We caught up with Scottish rider Ross Edgar recently to chat about the World Championships and the British team setup; here’s what he had to say…
British Keirin Champion; you’re becoming a specialist in that event…
“I wouldn’t say I was a specialist! That would mean that it was the only event I rode: I do the sprint and team sprint too. My coach when I was at the UCI coaching centre at Aigle in Switzerland [Fred Magne], was a specialist – that was the only event he ever prepared for.”
There are tips that you can apply when racing in a Keirin, however do you think there’s no substitute for experience?
“I’ve been riding them for a long time now, and you pick-up a few tricks as you go along. Fred used to tell me that you should only make one move in a race, but it should be a good one. Obviously, positioning is important, as is timing your effort.”
Ross had a great Commonwealth Games, with three medals, and we wondered whether he had expectations going into the Games?
“I never go into a race with expectations. I go in with an open mind. Coming in to the Games I was confident, had good form and was looking forward to the races – it all worked-out well.”
Although the Commonwealth Games were tremendous, were the World Championships a bit of a disappointment?
“They definitely were, I had peaked for the Commonwealth Games and there wasn’t enough time to do the base training for the Worlds then build-up to taper-off and peak again.”
What did you do over the summer?
“I had a week’s holiday then it was back on the road bike, then two months of track work including a couple of Grand Prixs in Germany.”
As well as Keirin you ride the team sprint. Is there are a conflict in the way you have to train for the two events?
“No, not at all I do the same training for both.”
Do you know which events you’ll be riding at the 2007 Worlds in Palma?
“No, I don’t know yet: we’ll have to qualify riders through the World Cup events which are coming up. I would like to ride them all though – the Keirin, the Individual Sprint and of course the Team Sprint – my main goal is the Individual Sprint though.”
What’s the programmme between now and the Worlds?
“I’ll be riding World Cups in Sydney, Los Angeles and Manchester as part of my build-up.”
What do you think of the Worlds being in the spring?
“It works out well for us in the UK because it means we are doing our base miles during the summer so I think it’s good.”
You are one of the ‘new wave’ of track men coming-up. Has it helped to be working with riders of the quality and pedigree of Jason Queally, Craig MacLean and Chris Hoy?
“Definitely, you feel that it’s up to you to keep the good results coming. Initially it was quite hard for me because I hadn’t come through the system behind these guys.
“I had three seasons at Aigle with the UCI so I didn’t have that bond with the guys. I’m a part of the team now though and a lot closer to the other riders.”
Was the coaching at Aigle a big help?
“Put it this way, when I went I had a best of 10.7 for 200 meters, when I left it was 10.2.”
What’s your ultimate goal in cycling?
“I want to be a World and Olympic champion, preferably in the sprint because I think it’s the most prestigious.”
What’s been your worst cycling moment?
“Riding so poorly in the Worlds at Bordeaux.”
And the best?
“There are two; finishing fifth in the sprint at the Olympics, and also winning the team sprint with the Scotland team at the Commonwealth Games – that was really special.”
Finally, what’s the Scottish connection?
“My dad, he comes from Kilwinning.”
VeloVeritas would like to thank Ross for his patience in answering our questions, and wish him all the best for the coming season.