“Goin’ back to my roots,” says the Odyssey song – and so it is with Mr. Daniel Holloway, former ‘Crit King’ of the USA.
But he’s now back on the boards in a big way with a World Cup omnium win in Chile and a memorable win in the 300 lap, 75 kilometre handicap Madison in the Copenhagen Six Day.
It was 15 years ago, in 2003 when the man originally from Morgan Hill, California won the novices 500 metres at the US track national championships.
He’s put in a few laps and road kilometres since then.
Within two years of winning that novices’ title he was winning a stage in Canada’s Tour de l’Abitibi – the ‘junior Tour de France.’
And further along the way he’s won US national titles on the track at U23/senior level in the scratch, points, team pursuit, Madison and omnium.
Whilst on the road he’s won stages in race as diverse as the Tour de la Province de Namur in Belgium, the Vuelta a Palencia in Spain and the Tour of Mexico.
In the US he’s won just about every race there is to win on the burgeoning criterium circuit, the national title in that discipline numerous times, not to mention the road race championship.
We caught up with him during the aforementioned Copenhagen Six Day as he waited on the massage table becoming free.
What brought you back to the boards, Daniel?
“The opportunity to compete in the Tokyo Olympics for one last grab for glory.”
You live in Boulder, Colorado now, how is your body adapting to the altitude?
“My top end power is down, I can’t generate the big, big power I used to but my endurance is much better.
“I spent the summer there but haven’t been back since the World Cup in Chile in early December.
“Then I was at the team training camp in Poland prior to the Minsk World Cup – the track at Pruszkow is identical to the Minsk track so it was deal for preparation.
“We’re trying to iron out the problems before we get into Worlds competition – and it’s nice to be in the same time zone as the Worlds in Apeldoorn.”
You’ve had a good winter on the boards…
“In World Cup in Milton in Canada we were fourth in the team pursuit and I was fifth in the Madison with Adrian Hegyvary.
“Then down in Chile I won the omnium, which was great, I went in with no pressure and came out with a good result.
“The new format with no timed events suits me – scratch, points, elimination and tempo race.
“The tempo race is unique to the Worlds and it takes a bit of practice in getting your technique right.”
(There are points on the line, every lap unlike a points race where sprint points are usually awarded every 10 laps, ed.)
How/why the Copenhagen Six Day?
“The organisers, Michael Sandstød and Jimmi Madsen have always treated me well here and it fitted in well with my training programme.”
How about the 51 x 15 gear restriction after those World Cup monster gears?
“That’s tough to adapt to, for sure – a painful kick where it hurts!”
Which disciplines will we see you in at the Worlds?
“Team pursuit; where I’ll be man one as I was in Chile – and that’s sore.
“I was kinda thrown in at the deep end on that one!
“I’ll also ride the omnium and scratch race.”
What’s the plan between Copenhagen and the Worlds?
“We have a training camp in Mallorca until the 22nd then we travel up to Apeldoorn for the Worlds where we have four days before the racing starts.
“We’ll do a bit of road work in Mallorca but obviously the main focus is on track preparation.
“You usually get 90 minutes to two hours each day track time prior to the Worlds racing starting to train and familiarise with the track
“But at that stage you don’t need to do too much actual training.”
How’s the US team pursuit squad progressing?
“We’re getting down toward the four minute barrier.
“The 4:02:798 we did in Chile with me, Adrian Hegyvary, Ashton Lambie, Gavin Hoover was a national record.
“I feel sub 4:00 is possible, as a team we’re growing physically and emotionally – we want to qualify for Tokyo.”
What about the money the GB and Aussie squads throw at bikes and clothing?
“We have nice equipment; Felt bikes, Assos speedsuits and Giro helmets – all world class.
“I think that it’s important we think more about fitness, starting and changing technique before we get hung up about equipment – we have a lot to do.”
What’s on the agenda post Worlds?
“Go home, have a break then go to my road team’s training camp, Team Texas Roadhouse; the team is out of Louisville, Kentucky and at National Amateur level.
“My first race will be the Sunny King races in Alabama, 7th and 8th April.”
And how about all those ‘one of’ Oakleys you used to be famous for?
“I’ve changed allegiances – I’m now using ‘Ride 100%’ glasses, just like Peter Sagan!”
Last time we spoke you mentioned the Red Hook races.
(Road criteriums, but on track bikes with no brakes, ed.)
“I rode a couple but somehow they weren’t quite my thing.”
And what’s still on the Daniel Holloway ‘to do’ list?
“I want to go to the Tokyo Olympics and continuing winning in the meantime.
“I think that after Tokyo will be a good time to take stock and appraise where I go from there.”
And then it was time for massage in preparation for another night of trying to match Michael Mørkøv and Kenny De Ketele on those Ballerup boards.