Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeInterviewsNeah Evans - Two Medals from the Commonwealth Games

Neah Evans – Two Medals from the Commonwealth Games

"There will always be moments which I would like to change but that’s how it went on the night."

-

Continuing with our series of interviews with Scotland’s Commonwealth Games cycling medallists, VeloVeritas chats to Neah Evans who returned from the Gold Coast with two medals from the points and scratch races, despite illness prior to The Games.

Although she prepared specifically for the track events she also rode the individual road time trial and road race.

These were always going to be a challenge given that she would be up against time trial specialists in the former and regular road performers in the latter. Despite this she brought home two top 10 finishes.

Congratulations on your two medals, Neah. Let’s start with points race bronze: was it always the plan for you and Katie Archibald to ride your own races?

“We did have a rough plan going into the race. 

“I have had time off due to illness and it was unknown how I would manage and Katie had the IP in her legs, so it was about being adaptable. 

“We believed that we could both medal and we succeeded with that.”

Neah Evans
Neah Evans, two Commonwealth Games medals. Photo©Team Scotland

Any ‘with hind sights’ on the race; albeit Elinor Barker looked very strong – she would have been hard to beat?

“For me the race was a little bit of a blur (I wasn’t feeling too good during it.) 

“There will always be moments which I would like to change but that’s how it went on the night.”

Scratch silver – again, any ‘what ifs’?

“Again I haven’t managed to watch the race back yet but I chased more then I wanted to and was too far back recovering when the Aussies started the sprint lead out.”

I thought you may have ridden the individual pursuit?

“Originally I planned to ride it but I have had some training time off due to illness, so I decided to prioritise training for the bunch races.”

What did you think of the track – how did it compare to Glasgow?

“I liked it a lot, it was really fun to race on; it’s not as steep or aggressive as Glasgow.”

Neah Evans
Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Neah on the Points Race podium. Photo©PA

How was the Aussie crowd towards “outsiders”?

“I thought the crowd was fantastic, they got behind the races rather than just the Aussie riders. 

“It probably helped to have so many Scots in the crowd also.”

Eighth in the time trial – were you happy with that ride?

“I had zero expectations or ambitions for the time trial so; ‘yes.’ 

“My preparation was for bunch races in the track and with just a day’s turnaround I knew I wouldn’t have a fantastic ride and then there were some issues just before the start. 

“I had to race without a radio which had a big effect on me. 

“So considering everything, I would say it’s a good benchmark to improve from.”

Eighth in the road race too, just off the lead group, were you happy with that?

“Again I knew my preparation wasn’t ideal and after riding the route the day before I had doubts that I would even finish. 

“I started cramping up badly just over half way through, but I wanted to try and help the team out so stuck at it and then somehow managed to stay in the front group ‘til the final climb. 

“I’m annoyed with my positioning coming into it but realistically I should be happy; my last road race was the British Nationals last year and I just haven’t been doing the appropriate training for road racing at that level.”

A hard day in the road race with the climbs and wind?

“Yes, they were punchy power climbs so do a lot of damage. 

“The pace was often slack between the climbs as no one was willing to work into the head wind.”

When you see the result of races like the Tour of Flanders do you think; ‘I’d like to be part of that?’

“Nope, I would like to do more road in the future but for now track will be my main focus.”

Looking back, anything you’d do differently in your build up to The Games?

“Not really, due to illness it was a bit of a juggling act, taking it session by session which isn’t ideal but it’s how I had to do it. 

“Luckily the coaching staff were sympathetic and adaptable to this.”

What’s next on the race programme?

“I believe I’m on the start list for Tour de Yorkshire with Storey racing, which will be a shock to the system! 

“Then I’ll go into the Tour Series whilst trying to build my road fitness.”

Neah Evans
Neah rides road and time trials for Storey Racing team. Photo©Martin Williamson

Will you be continuing as a full time athlete or resuming your career?

“I’m part of the GB programme and I’m happy to continue with this. 

“I will have plenty of time to continue my veterinary career once I have finished cycling.”

Is it nice to re-acquaint with the Scottish climate?

“Yes and no. 

“I really enjoy training in Scotland but I was getting a little frustrated with the snow which we had shortly before heading to Australia so I was forced to do more turbo then I would have liked.”

