Concluding our series of interviews with Scottish medalists at the British Track Championships we have pleasure in bringing you the words of World Kilometre Champion, Chris Hoy.
Two golds and two bronzes for you at the British, Chris, not a bad couple of days work Chris?
“The British champs come right at the start of our season so none of the British squad guys were peaking for them but we all rode well, I was happy with how I performed.”
How did your times stand-up?
“I was very happy, I did two personal bests which were also British competition records – for the 200 metres and for the second lap of the team sprint. I was pleased with that because I don’t usually ride second wheel in the team sprint.”
Is it hard to get motivated for the British champs for a rider at your level?
“The British Champs are important because they come at the start of our season; they are a good gauge of your form, you can see how well you are going.”
Tell us about losing the Commonwealth kilometre title..
” It was a big disappointment. I had good form, I was in good condition but I think it shows more than anything how close competition is at Elite level. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been and I told myself that it was just a bad day and I had to make-up for it.”
So how much of your Worlds motivation came from your disappointment at the Commonwealth Games?
“A lot! I don’t think anger and frustration are good long-term motivators, but they worked very well for me at the Worlds. I remembered how bad I felt after losing at the Commonwealth Games and I also vented my frustration at the kilometre being dropped from the Olympics.”
What do you think of the new Worlds dates?
“It doesn’t make a huge difference to me. It does mean I get a month at home in Edinburgh when the Festival is on and I get the chance to catch-up with friends.”
When does your build-up for the Worlds start?
“The British was the start of it, I have a World Cup in Sydney then I’ll be spending a month training in Perth, Western Australia.”
Will we be seeing you in more different events now?
“It’s good to take a fresh direction, but at Olympic level with the demise of the Kilometre, I will be concentrating on the team sprint. Gold is what counts, not two bronzes. My main goal is to improve in the team sprint.”
Can training for the different disciplines be a compromise?
“I really don’t find that, but if you train as specifically as Craig does for first wheel in the team sprint, then I could see how it might.
What are your targets, Chris?
” The Bejing Olympics are a big target but if I’m still enjoying it and competitive then I would like to go all the way to the London Olympics in 2012.”
Tell us a little about those lovely British Cycling bikes you ride.
“They are always looking at ways to find a few more watts out of them and there are developments on the drawing board. It’s top secret though so I can’t tell you anything. The new ones won’t be rolled-out until close to Bejing so as the opposition won’t have time to copy them.”
If it’s not a trade secret, what gears do you ride?
“For the Kilometre it’s virtually always 51 x 14, maybe a little lower for a big, old outdoor track, maybe a little higher at altitude. In the team sprint it’s 51 x 14 and for the individual sprint 50 x 14.”
Best-ever cycling moment?
Worst-ever cycling moment?
“Stuttgart in 2003 when I was fourth in the Kilometre. I went in as world champion and came out nowhere. I felt that the goal posts had moved. In the long term though it was probably just the kick up the arse I needed for the Olympics!”
VeloVeritas would like to thank Chris for his time and wish him continued success. We also thank BBC Online for the images.