Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeInterviewsDaniel Kain - Joining Spokes Race Team for 2020

Daniel Kain – Joining Spokes Race Team for 2020

"I really enjoy it all - riding the road, track and TT’s... I’m not sure I could choose a favourite right now."


A young man we’ve been meaning to speak to for a while ‘but never got round to it’ is Aberdonian, Daniel Kain. He can do it all – time test, ride the boards, circuit and road race.

First off we thought we’d have a word with his granddad and mentor, Norman Skene who’s been around the Scottish scene as long as me – and that’s a long time.

Along the way, Norman picked up the Scottish 12 Hour Time Trial title, so the man knows all about jousting with a stopwatch.

Here’s what Norman had to say to VeloVeritas recently about young Daniel:

Daniel showed an interest in cycling when he was about 9 or 10 years-old when he joined Grampian Tigers.

“His first real competitive team was Ythan CC where he had the opportunity to try all disciplines, including track, road, TT’s and ‘cross.

“Daniel didn’t seem to have a preference until he was 13 when he decided he really enjoyed track and road racing the most.

“I was coaching Daniel myself at the time and soon realised that he was showing a lot of promise and maybe had something a bit special, so we all started to take his cycling a lot more seriously.

Daniel has enjoyed a fair bit of success during his time in youth racing and I think he would say he is most proud to have won the silver medal in the British Individual Pursuit Championship and to have won the last British Cycling National Series race of this season at Brands Hatch.

“Daniel is just about to join the junior ranks and is delighted to have been selected to ride for Craig Grieve’s Spokes Racing Team with a view to riding a programme which will take him all over the UK and on the continent.

“Daniel is also riding for the Scottish Cycling performance squad and hopes to ride in the British Track Championships in August. 

As a family we are committed to supporting Daniel’s cycling and are all excited to see where it’s going to take him in the future.

Daniel Kain. Photo©supplied

And the man himself had this to say to us…

The basics first please, Daniel – where are you from, how old are you, tell us about your school?

“I’m from Aberdeen, I’ll be 17 in January and I’m in fifth year at Harlaw Academy in the city.”

Your personal bests are: 20.53 and 54.13, have I got your times right?

“The 20.53 is my 10 mile time trial Scottish Youth A record, which I got at Freuchie at a midweek TT.

“Yes, the 54.13 is my personal best for a 25 mile TT.”

Daniel Kain enjoys riding fixed in TTs. Photo©supplied

And you’re a fixed man, what ratio?

“For the last three years I’ve been riding time trials on a fixed wheel with an 88 inch gear.”

How did you get into cycling?

“I started cycling because of my Grandad Norman; he took me out to a local coffee shop and I remember him having to give me a push to get there.

“I was going out regularly with him but he often complained that I was slowing down his training rides.”

Tell us about your best achievements on the track please.

“I’ve won six Scottish track championships in the last three years.

“I’ve won two British medals; the first was at the British Omnium Champs at Herne Hill where I won bronze. The second was this summer at the British track champs in the 2k Individual Pursuit (I won silver with a new Scottish record of 2:15:59).”

A very young Daniel Kain riding on the track. Photo©supplied

Tell us about your best achievements on the road.

“My second big race was in 2017 at the British Criterium Championships, part of the British series. It was all quite new to me and I came 12th, which I was happy with.

“Two years on and this year I’ve been in the top 10 in all of the British Series races – and I won the last one at Brands Hatch.

“We’ve clocked up a lot of driving miles, travelling all over the country most weekends.

“My favourite road result has to be winning Stage One at the Youth Tour of Scotland, this year.”

Which is your favourite discipline and why?

“I really enjoy it all – riding the road, track and TT’s… I’m not sure I could choose a favourite right now.”

How do you fit training in?

“I’m still at school full time so it’s got to be training in the evenings.

“Which is harder in the winter with not being able to get out on the road as much.”

Daniel Kain uses his track speed to do well in criteriums. Photo©supplied

Do you have a coach and what’s the methodology?

“For the past year, and the coming year my coach is PJ Barron at Scottish Cycling.

“We work together closely setting targets and coming up with a training plan for events.”

Tell us about Squadra Scozzese.

“Unfortunately the team I was riding for folded and a few of the boys and myself got together and decided to start our own club to suit our own needs.

“There was me, Oscar Onley, Aaron King and Callum Reid.

“With the support of our families we set up the club choosing the name and designing the kit ourselves. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste but it made us stand out in those big bunch races!

“We had a great experience travelling to races together and riding as a team. Most of us have now moved onto Craig Grieve’s Spokes Racing Team as Juniors.”

Daniel Kain on his way to the silver medal at the British Pursuit Championships. Photo©supplied

Have Scottish Cycling taken notice of your performance?

“Yes I’ve been well supported by Scottish Cycling and I’m now on the Scottish Development Squad.

“We’ve had a training week in Skye and a few other training days already over the winter.”

Which of your rides are you most proud of?

“I think I’m most proud of that silver medal in the British Pursuit Championships.

