Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsJack Carlin - Two Silvers at the World Championships!

Jack Carlin – Two Silvers at the World Championships!

"It was great to win a medal with the guys I train with day in and day out."


It was December when we last spoke to Paisley’s fastest man, Jack Carlin about his hopes for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia – that was before a successful British Track Championship where he came away as Sprint Champion then an excellent Worlds campaign which saw him land two silver medals.

His team sprint medal perhaps wasn’t too much of a surprise given GB’s pedigree in the event but his silver medal to big Aussie speed beast, Matt Glaetzer was and produced some classic and highly entertaining ‘old school’ sprinting.

Jack took time out from his Commonwealth Games preparations to tell VeloVeritas about his Apeldoorn campaign.

Congratulations on two sterling performances, Jack – I noticed when the team sprint medals were handed out that GB had five on the podium?

“Thank you, yes, you can perm three from five riders but I rode all three rounds – there’s a qualifying round then a semi then the final.

“And from the qualifying round you could see that the Dutch were going to be hard to beat.”

You’re ‘man one,’ that means training on a lower gear for the fast start – but I believe that can put you at a disadvantage when you have to go up to the ‘mega’ gears for the sprint qualifying?

“It’s true that man one is a highly specific role and the training is very focussed – and the gear is lower.

“However, I don’t want to be pigeon holed, my interest in the individual sprint means that I also train for that and do work which means I can handle the qualifying gears and go ‘long’ if I have to.”

Jack Carlin
On the podium at the World Championships feels good. Photo©AP

The team sprint final, any ‘what ifs?’

“No, the Dutch outclassed everyone, they were setting times which were very hard to beat so no complaints.

“It’s not just the speed it’s the fact that you have all three rides in the one day and that takes it of you.

“We have five guys, six if you count Callum Skinner, who are all highly capable riders so we have strength in depth and can share the work load.”

Given you ride the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin there must be a lot of different gear ratios involved?

“In the team sprint the gear is relatively small to get us off the line whilst in the sprint qualifying these days you have to ride a big ratio.

“For match sprinting I rode a smaller gear than I would in qualifying because if the gear is too high it means you can’t ‘jump’, whilst the gear for the keirin is larger again than that you would use in the match sprint.”

The Apeldoorn track had a reputation as ‘slow’ but it certainly didn’t seem like that for the championships?

“I think if that track was in Glasgow or Manchester it would be really quick but where it is the air pressure is usually high; however over the weekend of the champs the air pressure was freakily low and that’s reflected in the times.”

Can we ask about the ‘top secret’ GB Cervélos?

“What would you like to know?

“They’re very quick and faster at the top end than the UKiS ‘stealth’ bikes; I like the feel of them beneath you, they’re solid and move very well at high speed.

“I like the UKiS bike for starting though, it accelerates very well and it’s very rigid, I rode mine all through the team sprint tournament.

“Having said all of that, I think now that every bike being ridden at world level by all the teams will be a good machine.”

We liked you ‘old school’ tactical sprinting with Glaetzer.

“I had to keep him close, on my hip, stop him from winding up that big gear, I knew I couldn’t give him any space and was conscious not to let him come over me, get ahead and use his speed.

“But he was just that wee bit quicker than me.”

Jack Carlin
No Scottish Team Sprint squad in the Games, alas. Photo©AP

Great experience for The Games though?

“Yes, although I’ve been a bit sick this last week with a cold and a cough – hopefully that will be all cleared up for The Games though and my sprinting in Apeldoorn has given me a lot of confidence for The Gold Coast.”

Will Scotland have a team sprint squad for The Games?

“No, I’ll be riding the individual sprint and keirin.”

The keirin, you made the final – looking back would you ride it differently?

“I rode good races in the first round and semis but I messed up in the final, got myself boxed and couldn’t get out.

“At that level the strong guys just sit on the outside and stay there so you can’t get out.

“The Columbian who won was a big unit, very strong – but any one of the riders in the final could have won, they were all strong, fast guys.”

Jack Carlin
Men’s Sprint Silver Medal goes to Jack Carlin. Photo©AP/Peter Dejong

Which medal gives you most satisfaction, team or individual sprint?

“Both but in different ways.

“The team sprint was what I was there for and our goal was to get on the podium, which we did so there was no pressure on me at all for the individual sprint.

“And it was great to win a medal with the guys I train with day in and day out.

“The individual medal was a bit of a surprise, I’d hoped to make the last eight but not to get silver.

“The team sprint was the best we could do on the day but in the individual sprint you can’t help but think; ‘could I have maybe got a bit closer?’”

Have you had a lot of media interest?

“Not really, some here and there but I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family, lots of messages of congratulation.”

What’s the itinerary now, Jack?

“This week [post Worlds] in Scotland to train with the other members of the Scottish Games team then we’re out to Sydney for the 22nd to get used to the time zone and climate change.

