Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeInterviewsChris Hoy - Performances and Plans

Chris Hoy – Performances and Plans


We’ve been stalking him since Beijing; and at last, we’ve cracked him – Chris Hoy, Olympic gold medallist in the team sprint, keirin and individual sprint.

We’ve heard that he now retains Max Clifford, “PR guru to the stars,” as his agent, so we decided we’d better check out the financial aspect of the interview, first.

Chris Hoy
One of the many celebrations.

Will Max charge us, if he finds out about this interview, Chris? “The invoice is already in the post!”

What’s the daftest question you’ve been asked?

“There’s the one about; “why are you not riding The Tour?’ and there are the standard ones that I’ve answered a hundred times; ‘what’s it like standing on the podium?’ and ‘is the medal real gold?’ “

(We quickly scored those off the list !)

Chris Hoy
A dream realised.

In Athens you took one gold; in Beijing it was three; what’s the difference in terms of media attention?

“It’s a whole different scale altogether; one gold gets you attention, but if it’s a track and field gold or a multiple medal win then it’s just mad.

You wouldn’t believe what it’s like – just a constant demand for interviews and personal appearances. It’s very exciting, but I simply haven’t had any time to myself.

Since I came back I haven’t had a single chance to go out and have a bite to eat and relax with my friends.”

Your favourite Beijing moment?

“At the very end, after I’d won the individual sprint because I could finally relax and enjoy the moment. After the team sprint and keirin there were still other events to come, so I couldn’t switch off.”

Chris Hoy
He’s a big fella, is Chris.

Do you think the GB domination at the Worlds in Manchester meant that a lot of your rivals were beaten before they started?

“I don’t think so, Sireau (France) gave an interview in Beijing where he said that he didn’t think that the GB team sprint squad would go as well in Beijing because we wouldn’t have the advantage of the home crowd.

When I heard that, it was a huge boost to me – because I knew we were going even better that at Manchester!”

Sireau and Bos (Netherlands) didn’t seem to have any ‘sparkle’ in Beijing.

“I think they were shell shocked after we broke the world record in the qualifying for the team sprint. The French team was on the line after us and I could see in their eyes that they were stunned by the ride we had just turned out.

I think that qualifying ride high lighted the gulf we have created between ourselves and most of our rivals.”

Chris Hoy
Arnaud Tournant and Chris are pals off the bike.

Jason Kenny (GB) – in the winning team sprint squad and second to you in the sprint.

“It’s not just the physical aspect – he also has the right temperament for training and competition. He was a big factor in the team performorming so well – he pushes us, keeps us on our toes.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that one day he’ll beat me in a big competition. His presence is a challenge, and I need that to keep me fighting.”

La Paz and the failed kilo world record; any “with hinsights”, and will you go again?

“It would take a lot to get me to go again – like the kilometre being reintroduced to the Olympics.

As for La Paz, more time would have been good and little things, like using an aero helmet instead of my sprint helmet. But the more time you are there, the more it costs and the budget was tight.”

Chris Hoy
Chris is an awesome athlete.

What about Bos’s 200 record?

“Definitely, I wasn’t far away at Beijing and when they ran the qualifying time trial, it was in the morning and the temperature was only 21 degrees. If it had been warmer, I think I would have got it. The record can be broken in Moscow – and it’s a lot easier to get to Moscow than it is La Paz.”

Sprinting seems less tactical these days.

“The tactics are still there, but not as obvious. A lot of the sprints do look like drag races but you still have to manoeuvre so that you can ride to your strengths. One of the things that has changed, is that gears are higher and sprints start a lot earlier – maybe 500 metres out instead of 300.”

Chris Hoy
Even Olympic Champions have to change their own gears.

Did you notice the ‘tweaks’ to the GB “superbikes?”

“Not really, they were all small things, but management told us they were beneficial and it helps with your confidence.”

Any Sixes planned?

“Milan, there’s a three day sprinters competition there, and Rotterdam where there are sprints every night.”

Every kid in Scotland wants to be Chris Hoy, but there’s no indoor track.

“One is to be built for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but we need two – one on the West coast and one in the East. But Meadowbank velodrome in Edinburgh is being demolished…

If you’re an elite athlete then you can jump in the car and drive from Edinburgh to Glasgow to train on the track. But it’s not about elite athletes, it’s about the kids. It stands to reason that if you have two tracks, then you double the chances of getting your next track stars.

If there had been no Meadowbank, there simply would be no Chris Hoy!”

Chris Hoy
There’s four more years of gym work for Chris!

What now Chris?

“Right now, it’s more luncheons and functions – I have three days off in the next five weeks. I’m looking forward to just getting back on my bike. Race-wise I have the last World Cup in Copenhagen and I’ll definitely be at the track Worlds in Poland – although I don’t know how well I’ll be going.”

And the big goal is still London, in four years?