“I worked really hard to improve my times and gave it everything on the day and got a great result.”

What are your goals for 2020?

“Next year will be a big learning year for me; a whole new race calendar as a junior, travelling to Belgium and France, hopefully.

“I’d like to think I could get some good results at home and abroad with both Spokes Racing Team and the Scottish Cycling national squad.”

Daniel Kain (third right) is no stranger to Championship podiums. Photo©supplied

And your long term goals?

“Long term I’d be looking to get onto an U23 development team and to be recognised by BC for my track performances.”

If you could win just one race?

“I’d really like to win British road champs or individual pursuit as a junior.”

He’s only going to go faster next year – keep your eyes on those results pages.

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

Sean Flynn – on a Dual Road/MTB Program with SEG Racing

20 year-old Sean Flynn from Edinburgh; four times a British Champion at youth and junior level, is on the SEG roster for season 2021, which is an achievement in itself.

Jack Cousins – Planning to ‘come back stronger and come first’!

It was Vik (for those who don't know, our pal pedalled the hard roads of Belgium in his day, still trains hard and is our outspoken elder statesman, observer and 'critic in chief') who was first to spot the Kiwi’s potential as his name edged up the results in the heartland's kermises. So the call came; ‘you should be talking to that Manchester laddie, Jack Cousins, he’s doing well!’

Oscar Onley – Racing in 2020 with Van Rysel – AG2R La Mondiale

It’s not long since we since we spoke to young Scot, Alfie George who’s making a name for himself on the international junior stage. Another young Scotsman who’s doing the same is Oscar Onley who recently landed himself a ride with French ‘feeder’ team, Van Rysel – AG2R La Mondiale. Best ‘have a word’ we thought...

Stuart Balfour – First French Win in Ronde Briochine

We spoke to Scotland’s Stuart Balfour at the start of the season but word has been trickling back that 21 years-old from Heriot who is a Rayner Fund rider with Cotes d'Armor-Marie Morin Veranda Rideau, ‘en France’ has been ‘doing the biz.’ Best have another word, we thought to ourselves... 

Robert Smail – “I just can’t get enough of those dead straight, pan flat concrete roads”

It’s not been a good year for VeloVeritas chief cycling soothsayer, observer and talent scout, Viktor. First there were Brad’s new tattoos, then the beard; David Millar’s shoes were hard to bear – and then someone mentioned ‘Jensie’ in the same breath as Eddy Merckx. It was all too much ... But our man Dave Chapman has been scanning the Belgian kermis results for us and a name he’s spotted making the prize lists time and again is that of Englishman Robert Smail.

Douglas Dewey – “I have to start proving I can make it”

It was back in the spring when we last spoke to Douglas Dewey; he’d just won Gent-Staden, the first big race on the Belgian amateur calendar. Since then he’s ridden a very varied programme, including stage races in France and Belgium, hard fought kermises, a silver medal in the British Elite TT Championships and bronze in the British Pursuit Championship.

At Random

Alistair Speed

It is with sadness that we record that Scottish Cycle Sport has lost one of it’s stalwarts. Alistair Speed - son of Scottish veteran’s 24 hour time trial record holder, Archie Speed – has died following a collision with a car on the A91 between Strathmiglo and Gateside, a road he trained and raced on many times.

The VV View: Our Top 12 British Classics Rides

‘Cycling Weekly’ printed a list of their ‘10 best Classic Races of all time.’ It’s not the usual time of year for ‘retro’ pieces, the Classics should be in full swing but Covid-19 has blown apart a lot of well laid plans this spring. So here’s our top dozen British Classics Rides, in what we see as order of merit...

All But… Brad Wiggins Already! (TDF 2012 St 9)

Holy crap. Brad Wiggins has just shredded the Tour to pieces. In the first time trial of the race he has put himself close to two minutes in front of his nearest rival, Cadel Evans. After that is his own lieutenant, Chris Froome, then Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.

The VV View: TT World Champs, Old Positives and Retro Scrap?

VeloVeritas resident prophet and Guru, Viktor is in Spain just now. His old bones can't handle the Scottish weather these days - a nice wee apartment in Benidorm. There's a Belgian and a Dutch bar, both within crawling distance and both with big TV's permatuned to sport, often bike racing. He has his bike out there and is about as happy as Vik ever gets. I rang him the other day to ask if he'd seen Etixx-QuickStep's beautiful ride to win the Worlds TTT...

Robert Smail – Winning Belgian Kermises and Top Three in InterClubs

It was last Autumn when we last heard from Robert Smail, one of those ‘forgotten men’ out there jousting with the Eeckhouts, Willems, Smets and Caethovens of this world in the land of the frites, cross winds and kermises. High time we had another word...

Davie Whitehall – Versatile Scottish Rider in the ’70s and ’80s

He’s a man we should have caught up with long ago – but one of the few good things about ‘lockdown’ is that it has given us the time to catch up with riders who have ‘slipped through the VeloVeritas net.’ At last; Mr. David Whitehall...