“I’ll be going back into the gym as well – The Worlds was the main aim but I’m hoping to hold my form through to The Games; those performances in Apeldoorn have given me a lot of confidence.”

And so they should, VeloVeritas wishes Jack and all members of the Scottish Games squad every success in Australia and will be keeping as close an eye on proceedings as we can from the other side of the world.

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

Jack Bauer – Tour Talk with Garmin’s Kiwi Star

Forget stories of barbed wire fences; that’s not what did the damage to our favourite Tour rider, Jack Bauer’s face. We know what really happened on stage 19 but gave our word to Jack that we’d keep schtum – suffice to say that it was a sore one and not his fault.

Callum Skinner – “I’ll be doing what I can to keep that man three position”

The Track Worlds have come and gone; but before we’re into the Classics - and soon after that all roads will be leading to le Tour - we thought we’d have a quick word with Scotsman Callum Skinner about this Worlds. His GB team had a disappointing sprint campaign with nada results in any discipline, team sprint, keirin or individual sprint – the only bright spot being Skinner’s 1:01:07 in the kilometre to give him seventh spot.

Bernie Nolan and the Legend of the Kazemaatenstraat

The Kazemaatenstraat is part of 70's cycling legend, a condemned cul-de-sac in Ghent where penniless 'Anglo' cyclists could have a cheap roof over their heads as they pursued their (mostly lost) cause to make it big and become a ‘Kermis King.’ Manchester's Bernie Nolan was one of those riders and has kindly agreed to share a few reminiscences with us...

Le Tour de France 2009 – Second Rest Day

"Armstrong redescend sur terre," says the headline in L'Equipe - 'Armstrong brought back to earth at the Le Tour de France 2009.' Bert dominates the front page, smiling with his "smoking gun" finger held high - VeloVeritas says; "Chapeau, Bert!"

Jack Carlin – Adding to his World Championship Medal Collection

Another one for Jack Carlin. Major championship silver medal, that is, this time in the UCI World Team Sprint Championship in Berlin. We caught up with him as he prepared to take a wee break from training and racing before the big build up for the competition which really matters to Team GB: the Olympic Games in Tokyo come late July/early August.

Phil O’Connor; 21 Years of Cycling Photography

It was May 1981 when Phil O'Connor took his first race picture; Manxman, Steve Joughin winning a stage of the Tour of Britain, 'Milk Race' as it hurtled into Bournemouth - some months later he managed to get it published in a cycling magazine.

At Random

James Oram – New Kiwi U23 TT Champion Rides With Axeon for 2015

Racing with Axeon for 2015 is Kiwi, James Oram who we first spotted when he won the 2011 Tour de l’Abitibi in Canada – the ‘Junior Tour de France’ with Bobby Julich, Tyler Farrar and Taylor Phinney all on the roll of honour. Later that year Oram took silver in the Junior Worlds TT and for the last three seasons has been with Merckx. Last season he cracked the top ten in the Tour of Alberta and World U23 TT Championships and he’s kicked off 2015 in fine style with a win in the New Zealand U23 TT Championship – we had a word soon after his Kiwi win.

Armand de las Cuevas

It hasn’t been a good week for the sport of cycling’s past champions; but not just men who won races, colourful men with personality. First we lost six day star Andreas Kappes to a bee sting, of all things. And we heard today that Armand de las Cuevas had taken his own life on the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, which was his home in recent years.

Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Iain Grant Takes it Again!

On a dour, grey morning by the banks of a brooding River Clyde Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) reminded us why he's Scotland's short distance king with a stunning 19:38 in the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship on a sodden, cold Westferry course.

The Tour of Flanders 2008 – Day 1

The Tour of Flanders 2008. When I was young (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) I read and re-read Tom Simpson's autobiography, 'Cycling is my Life.' The races that he won seemed so tough and so glamorous; I idolised him - still do. But it wasn't until I actually saw The Worlds, Milan - San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy in the flesh, that I realised how good the man actually was. I'm reminded again today, when I look at the parcours of 'The Ronde' what a bike rider he really was.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon – Peyragudes, 144 km.

I wasn't sure about the 'blip' at La Toussuire when Froome distanced Wiggins in the finale - I thought it was 'mountain out of molehill' stuff. Although we did hear that Wiggins was 'raging', that night in his room. But today, there seemed little doubt that a message was being sent; 'I can drop you any time I want.' The body language and facial expressions around the team aren't relaxed, happy or positive. But there's little doubt now that Brad will win - barring Acts of God.

Michael Mørkøv – the New Danish Road Champion

After a quieter spring than he’d perhaps have liked, and the disappointment of not making the Saxo Tinkoff Tour de France team, Michael Mørkøv bounced back in the best way possible with a stunning victory in the Danish Road Race Championships on Sunday.