Kate Cullen’s decisive victory in the British Track Championships is the strongest indication yet that those, including the selectors of the WCPP, who had written her off as ‘too old’, will have to reappraise her situation. VeloVeritas talked to her when she got back from Manchester.
That 30km Points win in the British Nationals must have been quite an important one for you Kate?
“Yes, hopefully that race will take me into the World Cups from November. After that, I hope, the World Championships.
Then there’s the Olympics in 2008. What are your chances?
“Well, of the female riders at the moment, in the Points there’s no one really who can challenge me.”
Are you still doing sprint?
“No, today you have to specialise. In the Commonwealth Games I rode sprint as well and at a British or Commonwealth level I can still do OK but at international level, I’m just not fast enough and I don’t know the tactics.”
What are your prospects of backing from the WCPP?
“I’ve no idea. My age makes that a bit more complicated. If I don’t get the backing I won’t be too disappointed — I just want the access to the races. That’s more important because I do have a personal sponsor who helps me — that’s Wolfson Electronics.”
You used to run, did you not?
“Not seriously, not competitively. I did the London Marathon once but that was years ago.”
How much training do you do, and do you workout?
“About fifteen hours a week at the moment. In the winter it might go up a bit to get in more mileage since it’s important to build up a good base. I used to go to the gym but I don’t go anymore. My coaches don’t think it’s necessary.”
Tell me a little about your bike…
“It’s a very basic off the peg bike. It’s not custom made or anything; it’s just a Giant compact frame and that’s it basically.”
I thought all you track guys used carbon fibre machines built by racing car manufacturers?
“You’re talking about Chris Boardman’s bike built by Lotus. My road bike’s carbon fibre but weight isn’t such a big issue on the track. My bike is about 17 lbs and it’s really border-line as being too light. It’s the wheels and tyres that make the difference more than the actual frame. When I race at British or Commonwealth level I get lent discs because they’re very expensive — about a thousand pounds.”
What’s the worst you’ve experienced in your cycling career?
And the best?
“My race performances this year.”
Thank you very much for your time Kate, we hope to see you make the British Team soon, and win a big title on the world stage.