With congratulations and thanks to Chris – how much did you say that invoice was for, Max?!

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

Mark Stewart – Looking Back at the Tour de Yorkshire

Scotland’s British Points Champion and World Cup Team Pursuit medallist, Mark Stewart was in action in the recent Tour de Yorkshire, building endurance for his next track campaign which centres round the European U23 Track Championships in July. We thought we’d best have a word with the man ...

Callum Skinner – “I’d like to ride all four sprint events”

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year is an interesting proposition for Scotland, with Katie Archibald and Callum Skinner now Olympic champions, Mark Stewart a double under 23 European Champion and Neah Evans on the top step of a World Cup podium - and don't forget 'left fielder' Jonny Wale, reigning British team pursuit champion and 1:01 kilometre man. VeloVeritas spoke to all of them about their 2017 seasons and prospects in Australia come the spring, and we start with Callum Skinner...

Jonny Wale – “It’s time for us to shine”

Yes, Scotland has two Olympic champions on the Commonwealth Games squad for The Gold Coast; Katie Archibald and Callum Skinner. We also have double European U23 champion, Mark Stewart and World Cup gold medallist, Neah Evans. But there’s another name which isn’t so obvious, that of 26 year-old Jonny Wale – born and raised in Scotland, British team pursuit champion and author of a 1:01.1 kilometre. We caught up with Jonny recently to get his story. He’s recovering from a training crash which resulted in a broken collarbone but hasn’t kept him out of the gym or off the turbo – the man wants to get to the Gold Coast, real bad!

George Edwards – The Scot who was BLRC British Champion in 1946

George Edwards? The name might not mean much to you but along with Brian Smith, Robert Millar and David Miller he’s one of few Scotsmen who have won the British National Road Race Championship – in his case the BLRC version in 1946. George passed away in 1992 at the age of 68 but Harry Tweed connected us with George’s son who shares the same Christian name and now lives in the Netherlands. Here’s what George had to say to VeloVeritas, recently.

Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times!

If you had to name one man who single handedly changed the face of Scottish time trialling? The man who made sure a ‘59’ wasn’t going to win you the ‘25’ champs anymore... Dave Hannah is the man; VeloVeritas caught up with him recently at his home in Shieldhill for a long overdue chat.

Katie Archibald – “The best time to be ‘ready for Rio’ is 11th August”

She may have missed out on the 2016 London Worlds but Katie Archibald certainly IS going to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games in the team pursuit for Great Britain. Injured in ‘that’ motorbike crash prior to the Worlds she’s fought her way back to fitness and it’s confirmed that she’ll be in the GB line up for the 4,000 metre team pursuit. We first interviewed Ms. Archibald back in 2013 and have kept abreast of her results since – but Olympic selection is special so we thought we best ‘have a word.’

At Random

John Archibald – 12 seconds off a podium spot at the British 25 Mile TT Championships

It’s not a lot of time is 12 seconds; around 250 metres at the speeds they go at these days; but that’s what separated Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champion, John Archibald from the podium of the CTT National 25 mile championship in Wales on Sunday. That had to be the first question VeloVeritas asked; "Could you have found those seconds, John?"

Cherie Pridham – DS with Israel Start-Up Nation for season 2021

‘Glass ceilings;’ they’re there to be broken through. England’s Cherie Pridham becomes the first female sport director in the World Tour; she’ll be with Israel Start-Up Nation for season 2021.

Oscar Freire Starts The Show

The Big Gorilla didn't pack his climbing legs for this year's TDU. Translation: Andre Greipel couldn't stay with the peloton as it went up the very tough Mengler's Hill at warp speed. Oscar Freire, however, did, and he led a good-sized bunch over the line in Tanunda today. It was a very good result for the race as much as anything: processions tend to put the fans off.

Le Tour de France 2015 – Stage 21; Sèvres – Paris Champs-Élysées

When we spoke to Cav's personal soigneur, Aldis half way through the stage we knew it wasn't to be; 'And Mark, today ?' Aldis screwed up his face; 'he's a little sick...' So 4:1 to Greipel - and the rumours about Cav having to learn to understand Brian Smith's accent at MTN get ever stronger. We changed our system and didn't drive race route for the last stage; instead we drove straight to the digs, got organised, had a shower and headed off across a wet Paris to the finish circuit.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 2: Elite Time Trial

The alarm went at 08.00 and I hobbled out of bed. The shower room was occupied so it was the full wash in the sink routine-hope nobody filmed it. It has to be the most unfriendly breakfast room in the world - nobody speaks so it was quick bowl of muesli and out the door. World Road Championships 2006...

James McKay Blog – Tour de Mirabelle and Other Races

It feels like I only arrived in France a few weeks ago, yet the summer has started now. The weather and racing has been heating up, I've raced the UCI 2.2 Tour de Mirabelle and plenty of other events. Here's the story so far...