Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeInterviewsJames McCallum - A Professional Approach

James McCallum – A Professional Approach


The 2006 season was a great one for James McCallum; it’s not every year you win a Commonwealth Games medal. It seemed like it would take a lot to top 2006; how does the 2007 British Criterium Championships and the most glamorous crit in Britain sound?

James McCallum
British Champion! How d’you like that?!

Another great season, James.

“The last two years have been weird, my Games medal was a big surprise to a lot of people and so was the British Criterium Championship, but when I won the Smithfield nocturne, I think it consolidated things; showed my two big results weren’t flukes.”

What’s happening at Plowman Craven for 2008; will it still be baby blue and pink?

“PCA will have nine riders, there’s me plus Gibb, Millard, Gaywood and Richardson from last year and four more, still to be announced.

“We’ve had a briefing, so I know who they are, but can’t say too much at the moment.

“We’re not making any claims about wanting to, “go Pro-Tour”, but we hope to participate in some smaller European stage races to prepare us better for the 2008 Tours of Ireland and Britain – they came as a bit of a shock to system, last year!

“And pink works; it gets a lot of people talking about us, so it’ll be staying for 2008.”

What are your personal goals for 2008?

“I’d like to win criteriums in my National Champion’s jersey, and progress as a rider. I’m never going to be a Pro-Tour rider, but I’d like to realise my potential.”

James McCallum
Winning a race in a champion’s jersey has got to feel special. Here, James takes the inaugural Smithfield Nocturn.

Any regrets in 2007?

“The ankle injury I picked-up was very disappointing, it totally compromised my rides in the Tours of Ireland and Britain. I had to take four weeks off training.”

How’s the new job?

“Good, my title is events co-ordinator, with Scottish Cycling. I’m trying to apply a rider’s perspective to the calendar.

“The “Super Six” series is my ‘baby’; on the first weekend of each month, there will be only be one major road race on the calendar.

“That will run from March to September, the exception will be the national champs, which are in August. In this way we want to attract the best possible fields in terms of quality and numbers.

“When you are talking to local authotities and the police, decent numbers of competitors holds sway.

“The courses won’t be savage or race distances over-long; it’s speed we’re looking for – that’s what wins races.”

So, it all kicks-off with Rosneath, in March?

“Not for next year; if we want to have a professional approach, there have to be deadlines for information being submitted.

“It’s only November and we have the calendar sorted-out, but if deadlines aren’t met then we have to move on.”

James McCallum
James is a handy track rider too, as his medal at the Commonwealth Games demonstrates.

How was Scottish Cycling able to afford you?

“One of the reasons is that Gary Willis, who is in charge of youth and junior coaching, is on the British Cycling payroll now and allowed moneys to be made available for this position.

“As I said, the calendar is going to be a lot more professionally managed from now on.”

VeloVeritas wish James every success in his new job and will make sure we’re at the new “super-six” series to keep you posted on how it works out.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Chris Fennell – British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion 2019

23 year-old student Chris Fennell [Team Independent Pedaler] is the new British 25 Mile Time Trial champion, beating Phil Williams [Liverpool Phoenix CC] by 26 seconds with regular on Scottish roads, Adam Wild [GS Metro] third with 46:57. In true VeloVeritas tradition we ‘had a word.’

Evan Oliphant – 2nd Overall in the Bikeline Two-Day

Wick's Evan Oliphant carried on for his Plowman Craven team where Tony Gibb left off at last week's Eddie Soens' Memorial Race, by winning the second stage of the Bikeline two day in North Wales yesterday, and finishing up the two-day race in second overall today. The man in pink and blue won the stage yesterday despite the presence of three of the Rapha team in the finale. VeloVeritas spoke to Evan shortly after his win, and again today once the race was finished.

George Atkins – Time Trials, Belgium and Cooking!

George Atkins was a name that suddenly appeared on the Scottish scene back in the summer. And on Sunday the versatile man from Leicester took silver in the British U23 Time Trial Championships, but before his foray into the world of riding 'alone and unpaced', he spent six weeks in Flanders, so naturally we needed to have a word with him, not long before the British Champs.

Joe Skipper – 27mph Average to Win the 12 Hour Championship!

Professional triathlete Joe Skipper, making up for the disappointment of ‘turning short’ and being technically "DNF" in last year’s CTT 12 hour championship has recorded the first 27 mph 12 hour time trial - 325.5 miles in the CC Breckland event in Norfolk. Here’s what Joe had to say just two days after his historic ride.

Evan Oliphant – British Points Race Silver Medallist

We caught up with Evan after he secured another medal at the British level, this time on the track in the Points Race Championship. Read on to hear Evan's thoughts on his achievement, and whether he's coming back to race on the grass too...

British Time Trial Championship 2006

Jason MacIntyre followed his outstanding win in the British 25 mile TT Champs with an equally fantastic result in the British Time Trial Championship 2006, taking some superb scalps such as Michael Hutchinson, Jonathan Dayus, and Stuart Dangerfield.

At Random

Andreas Müller – “I Could Ride Madisons All Day!”

It's hard to break into the six day circuit; but if there's a local rider with promise or a road star that needs mentoring then there has to be a rider on the circuit to provide hands on guidance. Enter Austria's Andreas Müller. Müller was a member of the German track squad during the last decade with strong results, like silver in the 1999 Moscow World Cup team pursuit; Madison bronze in the Chinese round of the World Cup in 2002 and Madison gold in the Moscow and Sydney rounds of the 2003 World Cup.

Le Tour de France – Day 8: Stage 20, Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond

The Salle de Presse in Saint-Amand-Montrond, 17.30 Saturday 26th July and Carlos Sastre has just won the Tour de France, it won't be official until tomorrow after the big show on the Champs Elysee, but it's won. Personally I'm happy with the result; at least Sastre took the race by the scruff of the neck on L'Alpe D'Huez, an 'exploit.' Evans strategy of following may have been dictated by the weakness of his team, but it would have been hard to be enthusiastic about him as a Tour winner.

Scottish National 25 mile Time Trial Championship 2012

On a grey, damp but mild and fast Sunday morning on the roads around Blairdrummond near Stirling, Dooleys' Ian Grant added the '25' title to the '50' with a fine 52:26; besting Sandy Wallace's Silas Goldsworthy - whose fight back over the closing miles hauled back a 17 second deficit on Grant down to six at the line. Last year's '50' champion Alan Thomson, took another medal for Sandy Wallace with bronze in 53:09. The event was not without controversy, however.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012 – Day Four

It's Sunday at the Copenhagen Six Day, and it's Sprints to start and Hazel Dean thumps out, quality high energy from the 80’s ‘Searchin’ — quality. Followed by ‘Livin in America’ from the late, great James Brown — we’re in luck, tonight.

Patrick Galbraith – Philadelphia Criterium Winner

Evan Oliphant isn't the only Scotsman who's been winning races in the US of A. - up-and-coming under 16 rider, Patrick Galbraith recently scored a criterium win in Rocky Balboa's home town - Philadelphia (what do you mean "it's just a movie!?)...

Second Big Test

Second Big Test. After a quiet day where the big swinging cats of the peloton were all nice to each other, the fireworks are set to ignite. Hilltop finishes are always a risk for time gaps, and considering Cadel is currently the only contender who would be happy with how things sit on the overall with a 41km individual TT still to come, there are lads who will be sure to attack madly tonight.