Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeInterviewsPaul Rowney - at the British Elite Cyclo-Cross Championships

Paul Rowney – at the British Elite Cyclo-Cross Championships

-

‘Scottish Aussie,’ Paul Rowney (Velo Ecosse) rode Sunday’s British Elite Cyclo-Cross Championship; we caught up with him [hands—free, of course] as he chased the cat’s eyes north after the race.

Paul at the Australian MTB Championships, Victoria, a couple of years ago.
Paul at the Australian MTB Championships, Victoria, a couple of years ago.

How’d it go, Paul?

“I was 12th, but I was coming from the second-last of ten rows on the start grid; the start arrangement is seeded on points won in the National Series — I don’t have any, so I was way-back.

“I was moving-up well, but I had a huge ‘off’ at around 24 mph and that took a lot out of me; I bent a lever, but got going again, I was happy enough, but for the crash I would have made top ten.

“Hammond won it, from Killeen — I think that Killeen made a mistake in letting Hammond go to the front during the last lap then couldn’t get past him again at the finish.”

What was the course like and did it suit you?

“It wasn’t bad, a bit bumpy but not like a mountain bike course though, I like it a bit more open and with a few more technical sections. Everyone’s in the same boat though, aren’t they?”

Showing good balance & technique.
Showing good balance & technique.

What about equipment?

“The bike was my Yeti cross machine, I was on clinchers and a 42/46 ring set-up, it’s only the third cross I’ve raced on it, so I’m still getting used to it.

“With the benefit of hindsight I’d have been better on tubs, you can ride them at lower pressures and they’re faster. I’d also change my ring choice to 40/44, the 46 gives big gears and the course wasn’t fast enough for that.

“I had a spare bike, but never used it, I was amazed at the level of kit a lot of the guys have down there; spare bikes, two sets of carbon-rimmed wheels and Dugast (the choice of ALL the top guys in the World, hand-made in France at around :£100 each) tyres — I was really surprised.”:  [See our article about Dugast tyres here]

Who impressed?

“Dunno, I was cross-eyed most of the time and couldn’t see anything!”

Paul was impressed by the standard of racing at the Cross Champs.

Hindsight?

“Equipment-wise, like I said, tubs definitely and smaller rings but the main thing would be to come into the race with points from riding National Series events to get a good start position, the race is over by half-distance, there’s no way you’re going to catch guys like Hammond when you start so far back; you’d need to be Superman!”

How does a cross at this level compare to a top mountain bike race?

“It’s much more ferocious, mountain bike racing is all about pacing yourself, in the cross, it’s all in the start, in cross; you have to be up there right from the gun.

“It’s much shorter than a mountain bike race, more like a short course mountain bike race, very high intensity.

“It’s not a thing you would think about, but in a mountain bike race of the same duration as the National (approx. one hour), I would drink two bottles, that’s simply not possible in a cross and I noticed that lack of hydration.”

How did the atmosphere compare to a big mountain bike race?

“Yeah, good, I got good support from the Scots that were there and from the Poms that knew me and recognised me, once they realised it was me.

“It was a well-supported event; the car park took about an hour to clear after the race.”

Plans for 2008?

“I’d like to bag a UK mountain bike title of some kind, but the first thing is I’ll need to spend time getting myself fitter.”

Don’t we all, Paul, don’t we all?…

We’d all like to be a bit fitter mate!

Result

1. Roger Hammond Team High Road Sports
2. Liam Killeen Specialized Factory Racing
3. Paul Oldham Hope Factory Racing
4. Jody Crawforth Evans Cycles RT
5. Daniel Booth Pedal Power Loughborough
6. Ian Wilkinson Science in Sport/Trek
7. Rob Jebb Wheelbase/Gore Bike Wear
8. David Collins Science in Sport/Trek
9. Nick Craig Team Scott UK
10. Lewis Craven Wheelbase/Gore Bike Wear
11. Jim Bryan Ace RT/Impsport/Zepnat
12. Paul Rowney Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers
13. Duncan Jamieson Felt Racing
14. Stuart Bowers Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Specialized
15. Jamie Newall Evans Cycles RT
16. William Bjergfelt Kona UK/Paligap
17. Simon Richardson Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles RT
18. Carl Sturgeon Retrobike.co.uk
19. Stuart Wearmouth Picarsso-Pulman RT
20. Nathan Miller 53-12 Multisports

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

Radomir Simunek – Top ‘Cross Performer for a Decade

The Czech Republic's Radomir Simunek junior shares his name with his father who remains the only man ever to be a world champion at junior, amateur and professional cyclocross levels. Radomir senior died tragically early at just 48 years-of-age in 2010. Young Radomir has been a runner up in the Worlds at both Junior and U23 levels but has had the misfortune to be a round at the same time as his countryman Zdenek Stybar – one of the most gifted cyclocross performers in the sport’s history.

