Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeInterviewsJoe Nally - the British Senior Points Race Champion - at just...

Joe Nally – the British Senior Points Race Champion – at just 17 years-of-age

-

Following in the footsteps of Scottish track stars Mark Stewart and Katie Archibald, we believe Scotland’s Joe Nally to be the youngest ever winner of the British Senior Points Race Championship at just 17 years-of-age.

The race was held at the Manchester Velodrome but Nally is another product of Glasgow’s beautiful indoor track; taking bronze in the team pursuit to go with his points gold.

Best have a word with the man,’ we thought ourselves here at VeloVeritas.

Joe Nally
Joe Nally on Team GB duty. Photo©Claude Brissez

Nice ride, Joe – give us the basic info first please.

“I’m 17 years-old from Charlestown in Fife, I’m at school, in sixth year, ride for Hardie Bikes and am on the GB Junior Academy.”

Tell us about the Junior Academy.

“It’s training camp based so we stay at home but go down to Manchester roughly once a month for a four or five day camp.”

Joe Nally
Joe on the top step of the Points Race podium. Photo©BC

You won the championship race by ONE point – what was your expectation going in to the race?

“I’d have been pretty chuffed to make top ten before the race and to start with, I played it how I usually do in a points race and did nothing for the first 40 laps.

“I just waited and soon after the 40 lap mark a move went clear and I joined it – we took a lap and that put me on the leader board.

“I started to ride to defend my place on the board and as I did that I moved up after every sprint.

“With three sprints to go I felt comfortable; it was sprint points every 10 of the 120 laps with double points on the last lap.

“It was that final sprint which got me up there; I was doing the maths as we rode and pretty confident that I’d done it but it wasn’t ‘til I saw it up on the result board that it truly sunk – it was a bit of a shock to see my name up there.”

But you didn’t make the Scratch Race final?

“No, I put that down to a bad night’s sleep – I was disappointed but given that I won the points and we got the team pursuit medal I can’t be disappointed with my championship.”

Bronze in the team pursuit…

“Yes with Andy Brown, Angus Claxton and Evan Oliphant – it’s something we’ve trained for, but due to school commitments I could only train once each week whilst the rest of the team have been doing two sessions.”

Can Scotland field a strong team on the Gold Coast in the XXI Commonwealth Games, next year? 

“I’d like to think we can, this summer I can start making a bigger commitment to training getting through for both of the training sessions.”

And you won the Scottish scratch and points championships earlier in the winter.

“Yes, in November; I actually found the step up from youth to junior relatively easy to cope with; I was never great over the short youth distances on the track and in criteriums – I always preferred the distances to be that bit longer. “

Joe Nally
Joe and the Forth Bridge(s). Photo©Ross Parker

How did you get into cycling initially?

“My parents were into all sorts of sport and I used to go cycling with them.

“And then when I was eight I joined the Carnegie Cyclones club in Dunfermline; it’s for under 16’s and I trained – or maybe I should say ‘mucked about’ – with them riding MTB and ‘cross.

“I got my first road bike when I was about 11 years-old.”

How much difference has having the velodrome in Glasgow made to you?

“It’s made a big difference; it puts us on a level playing field with the guys down south – we’re not playing catch up with them anymore.

“I go through twice a week, once for team pursuit training and once to ride the track league – on a good night it takes about 50 minutes but if the traffic is bad then it’s about 90 minutes.”

Track bikes aren’t cheap anymore; carbon frames, deep section carbon rims, discs – do you get help?

“Yes, it’s not a cheap sport – but our club sponsor, Craig Hardie has been very good, helping out and giving me equipment at cost price.”

You’ve had some nice road results on the continent?

“I was 17th in the junior Gent-Wevelgem after a crash and 11th in the junior Paris-Roubaix.”

(Both are Nations Cup Races, the UCI’s season long junior international road racing competition, ed.)

Road or track, which do you prefer?

“I still prefer road – that’s where I always wanted to be.

“With the Academy it’s 50/50 road/track; we have a good road programme prior to our preparation for the European Track Champs in June – we ride the junior versions of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Roubaix and we have a race in Limburg.

“Last season was quite hard going with having exams then all the travelling – this year we’ve tried to structure it with less travelling for me. “

Joe Nally
Joe is aiming for the next Commonwealth Games. Photo©Ross Barker

Who’s your coach with the Academy?

“Stuart Blunt, the approach is relatively old fashioned; we only do two power tests per season at this stage – a lot of it is simple stuff with how I feel playing a big part in what I do.”

