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Kyle Gordon – “Scottish Cycling look after me so well”

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The new Scottish Cycling 25 Mile TT Champion Kyle Gordon (RT23), along with John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cyling), has been responsible for a re-think of what times are possible on Scottish roads over the last couple of seasons.

Between them they ‘own’ all of the most popular Scottish short distance competition records – with a nod to Douglas Watson’s 1:02:14 ‘30’ record. 

Archibald has updated the ‘10’ record to 18:18 [yes, we know, in a CTT event, before ‘Angry of Auchtermuchty’ reaches for his keyboard; but it was still on Scottish tarmac, ed.] and the ’25’ to 47:57.

Whilst Gordon has set high bars in the ‘50’ with 1:41:16 and a stunning 3:36:10 for the ’100.’

These rides aren’t just excellent in their own right, they inspire other fast men to raise their game with riders like Jamie Davidson, Wilson Renwick and David Griffiths having to adjust their expectations to match – no bad thing for the sport as a whole.

VeloVeritas caught up with Gordon on the Tuesday after his splendid 48 minute ride to the top of the ’25’ podium on Sunday at Forfar on a miserable but rapid morning.

But even Scottish Champions have to keep in touch with the ‘real’ world; on the Monday after the race Gordon had to complete a course to keep his offshore working credentials up to date.

It’s not like that for Tom Dumoulin…

Scottish Cycling
Kyle Gordon, on the Scottish Cycling programme. Photo©Martin Williamson

Congratulations, Kyle – roadside at Forfar it seemed like a horrible morning but it certainly proved to be a fast one?

“Yes, despite the weather forecast it turned out good, drying up for the later starters, it felt hard going out with a tail/cross wind out and tail/head wind back, which was grippy – it was a mixed bag, the wind seemed to vary but that’s maybe because of the fact that dual carriageway meanders?”

Maybe I’m getting old and becoming a worrier but with those big wagons and the spray it looked awfully dangerous from roadside.

“I felt completely safe, on a dual carriageway the traffic has room to get round you – and having a rear flashing light doesn’t do any harm; I think they’re a great thing to have on the bike and some organisers are actually asking riders to fit them.

“There wasn’t one occasion where I thought; ‘that was a close pass’ or any other occasion when I felt threatened by vehicles.”

Scottish Cycling
It perhaps looks worse from the roadside than when you’re on the bike. Photo©Ed Hood

Can we ask what your average watts were?

“My average was 330 but that was coming off a week of forced recovery at the end of a 12 week training block.”

Is that connected to the DNF, you posted at the Sigma series race in England, last weekend?

“I had a ‘10’ on the Levens course on Saturday evening, that’s a fast course but I couldn’t make anything of it.

“I finished with a 19:27 but was disappointed with that.

“Then the next day in the Sigma Series event I knew things weren’t right before I signed on, I started but was going backwards so I just sat up.

“My body was telling me to stop.

“I had the cold all week so couldn’t train through that; we made it an easy, recovery week.”

Scottish Cycling
Kyle keeps in the tuck uphill at the Loch Ken TT. Photo©Martin Williamson

You rode 48:53 to win the Scottish ‘25’, your personal best is 48:38; John Archibald’s 47:57 Scottish record must be in your mind?

“You never know – but it would definitely have to be right day, conditions-wise.”

What phase of your build up to the British Time Trial Championship are you at now?

“This coming week is an easy one; I’ll relax a bit, do some work with my dad, a bit of easy pedalling, gym work.

“I have a very big week the week after, then the taper to the BC National Time Trial starts.”

Is there a big difference between the approach of Peter Ettles, your former coach and Mark McKay, your current coach at Scottish Cycling?

“Not that much, I have a great trust and respect for both men – Peter is still a very good friend but the rule with Scottish Cycling is that if you’re on their programme then they coach you.”

What do the next few weekends hold for you?

“I have a ‘50’ on home roads at Invergordon [which Kyle won in 1:43:22 from Wilson Renwick with 1:47:11, ed.] then a ‘10’ – then it’s the British Time Trial Championship on Thursday June 27th.

“I’ll be riding a few road races after that and I have Scottish ‘50’ Champs, again at Invergordon on Sunday July 7th.”

Scottish Cycling
Kyle works hard in the Tour of the Meldons a couple of years ago. Photo©Martin Williamson

How’s living in the Scottish Cycling house in Bathgate?

“Great, it’s a central location for travelling to races but probably the main ‘plus’ is the proximity to Scottish Cycling.

“I can get one to one coaching from Mark McKay and he takes me out behind the motorbike for sessions.

“And it’s obviously very handy for the track in Glasgow; I started back doing work on the boards two weeks ago. 

“Scottish Cycling look after me so well – coaching, nutrition, gym…”

A question we’ve never put to you before; who were the riders you looked up to as a youngster, coming up?

“Carlos Riis, Jim Cusick, Peter Ettles were the guys I admired, I still do – but they were the ‘big hitters’ when I started, I looked up to them and wanted to emulate them.

“Not just for their ability but because they’re nice guys, as well.

“John Archibald is another man you can’t help but admire.”

And when Kyle Gordon isn’t training and racing?

“I say to youngsters who ask me for advice that you have to have balance in your life, it shouldn’t be all training, racing and sitting on the sofa waiting for the next training session or race.

“I enjoy fly fishing and clay pigeon shooting – and I do enjoy the odd pint of Guinness…” 

We’ll be keeping our eyes on the results from the British Time Trial Championships on June 27th and wish Kyle, John and all Scottish participants ‘all the very best’ for it.

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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