We were going to open this piece with the statement that; ‘not many 100 mile time trial champions can win the kilometre championship too.’
But then we remembered that Sandy Gilchrist did that very thing.
But we’re pretty sure that no 100 mile time trial champion has ever been on the keirin podium?
Enter, that man Kyle Gordon – quality time tester, ever-improving pursuiter and now sprinter.
We caught up with the man from Alness just before he jetted off to Australia and the UCI World Cup round there.
Congratulations on an excellent Scottish Track Championships, Kyle – let’s start with that 1:03 to win the kilometre, that’s quick.
“Thank you, yes but not a personal best, I did a slightly shorter 1:03 in Wales earlier in the year but the air density in Glasgow was high at the weekend so I think my championship effort was a stronger effort.”
And a ‘near thing’ in the keirin?
“I was second to Lewis Stewart last year and this year I went in to win it.
“I won my heat with the first three from each heat going into the final.
“In the final a rider came over the top of me with a lap to go, so I was perfectly positioned but I got out of the saddle on the last lap and my back wheel skipped, costing me about 15 metres.
“I turned on the gas to close the metres I’d lost and thought I might have just got it on the line but the photo showed that I was second.
“It would have been nice to win – I’m understanding my physiology better now and I’m actually suited to the fast explosive effort.”
But pursuit gold to with the kilometre one?
“I qualified fastest by seven seconds with a 4:20 and given the air pressure I was well pleased with that.
“Michael Gill was second fastest with a 4:27 but he’s a good rider with a 4:22 to his name, recently.
“In the final I decided to go for the catch; that can be risky if you’re on the limit and your opponent comes back at you but I did it, catching him at 2,000 metres.”
Was HUUB Supremo Dan Bigham OK with you riding given there are World Cups coming up?
“Yes, we discussed it and I’m going to the Australia World Cup as ‘emergency reserve rider’ and team manager – the strongest guys have to be first choice; Ashton Lambie, Dan Bigham, John Archibald and Jonny Wale.
“There are no bunched races so Jake Tipper isn’t going and I can’t ride the omnium because I don’t have sufficient UCI omnium points.”
How are things going in the HUUB Derby team house?
“Really good. I moved there in July off the back of my bronze medals in the points and pursuit at the National Championships.
“I came home and I’d achieved my goals for the season, a BC medal and a 4:15 pursuit so I was kinda; ‘what now ?’
“But two weeks after the Nationals, Dan invited me down for a two month trial over July and August – that went well and then we had an altitude camp, subsequent to which I signed up with the team.
“We live in a six bedroom house in Derby, you can have your own space or if you wish there’s always someone about if you want company.”
Tell us about your training.
“Jonny writes all of our team pursuit track session programmes, we do two sessions each week, some are geared towards technical aspects and others towards race technique.
“It’s been a big learning curve for me, I’d only ridden three team pursuits before I joined the squad and there’s a lot to learn.
“But every session I get a little better – it’s very technical, you have to learn about the optimal way to change, where to put the power down…
“For individual training my coach is Mehdi Kordi. He used to be GB Sprint Coach but is with the Dutch Federation now.”
Tell us about the Minsk World Cup please.
“We took five riders and the plan was for me ride in the final.
“We qualified in the top eight on the Thursday night but were beaten in the next round so no finals for us – and no ride for me.”
“We went better than Minsk with us riding an all-time team-best of 3:52.
“Dan always wants to use our riders most effectively and I was in for qualifying with the plan for me to ‘do a Jonny Wale’ and ride five laps then bail.
“But I was parking up a bit on my last lap and should have bailed one lap sooner, maybe I went out a little too quick?
“That cost us a little bit of time and despite the 3:52 we were only fifth qualifiers – so, again, no finals.”
Are you riding the Cambridge, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia World Cups?
“Not Cambridge but we leave for Australia today to give us time to acclimatise.
“The team will be the riders I mentioned above.
“It’s a different format now with all three rides on the same day.”
What about the last of the World Cups in Milton, Canada in January?
“No, it clashes with the National Track Championships which are obviously a massive target.
“I hope to be riding team and individual pursuits, kilometre and perhaps the points at the Nationals – but I’ll have to speak to the other guys about what we’re doing.”
You were 19th in the BC National Time Trial Champions; you’d have expected better?
“I wasn’t happy with that ride, no.
“I was disappointed because I’d trained hard and tapered into it.
“I believe I went too deep, too early, I was spinning at 110 rpm, higher than my usual 95/100 rpm but I felt good and with being a sporting course I wasn’t riding to my computer.
“However, the sustained high revving brought back and old injury to haunt me; I had pneumonia earlier in my life and my lungs were injured, the prolonged high revving affected my breathing and I was panting.
“With hindsight I should have geared up and lowered my rpm.
“And whilst it was great for warning of technical sections coming up, it’s the first time I’ve ridden with a race radio and it was a bit of a distraction.”
The team’s new weapon of choice, Argon 18 versus your previous Cervélo machines?
“As soon as I jumped on the Argon I noticed the difference, it’s very stiff and that’s what you need when pushing 1,000 watts out of the gate then changing on the bankings at 65 kph.”
“We ride The Nationals then head off to altitude camp on Mount Teide in Tenerife – we have two planned there – then we have the world record attempts at Cochabamba in Bolivia come April.
“We’re there for a month to acclimatise and train.
“The kilometre, individual pursuit, team pursuit and hour records are all on the agenda.”
And you’ll be going for the Scottish hour record?
“Yes but before John Archibald gets up for it”!
“I’d actually spoken previously to Scottish Cycling’s Mark McKay about going for it on Glasgow – I’m old fashioned that way, it would be nice to break it in Scotland but the new rules allow you to go for it on any UCI approved track.
“Then in May, with the team ‘dead’ due to the new UCI rules preventing trade teams from riding World Cups, I’ll have to think about where I go from there.
“But of course, the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham in 2022 are another big ambition…”
VeloVeritas will be keeping a close eye on events in Brisbane and way up there in the Andes.