that.

Both professional sports and the music industry have a bit of a reputation for big characters – which of your jobs would have the craziest staff party?

Most definitely music parties are the craziest, but I prefer cycling industry parties.

You recently smashed out over 280km on Zwift in one sitting for charity – what’s the story there?

I was riding for a charity called Heavy Metal Truants, raising money for four kids charities. We usually raise money by riding from London to Download Festival, but due to Covid-19 we couldn’t do that this year. This year was a virtual ride, and I decided to do mine on Zwift. Doing the whole distance of 282km in one day seemed like a good idea at the time – I managed it in under nine hours which was a bit of a surprise. Over 350 of us rode virtually this year, and we raised over £160,000.

As a session musician, what is the most bizarre request that you’ve had to handle?

I was once asked to play my guitar with a spoon.

While you’re out on the road with Le Tour, do you get much chance to get out and ride in those locations? Do you have a favourite spot to ride?

None at all. When we’re working at the TdF we spend a lot of our time travelling from town to town, and when we eventually arrive at the Zone Technique (backstage) the race has already started, so we’re usually glued to the tv monitor.
Although last year we did get to ride on the Champs Elysees, thanks to our friends at POC Sports.

Once the calendar is up and running again, how do you anticipate the media side at races changing in Planet Earth 2.0?

Of course. Social distancing has become the norm in all walks of life, so it will be interesting to see how the powers that be organise the controlled chaos at the various bike races.

For more from Perry follow him on Instagram

Writer and expert