Sunday, June 20, 2021
HomeInterviewsKyle Gordon - Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion breaking Obree's Record!

Kyle Gordon – Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion breaking Obree’s Record!

"I rode a ‘mock 50’on the course and finished up just 31 seconds off the Scottish record, so I knew it was possible."


That Kyle Gordon (RT23) fella marches on; selection for the Commonwealth Games, solid performances on the Gold Coast, the Scottish 25 mile title, a close encounter with the Scottish 10 mile record – and now the Scottish 50 title in a Scottish record 1:41:16, taking 1:48 off the legend that is Graeme Obree’s time and 6:14 off his own personal best. 

VeloVeritas just had to ‘have a word’…

Kyle Gordon
Kyle heads for the title and the record. Photo©Eric Soan

Great ride, Kyle – tell us about the course where the deed was done.

“My home course, I live just five miles away.

“It’s a relatively new course, based around Alness, the old Invergordon course had to be abandoned because of traffic lights. 

“It heads north up past Tain to the Dornoch bridge roundabout, which takes in a fair view drags, then turns and heads south  all the way to the Cromarty bridge roundabout, then back north again to finish on the ‘B’ road near Invergordon off the main A9.”

How were conditions?

“There was a fair breeze, 16 mph off the south/southwest, it was mild at 20 degrees and overcast with the sun peeking through occasionally.”

On the Orbea?

“No, I borrowed Catriona MacGillivray’s Giant Trinity, she’s expecting a baby, so not racing, and said I should use it, the Giant is a lovely machine.

“I was on an 80 mil. front aero spoked wheel with a rear disc on Vittoria Corsa Speed tubulars; gearing was 58 x 11 to 25.

Kyle Gordon
Photo©David Stuart

How did you judge your pace?

“A long story, but after the CTT ‘50’ when I had to drive all the way home from down south after the race was cancelled I decided that I’d need to do a ‘trial’ ‘50’ to see how I would perform, I haven’t ridden too many 50’s so didn’t know what I was capable of.

“I rode a ‘mock 50’on the course and finished up just 31 seconds off the Scottish record, so I knew it was possible.

“But when I saw the wind on the morning, I thought, ‘it’s not happening’ but I made it my tactic that I’d ride as if it was a 35 mile time trial to the last turn then rely on the tail wind to see me home over the final 15 miles.

“I had times and distances written on my hand so I could judge my progress; I knew I had to average 29.2 mph to get the record.”

Nutrition and hydration?

“I can’t take gels; I had porridge and a good breakfast and rode with an energy bar and one litre bottle with a bladder inside my skinsuit.”

The title, individual and team records…

“Yes, with Alan Thomson and Ewen MacGillivray we took 10:23 off the old record set in 1996 – it was a dream come true, and all on my home course.

“And it’s no drag strip, on some of the drags I was down to 16 mph but I know the course and not to panic at those points.”

Kyle Gordon
Ewen MacGillivray, Kyle and Alan Thomson; record breaking team. Photo©supplied

And you almost bagged the 10 mile record, last weekend?

“Yeah, I’ve been close to the record in club 10’s and thought I had a good chance of getting it at Freuchie if the wind was right.

“I did an 18:54 but was baulked by a car, I had to sit up, come off the tri bars and brake – I’m sure that cost me the record.

John Archibald has done an 18:38 in Scotland but that was in a CTT event so it doesn’t count as the official Scottish record; that still stands to the late Jason Macintyre with 18:47.”

What has your training been like since the 25 champs?

“Peter Ettles is my coach and he’s had me doing lot of tempo work, long hours with some IT but my weekend races serve as my high end quality work.”

And you’re still doing gym work?

“Yes, squats and dead lifts to build core and power, I’ve noticed the difference.

“I have good support from the Highland Institute of Sport, good coaching.

Is sub 1:40 for a ‘50’ possible in Scotland?

“On the right course, yes.  

“I think the North courses are good but people are put off because of where they are – but I’d certainly like to do a ‘50’ on the Aberdeen course at Fourdoun, that’s fast, rolling dual carriageway.”

Your system has obviously adapted to working full time, again?

“Yes, it’s a bonus working with my dad, of course.

“It gives me flexibility; I can train in the morning then work the afternoon or I can do a normal day’s work and do indoor turbo stuff at night.

“Recovery is a bit more difficult and I feel tired a lot but it’s nice to be home, I’m enjoying it.

“In September I’m moving to Glasgow to be close to the track, I may get a part time job down there, too.”

Kyle Gordon
Photo©David Stuart

Next up?

“For the next few weeks it’ll be big, strong road miles, all towards my big target of the British Track Championships in January where I’ll ride the pursuit and the distance races.

“I just learned that you now have to qualify for the pursuit with a ride inside 4:25; but I’ve achieved that so don’t have to worry.”

A ‘100’?

“A few folks have asked me that; I’ve only done one in the past and it literally scarred me for life!

“I had no idea about nutrition and only took a bottle of Hi5 and some gels – I blew up horribly and finished on pure will power.

“I don’t know; my focus has to be on the Glasgow track.

“There are track meetings I’d like to ride, this winter in Portugal, Switzerland and one in the Ukraine which includes an omnium and scratch.

“The latter is with all expenses paid – except flights, so we’re looking at cost for those.

“It all comes down to funds, doesn’t it?”

‘Money makes the world go round, for sure – congratulations to Kyle on another great ride and wishing him ‘all the best’ with his track ambitions. 

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.

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