James McCallum – Rapha’s ‘Busiest and Oldest’ Pro

We caught up with James McCallum after a busy weekend which combined the British Madison Championships, a Revolution meeting and a cyclo-cross.

Keith Mernickle – British Cyclo-Cross Champion in 1976

‘When I were lad,’ the ‘Comic’ (Cycling Weekly) was different – come the winter there was proper coverage of the Six Days and cyclo-cross. It was hard to be unaware of what was happening in the ‘cross’ world – even 40 years later, I can remember John Atkins, Barry Davies, Chris Dodd, Ian Jewell and – Keith Mernickle.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross, Scottish CX Round 5

We took a trip to watch the Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross. It’s a wee while since we’ve been to a Scottish cyclo-cross race and the sport has changed beyond all recognition from the early 70’s when your ‘cross bike was your winter bike with the muddies removed.

Ian Field – Consistency in the World Cup CycloCross

Sometimes you time an interview just right and your subject goes out and does something big right after it. Take British cyclo-cross champion Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) – or should that be, ‘Field de Brit’ as they say in the Flatlands. We spoke to him on Wednesday and on Friday his coach Dan Fleeman of DigDeep Coaching called us to tell us that he’d pulled off a ‘biggie’ – 13th in the Koppenbergcross after leading for the first two laps and a puncture with two laps to go.

Eric Stone – Top ‘Crosser in the 1970’s

Back in the 70’s when ‘The Comic’ was virtually the only source of information on bike racing during the winter there were comprehensive reports on ‘cross and the Six Days over the winter months. There was a man whose face graced the magazine most weeks during the 'cross season – Eric Stone, a wiry ex-runner who made the top 20 in the Worlds six times including a top ten result.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 19: Bourg-d’Oisans > Le Grand-Bornand, 204km. Rui Costa in the Monsoon

First we had Siberian snow at the Giro – and now, Rangoon rain at Le Tour. It’s never boring with VeloVeritas on the Grand Tours, and we saw Rui Costa take the win today.

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 12: Tonnerre > Vittel, 211.5km

Tour de France! Ca va? What does the '0' stand for in 02:30 ? "Oh my God, it's early!" Four hours sleep, as Barry White would say; "it's just not enough!" It's 14:19 and we're on the motorway, near Metz; we just got lost - no excuses, but the signage is grim. Destination Vittel.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 16; Ponte di Legno – Val Martello/Martelltal, 139 km. Snow on the Stelvio

Stage 16 will enter legend – Quintana’s long distance attack to take pink was straight out of the top drawer. There is a big ‘but,’ however; the confusion created by the Giro organisation with their much debated radio announcement to the teams regarding the dangerous descent of the Stelvio Pass.

Michael Mørkøv – From the Tour to the Olympic Track

One of the men who enlivened the race amidst what was a pretty dull GC battle in this year’s Tour de France was Saxo Bank –Tinkoff Bank rider, Michael Mørkøv. The Dane wore the leaders’ jersey for the king of the mountains during the first week and was in the breakaway more than 800 kilometres during le Tour.

Le Tour de France 2011 – As It Stands

Rest Day Number One on Le Tour de France 2011! As it stands this is the day everyone is hanging out for on the whole race, riders just want a day off the mental and physical stress.

Giro d’Italia 2007 – Day 1: Getting there

Giro d'Italia 2007. Sardinia is hot, damn hot, real hot, but our Peugeot 107 has air-con and a CD which plays John Hardie's 70's compilations just fine. It's 09.10 and we're north-bound to catch the ferry from Palau out to the island of Maddalena, where tomorrow's TTT takes place.