Friday, October 22, 2021
HomeInterviewsJack Carlin - Adding to his World Championship Medal Collection

Jack Carlin – Adding to his World Championship Medal Collection

"Expectation of the team is now so high but you must remember that the rest of the world haven’t been standing still..."


We interviewed Jack Carlin a few weeks ago, before the COVID-19 outbreak was classified as a pandemic, worldwide lockdowns began coming into force – and the Olympics were cancelled.

* * *

Another one for Jack Carlin. Major championship silver medal, that is, this time in the UCI World Team Sprint Championship in Berlin.

It adds to silver in the Team and Individual Sprint competitions won at the Worlds in 2018; silver in the Commonwealth Games Individual Sprint the same year; last year there was silver in the European Team Sprint Champs and two team sprint World Cup medals of the same ilk for the young man from Paisley – he’s still only 22 years-old. 

In Berlin he also battled through to the Keirin finals, finishing in that worst of positions – just off the podium in fourth place.

We caught up with him as he prepared to take a wee break from training and racing before the big build up for the competition which really matters to Team GB: the Olympic Games in Tokyo come late July/early August.

Jack Carlin
Jack Carlin has collected a few Worlds medals now – this one from the Men’s Sprint in 2018. Photo©

Team Sprint silver, are you satisfied with that performance?

“Yes and no; we set a British record in the first round with 42.294 [the team qualified with 42.471 and rode 42.400 in the final against the Dutch, with the orange men charging to a world record 41.225, ed.] and I was happy with how my own laps went but whilst we took a step up, so did the Dutch so it’s the same status quo as before the Worlds with the Dutch at the top and us chasing them.

“That said, we’re going in the right direction.”

Those Dutch boys are dominant in the event right now, why so?

“They have real strength in depth, the times they are doing, no one can get near – they’re all talented guys, they have the good aero equipment…

“But we’re chasing them and hope we can give them a good run for their money come Tokyo.

“Our coach Kevin Stewart said that what we should take away from Berlin is that world records can be broken at sea level.

“I’ll have my week off then it’s back to the drawing board for Tokyo.”

You’re ‘man two’ – how is it decided, ‘who goes where?’

“‘Man one’ should be strongest in the gym and on the bike, he’s got to get us off the line and up to speed; ‘man two’ should have more ‘top end’ but also ‘length,’ whilst ‘man three’ has to sustain the speed but also have excellent lactic tolerance.”

Jack Carlin
Jason Kenny, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens celebrate their Silvermans medals at this years’ World Championships in Berlin. Photo©British Cycling/SWPix

Apart from you, Jason Kenny and Ryan Owens, who’s in the GB pool for the event?

Phil Hindes was our travelling reserve and there’s Joe Truman as well, so five strong guys – I think the final Olympic selection will be made at the end of May.”

Is Jason Kenny back to his best?

“He still has more to come – but so does the whole team.”

What are your thoughts on your fourth placed Keirin ride?

“I was devastated, I suffered a bit of a bang on my ankle in the semi and it rather threw me off a little.

“That said, I didn’t handle my tactics in the final as I should, I was reactive rather than proactive but on the positive side, I had the legs and was there in the final fighting for a medal.”

The Keirin is so fast now with final 200 times now regularly well under 10 seconds.

“It just shows the level of competition and there are so many guys coming through – it’s just so tough now.

“The gears are so much bigger now, you just need to look at the size of some of the guys – huge, lean guys.

“The Dutch guy who won, Harrie Lavreysen came out of BMX and that was the start of where his explosive power came from.”

How much of a part does ‘Lady Luck’ play in Keirin?


“It’s so fast and chaotic that if you’re behind a crash you’re going to come down – then there’s where you’re drawn behind the Derny; that can have a big influence, it’s not just about being physically good enough.”

What did you think of the Berlin track?

“I love it, it’s steep with sharp bends, the transitions are drastic and throw you out – it’s obviously fast, look at the world records that were set.”

The squad had a good World Cup campaign.

“Yeah, another fair few silver medals!

“The Dutch were ahead of us again but we’re constantly moving in the right direction as our times demonstrate.

Jack Carlin
Jack Carlin is focusing on the Tokyo Olympics. Photo©British Cycling

I guess if your focus is on Team Sprint then your Individual Sprinting must suffer?