With thanks to Neah and wishing her ‘all the best’ for Yorkshire.

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

Kyle Gordon – “Selection for the Scottish Cycling Commonwealth Games Squad is my number one priority”

John Archibald has ‘done the business’ when it comes to qualifying for the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia come the spring. But Scotland has another young man chasing qualification for those lung shredding four kilometres, Mr. Kyle Gordon; we had a word with him after his recent adventures in Europe.

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!

John Kennedy – Helping Simpson in Le Tour

July 1960, the GB Tour de France team hotel somewhere in France. Britain's white hope for Tour de France glory, the late, great Tom Simpson is discussing the events of the day with team mate, Brian Robinson. Simpson had punctured during the stage and one of his GB team domestiques had brought him back up to the bunch; "I'll tell you what, Brian - that John Kennedy is strong, he was riding like ten men today when we were coming back from that puncture."

Norrie Drummond – Reminiscing with Quality Trivia

It’s hard to believe but it’s now 13 years since VeloVeritas’ Belgium and East Europe archivist, Ivan and I drove through to Strathaven to meet Mr. Norrie Drummond, former racing cyclist of note in Auld Scotia and Belgium and patron of the Drummond Trophy Road Race, one of few remaining ‘landmark’ races in Scotland. We chatted to Norrie recently to hear some more stories about the old times...

Jack Carlin – Silver in the Commonwealth Games Sprint

Another sprint silver medal for Scottish track star, Jack Carlin. The man is making a habit of it. In the Worlds it was to big Australian power house Matt Glaetzer; this time, at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, it was to crafty Kiwi Sam Webster.

Katie Archibald – individual pursuit was the highest of highs for me

VeloVeritas has already spoken to brother John about his men’s individual pursuit silver medal and now it’s time to hear what sister Katie has to say about her Games campaign where there was women’s individual pursuit gold in a Games record, points race silver behind Wales’ Elinor Barker and rides in the women’s scratch – where she finished fourth behind Amy Cure of Australia – and on the road in time trial and road race.

At Random

Dan Fleeman – New British Hill Climb Champion

Cervelo's Dan Fleeman left it late to take his first win of the year; but it took him just 3 minutes 18 seconds to convert late season road form to victory in the most specialist and punishing of races-the British Hill Climb Championship, on the 1100 metre Pea Royd Lane climb near Sheffield, England on Sunday.

Andy Schleck: Down to Two

Two nights ago there four men still in contention, then Contador was out of the race. Yesterday saw the end of Frank Schleck's chances, and tonight will see the demise of the final contender for the Tour. Andy Schleck will hope to defend his 57sec lead over Cadel Evans tonight, and will certainly fancy his chances. The last time he was in this position, Cadel just didn't have enough in the tank to overhaul Carlos Sastre back in 2008.

Trinidad & Tobago – Day Two, Beacon Cycling Festival

It's always good to wake up at 05:50 to an ear-nipping message on the BlackBerry - but that's life, I'm in Paradise for the Beacon Cycling Festival but life goes on back in the 'real world.' Where, I've just been made aware, all of the airports are closed due to the hazard of ash from the volcanic eruption in Iceland - they're hiring at Burger King down town Port of Spain and I have my application in.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 3: Sorrento – Marina di Ascea, 222km.

I was the one who said that the Giro d’Italia doesn’t have a great field – but the fact is, ‘so what?’ It’s only stage three but already the ‘Bigs’ are at it, knocking lumps out of each other. I was thinking of an ABC of ‘key words’ for each of today’s protagonists – for big Ryder Hesjedal it was ‘aggressive’ but maybe it should be ‘anxious?’

Trinidad & Tobago – Day Eleven, a Lap of Tobago

Much of the Trinidad & Tobago 'Soca' music is topical, dealing with social issues like drugs and gang violence; political, blaming the politicians for high prices and squandering public funds or be-rating certain ethnic groups - I'm not sure a lot of it would get played in the UK.

Star of the Future: Magnus Cort Nielsen

Here at VeloVeritas we try to keep our eye on who’s on the ‘up.’ Sometimes the tips come from our pals Dave or Vik and the Flanders kermis circuit – but other times they can be pretty obvious. Magnus Cort Nielsen hails from Horsens in Denmark and rides for the Cult Energy Continental team.