What’s 2017 about?

Stepping up – it’s all geared to get me into the senior academy.”

And if you could win just one race?

“Paris-Roubaix.”

We wish Joe every success for the future – and incidentally, that road along through Joe’s home village of Charlestown was one of the favoured training runs of pro grass track legend, the late Jock Ward.

Back in the mists of time I’d ‘cross’ Jock, me on my Campag equipped 12 (or was it 14?) speed Harry Quinn, the great man on his fixed ‘gress’ bike with NO brakes – they don’t make them like Wardie anymore.

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

Cameron Mason – Eighth in the UCI u23 Nommay ‘Cross World Cup

Trinity Racing Team’s young Scot from Linlithgow, Cameron Mason recently finished eighth in the UCI u23 World Cup in Nommay, Eastern France. Cameron spoke to VeloVeritas from his base near Brussels in Belgium the other day to talk mud, tyre pressures and wash days in The Flatlands...

Sam Spokes – a Great Start for Drapac with 5th at the Aussie Nationals

He has a great name for a cyclist, Sam Spokes; we first spoke to the young Aussie in 2013 when he was making a name for himself with QuickStep U23 feeder team, Etixx. Last year also saw some nice results - but not enough to move him up to the Etixx World Tour squad. But all is not lost, he’s signed with Australian Pro Continental team, Drapac – and in his first race in the Aussie team’s distinctive red jersey he made the winning break in the recent Australian Elite Road race taking a solid fifth behind winner Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling).

The VV View: Scotland’s Young Turks

As the sleeping beast that is the 2020 cycling season stirs after it’s long snooze, we thought it would be good to look at how Scotland’s ‘Young Turks’ spent lock down and what their plans are for the rest of this strange year.

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...

Oscar Onley – Racing in 2020 with Van Rysel – AG2R La Mondiale

It’s not long since we since we spoke to young Scot, Alfie George who’s making a name for himself on the international junior stage. Another young Scotsman who’s doing the same is Oscar Onley who recently landed himself a ride with French ‘feeder’ team, Van Rysel – AG2R La Mondiale. Best ‘have a word’ we thought...

Chris Latham – World Cup Omnium Silver Medallist

If there’s one negative you can fire at British Cycling’s hugely successful track cycling campaign over the last decade it’s that perhaps the young talent hasn’t come through as fast we’d expected but this season team pursuiter and now World Cup omnium silver medallist, Chris Latham has shone. VeloVeritas caught up with after his return from New Zealand...

At Random

Craig Wallace – a Move to the Basque Country

It was last September when we last spoke to Aberdonian rider, Craig Wallace about his adventures in Flanders. But the man has itchy feet and he’s off to another of VeloVeritas's favourite spots for 2014; The Basque Country – Euskal Herria.

February Chills

So January was all sunshine and roses. And then"... KERTHUMP! Along came Europe in winter in all of her furious unpredictability! My first night in Girona was one of the very rare times that it snows in town.

Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day One

I'm standing on the chair so as I can see over the cabin, Leif Lampater and Roger Kluge are the only pair left to ride in the 1,000 metres time trial here at the Berlin Six Day.

Adrian Timmis – Part One; Riding Le Tour with ANC

Adrian TImmis could do it all: track, stage races, criteriums, cyclo-cross and even MTB. A talented junior with a British championship to his name, he rode the 1984 Olympics, turned pro with the most glamorous professional team Britain had ever seen, won a stage in the Midi Libere, rode Le Tour with the now legendary ANC team, landed a contract with Z-Peugeot and then...

Kris the Six Day Soigneur at the Bremen Six Day 2014

Bremen used to be the 'Party Six’ and whilst it’s still a fun gig with beer halls, restaurants, discos and live music, the crowds ain’t quite like they used to be. Our man in the middle of those steep 167 metres of boards at the Bremen Six Day 2014 was the perennial Kris; here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas on his return from the Fatherland...

Le Tour of France 2017 – Stage 10: Périgueux – Bergerac, 178km. Kittel makes his fourth look easy

VeloVeritas’ first Tour stage start of the year; Stage 10, Périgueux to Bergerac through the lovely Dordogne Valley countryside. But not before all them words were written and pictures edited, placed and posted from the VeloVeritas bedoffice. Périgueux wasn’t the busiest stage start we’ve ever witnessed but we’re not complaining; we were in among the buses and riders in jig time...