Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Kyle Gordon – Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion 2019

"Every couple of weeks I go home, back to Alness and work with my dad for a week – you have to make money – and I fit my training around that."


VeloVeritas caught up with that versatile man, newly crowned Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion, Kyle Gordon [RT23] the day after his near 30 mph ride on the exposed dual carriageway east of Dundee on a bitterly cold Sunday morning.

Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion
Kyle Gordon, Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion. Photo©Ed Hood

Congratulations, Kyle – how do you pace on a morning like that with a strong tail wind out then a cold, hard grind back?

“Experience; you have to be careful not to over-cook it on the way out, it would be easy to get carried away with the speed out to the turn, go that one or two mph too quick, go into the red and struggle out of the turn.

“My strategy was to go out fast but efficient, negotiate the flyover safely then give it everything on the way back, into the wind.

“That was a horrible stretch though, those last two miles seemed endless.”

Maybe closer than we expected, Jamie Davidson [Bioracer Moriarty Bikes] just nine seconds back?

“Jamie is a good rider, he knows how to hurt himself in a time trial.

“I’m actually in the middle of a big strength and conditioning block, the “10” is important in its own right but just a stepping stone.

“I did 20 hours training the week leading in to the race and didn’t taper at all for it.

Mark McKay of Scottish Cycling is my endurance coach and I have big targets this year, first off is the British Cycling Time Trial Championship in Norfolk in June so there’s no time to taper then build back up.”

Going back to the British Track Champs, earlier in the year, they went well for you didn’t they?

“I said to Mark going in to the British that my targets were to get down to a 4:15 from my 4:18 personal I rode at the Commonwealth Games and to win a British medal.

“I achieved both goals in the pursuit, a 4:15 and the bronze medal and then another bronze in the points.”

Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion
Kyle in the Commonwealth Games individual pursuit. Photo©Phil Walter/Getty Images

What have you been up to since The British?

“I had a bit of time off then rode that Scottish Omnium Championship but that didn’t go well – I came down in a crash.

“I went to training camp in Spain and it’s been a mixed bag since then; road, criteriums, sporting time trials – building endurance and core.”

Are you a full-time bike rider this year?

“Semi-full-time… if you have a big goal like being up there in the BC TT Champs then you have to do the training.

“I’m in the Scottish Cycling house at Bathgate now and work a couple of days each week at Ryan’s Bike Surgery in Inverkeithing; Ryan and Sandy Wallace have helped me a lot with that, allowing me to work flexi hours.

“And every couple of weeks I go home, back to Alness and work with my dad for a week – you have to make money – and I fit my training around that.”

I’m guessing that there’ll be a lot more volume to your training now that you’re not on the track?

“A lot more volume, zone two stuff, building an engine.

“Last year I was struggling to finish a road race but now I’m getting round them.”

Your position on Sunday looked pretty radical.

“It’s the exact same bike set up as last year but I’ve been doing a lot of stretching and flexibility work so I can turn my shoulders in and hold that position.”

We heard you had misfortunes last weekend in the Scottish CTT “10”?

“When I was warming up my Di2 wouldn’t let me change out of 58×11 so I just had to ride that, it was a grind to get it started and my cadence was 72 – and then my chain came off, so a bit of a nightmare day!

“We re-programmed the Di2 and it worked perfectly today; it was a shame, it was a good event and another opportunity to gauge my form.”

And is ‘one x’ transmission still the way to go?

“It’s good for drag strips and rolling time trials but I must admit that in the Buxton hilly TT a couple of weeks ago I could have done with an inner ring, it was three laps of a circuit with a stiff climb and last time up the climb was tough – even though I had come down from a 58 to a 54 ring and had a 30 sprocket at the back.

“That was a good weekend, I rode Buxton on the Friday, the Ilford Rapha Criterium where I was second to the Richardsons-Trek guy, Simon Alexander; we recce-ed the course for the BC TT Champs – it’s fine for a single ring with just ‘power drags’ – and then rode the Fakenham town centre crit.”

Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion
Kyle representing Scotland in the Commonwealth Games TT. Photo©Phil Walter/Getty Images

And you’re running tubeless tyres?

“They give you peace of mind, unless you gash the tyre they’re self-sealing; 95% of time they reckon they’ll seal themselves.

“I’m not sure on the stats but I believe they have superior rolling resistance too, even though you ride them at lower pressures.

“The “10” Champs dual carriageway surface was good but if it’s a broken surface and you’re on bone hard tubulars you bounce about all over the place – it’s much smoother on tubeless.

“I’m time trialling on 23 mil. tyres at 89/90 psi and on the road bike 28 mil. at 50/60 psi.”

And what about the feeding bottle, is that an ‘aero’ aid?

“It ‘fills in’ that part of the frame; some frames which have that area ‘soild’ as part of the actual frame aren’t UCI legal so if it saves a couple of watts…”

What’s next on the agenda?

“I have the British Eagle road race in East Lothian, this Saturday then the CTT Loch Ken TT on Sunday; there’s an evening “10” on a fast course in Lancashire some time and also the CTT “50” – but that’s after the BC TT Champs.

“I wanted to ride the CTT “25” but that clashes with the Hugh Dornan Memorial Road Race.

“Mark frames my race programme and I’m enjoying the road racing – and reaping the benefits from riding them.

“And I’ll be riding the Scottish “25” at Forfar – and the SC “50” and “100” Champs are both in the north this year on my home course at Invergordon/Alness so I’m obviously very keen to fit them into my programme…”

We’re sure he is – congratulations again to Kyle, the new Scottish 10 Mile TT Champion, we’ll be keeping an eye on those result sheets.

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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