Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeInterviewsKyle Gordon - Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champion

Kyle Gordon – Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champion

"I glance at my watts but I tend to ride on feel."


If you ask Italian riders which one race they’d want to win above all others, nine times out of 10; Milan-Sanremo; for Belgian guys it’s De Ronde, 19 times out of 20.

Me, back in the 80’s: the Scottish 25 mile time trial championship.

Sadly, I never realised my dream.

But that man Kyle Gordon is making his dreams come true; a ride in the Commonwealth Games and now, the ‘Blue Riband,’ joining Billy Bilsland, Sandy Gilchrist, Graeme Obree and Jason Macintyre’s names on the roll of honour as winners of the ’25’  Champs and breaking through the magical 50 minute barrier in the process.

Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas the day after his winning performance.

Kyle Gordon
Kyle in action in last year’s 25 TT Champs. Photo©Martin Williamson

Congratulations Kyle, great ride – was that 48:38 a personal best?

“Yes, by 1:44.

“On the way down to the race, my dad and I were chatting about my expectations for the championship and I said that I wanted to a personal best after the disappointment of the CTT Scottish ’25’ champs where my Di2 front changer decided to keep dropping the chain off the 57 ring into the 44.

“I managed to hook it up onto the big ring a few times with my fingers but I rode most of the race in 44 x 11 – and still came in with a 51:21.”

Aren’t you usually a ‘fixed man’?

“Last year I rode most of my time trials on fixed aboard my aluminium single speed frame.

“But the fork on my new track bike which I got for The Games isn’t drilled for a brake.

“Sandy Wallace is sourcing forks for me but we don’t have them yet.

“All my personal bests until yesterday were set on fixed and on the right day I still think it’s quickest.”

Tell us about the bike.

“It’s an Orbea Ordu TT frame, 44/57 rings with an 11 up cassette; Xentis front wheel and a Zipp disc rear. Tyres are Vittoria Corsa Speed.”

How did you pace your ride?

“I always try to settle in to a ’25’ but on that course at Forfar there’s a big downhill to start so you get up to speed quickly.

“I tend to ride on ‘feel’ – I glance at my watts but mainly it’s ‘feel.’

“But I definitely overcooked it on the way out to the turn; I got one time check from my dad, near the turn and I was 30 seconds up on Liam Beaty – but by the finish the margin was back to 12 seconds.

“My average watts were 335; I think I’m pretty ‘aero’ – I did testing with WattShop and my TT position is identical to my UCI legal track position, albeit the bike isn’t as aero with levers and cables and suchlike.”

What were the weather and traffic flow like?

“The weather was brilliant, sunny spells, warm – in fact, it was very warm on the turbo during my warm up.

“There was a head wind on the way out and a tail wind back, it was 15/16 degrees, good conditions.

“Some folk were saying that the traffic was crazy but I wasn’t that conscious of it being particularly heavy.”

Kyle Gordon
Kyle works hard in the Tour of the Meldons ’17. Photo©Martin Williamson

How long were you off the bike after The Games competitions?

“Two-and-a-half to three weeks.

“I didn’t ride the ’10’ champs due to a chest infection and I suffered severe tiredness when I came home – I was sleeping for 12 hours, some nights.

“However, folks have told me that’s just part of the recovery process after all the training and race workload in Australia.

“My coach, Peter Ettles put my programme together coming into the ‘25’ – it was really only three weeks of preparation; we had two big weeks of endurance runs then one week of intervals.”

And you’re doing gym work, too?

“Yes, twice each week; Mondays and Thursdays thanks to the Highland Institute of Sport

“I’m fortunate to be getting virtual one to one coaching on technique and training.

“I only started last September but I’m noticing strength gains so it’s really worthwhile.”

What’s next on the agenda?

“I entered the Corrieri ‘10’ at Cambusbarron this weekend but got my entry back as it was a full field, so I’ll be riding a local ‘50’ – the Davie Bruce Memorial.

“I’ll also be riding the National ‘50’ at Laurencekirk at the start of July and hopefully the ‘100’ which is at Aberdeen at the end of August.

“I think that’s actually the only ‘100’ there is, this year?”

What about that Hour Record?

“That’s on the back burner, it’s something I’ve spoken to Peter Ettles about but it’s something that will need a lot of preparation and support.

“I’d have to pick the right time so as not to compromise my other ambitions.”

Kyle Gordon
Kyle is heading for a great season. Photo©Martin Williamson

And will there be more track racing this coming winter?

“The Scottish Track Championship in November will be a goals and I’d like to ride the Scottish Sprint Grand Prix this year, I missed it last year.

“I’d also like to ride the UCI Class 1 events we rode in Portugal and Switzerland last season, again this season.

“And the British Track Championships will be a big goal – I’ll be stepping up the weight training for that.”

“What’s the work situation, are you back offshore?

“I took a sabbatical from work to prepare for and ride The Games and was undecided about going back; then the phone rang, it was the office to tell me that the contract I was working on has been shelved and we’re all laid off – so the decision was made for me.

“I’m now working on the plumbing with my dad and a friend who’s in the same line.

“I managed to ‘get by’ with training and racing when I was offshore but after six-and-a-half years it’s good to be based back at home.”

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a 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 for some of the world's top riders. 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

Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship – Archibald continues his Dominance

On as benign a morning as one can expect in Fife in early May, Pro Vision's John Archibald delivered another stunning ride to win the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship in 19:29, just five seconds off his personal best. Archibald put 43 seconds into Jon Entwistle (GTR) and 55 seconds into Steven Lawley (Metaltek Kuota RT). Lawley had been dead level with defending champion, Chris Smart (GTR) with less than two miles to ride but ex-hill climb champion Lawley had the stronger finish. GB track rider, Neah Evans (Storey Racing) won the Ladies' Championship from Cat McGillivray (RT 23) in with Lynsey Curran (Dooleys) third.

Andrew Underwood – Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion 2019

There’s been a ‘changing of the guard’ in Scottish middle distance time trialling in 2019; Iain Macleod [Aberdeen Wheelers] in the '50' and now the ‘100’ with Andrew Underwood [Carse of Gowrie Velo] topping the podium he stood on a lower step of last year.

John Archibald – Winning and Dominating the Tour of the North and Meldons Time Trial

A 19 minute two-up ‘10’ in February, a solo 19 minute ‘10’ in March, Gifford, The Gordon Arms, The Tour of the North and now The Tour of the Meldons incorporating the Scottish National ‘Olympic’ Time Trial Title – that John Archibald (ProVision) laddie is on fire; better have a word...

David Gibson – Five Decades of Winning

David Gibson is one of those guys that seems to never have stopped, although in reality it's been few years since he last raced. To be fair it seems reasonable for him to at last ease up a bit although he takes full advantage of the early morning drop-in sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome to keep himself in shape.

Scottish 25 Mile TT Championship 2019 goes to Kyle Gordon

On a rain sodden but mild and fast Sunday morning on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen dual carriageway, starting and finishing at Forfar, Kyle Gordon (RT23) added to his Scottish 10 Mile TT Title with a rapid 48:53 to win the Scottish 25 Mile TT Championship 2019 crown from jockey-turned-bike-rider, former Olympic TT Champion, Wilson Renwick (Java Partizan Pro Cycling Team) on 49:16 and former Hill Climb Champion, David Griffiths (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes) with 49:24.

John Archibald – “a four minute (Pursuit) effort is something I think I could be good at”

Season 2016 saw John Archibald record times of 50:07, 50:04 and 50:03 for 25 mile time trials - so a big goal for him was to dip below the magic 50 minutes. On Sunday past on the rolling dual carriageway between Brechin and Forfar he didn’t just dip inside the 30 miles per hour standard, he left it way behind with a stunning 47 minutes and 57 seconds ride. In the process he took 46 seconds off Graeme Obree’s 1994 record of 48:43; we just had to, ‘have a word.’

At Random

“The Autobiography” by Chris Hoy

As the first Briton to win 3 Olympic golds at the same Games since 1908, Scotland's Chris Hoy has become a beacon for British sporting achievement. This autobiography charts his life from 7-year-old BMX fanatic, supported by a devoted dad and local cycling club, through paralysing self-doubt and a major career overhaul, to the sport's holy grail.

The New SRAM Red Groupset

SRAM brought out the new Force and Rival groupsets a while back [read our Review of the Force groupset here], and the Saunier Duval ProTour team used it on their Scott bikes to great effect last season. Now SRAM have released the SRAM Red group set and as well as Saunier Duval, the new Astana team will be using the Red group on their Trek Madone frames for the 2008 season as well. We managed to get a sneak preview and a short ride on an Astana team bike recently when they were in Spain for their first training camp.

The VV View: Team Sky’s ‘Marginal Gains’ – Worthwhile, or Simply Hype?

It's great to see cycling breaking mainstream - a double page colour spread in the Times discussing Marginal Gains... it's almost as if the guy that bankrolls the team, owns the newspaper. He does? Oh!

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champs 2014 – Murdoch and Grant Look Back

A day or two after the dust from the ’25’ Champs had settled on the A71 and A78, VeloVeritas caught up with the gold and silver medallists to get their in depth comments on the race. We had expected a four way battle between Iain Grant (Dooleys), team mate Arthur Doyle, Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo) and Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace). We got some of it right; Iain did indeed win and Paisley Velo were in the frame – but not with Ben; Messrs Peter Murdoch and Chris Smart took silver and bronze respectively. Peter Murdoch shared bronze with Sean Childs in last year’s ‘25’ title race but this year made silver his own.

Another Day, Another Epic: TdF Stage 9 (mountains)

Another Day, Another Epic. Yesterday’s stage was a 204km monster through hot weather over a series of significant climbs, totalling about 4.5km (vertical) of climbing all up. The climbs were spread at the start and end of the race, with a relatively flat section through the middle of the day. Enormous by any standards.

Question Marks

Question Marks. Today is a long, lumpy stage with a kicker in the final 2km. It's not hard enough for the GC boys to do more than snipe a few seconds on each other here or there, but maybe too hard for the pure sprinters to be a part of the finale.