“All my aim has been at ‘man two’ in the Team Sprint and I haven’t really focussed on the Individual Sprint.

“However, our next block of training is geared towards the Keirin and Individual Sprint.

“Our training is part of a process with the Olympics as the big goal; it’s not like we came into the Worlds tired, we were all raring to go and the Worlds were a goal – but the main focus is on Tokyo.

“It’s going to be tough for GB to come away with as many medals as they’ve done in past Olympics but it’s not all gloom and doom, we came away with four medals from Berlin.

“The thing is that the expectation of the team is now so high but you must remember that the rest of the world haven’t been standing still.”

You’re having a wee break now?

“Just a few days in Spain with my dad and brother then it’s back to head down training.”

Is Manchester still where it all happens?

“Yes, we have all we need there but we also have a training camp at Valencia.”

Finally, how about those Lotus Hope ‘Star Wars’ machines?

“We should have them for Tokyo; I’ve ridden one and they feel lovely but I was crawling at the time so couldn’t explore the full potential of the machine.

“But it handles well, they’re solid and light too.”

VeloVeritas wishes Jack and his GB compadres well in their quest for Olympic gold – it’s not like they haven’t done it before…

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

Scotland seeks additional Premier Calendar event

Rapha-Condor-Sharp rider James McCallum has pledged his intention to defend his title at the Davie Bell Memorial 2012 Memorial, a 'monument' of Scottish cycling aspiring to join the Premier Calendar series in 2013. The promoting club, Ayr Roads-Harry Fairbairn BMW have already secured 'National A' status for the 47th running of the 100mile event to be held on Sunday June 10th 2012, guaranteeing the best possible line up of British professional and elite cyclists.

RTTC 10 Mile Championship goes to John Archibald, by 3 seconds!

An RTTC championship in Scotland? VeloVeritas couldn’t miss that – on the way down I was thinking about opening lines; ‘Marcin Bialoblocki gives himself as a birthday present a clean sweep of all CCT titles from 10 to 100 miles' but John Archibald was having none of it and pulled off the testing surprise of the year.

Craig Maclean – Moving from Racing to Coaching, with Guitars!

‘Back in the day’ when he was World Team Sprint Champion and a silver medallist in the World Individual Sprint Championship we used to speak to Scottish fast man Craig Maclean on a regular basis. Since then he’s gone on to be a successful tandem pilot on the paralympic scene and, he’s gone into coaching – as well as ‘playing in the band.’ High times VeloVeritas ‘had a word.’

Chris Hoy – Super Champion

Concluding our series of interviews with Scottish medalists at the British Track Championships we have pleasure in bringing you the words of World Kilometre Champion, Chris Hoy.

John Archibald – “My Games Pursuit was a Dream Ride”

‘The best Commonwealth Games performance ever by the Scottish cycling team’ – that’s for sure. VeloVeritas hopes to speak to all of the athletes concerned and we’re proud to start with individual pursuit silver medallist, John Archibald.

John McMillan – Reminiscing about the “Okolo Slovenska”

VeloVeritas interviewed Scottish Legend John McMillan, last year – doing some research into the 'Peace Race' recently we asked John if he’s ever ridden the Warsaw-Berlin-Prague. He said he hadn’t - but he had ridden the Okolo Slovenska, the seven day Tour of Slovakia, which in 1965 was part of Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia and which had the aim of celebrating the liberation of Slovakia by the Red Army in 1945.

At Random

Adam Hansen and his Vuelta a España – Prologue to the Rest Day

It was a sad day today for VeloVeritas' newly married editor Martin; he had to go back to his day job-and on the rest day! Life just isn't fair! Meanwhile we caught up with Columbia's ex Aussie Elite TT champion and twice podium finisher in the Aussie Elite road race champs, Adam Hansen, to get the story so far as the Vuelta eventually returns home.

Harry Tanfield – Signed by Katusha for 2019/20

VeloVeritas caught up with Harry Tanfield a few days after his move to the Swiss/Russian squadra Katusha hit the browsers. The thing about a Harry interview is that no matter how big the result he never gets too excited - and signing with a World Tour team for two seasons doesn’t seem such a big deal for the 23 year-old from Great Ayton in north east England.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 15; Bourg-en-Bresse – Culoz. Pantano Plays it Perfectly

While Jarlinson Pantana was winning the stage today for IAM Cycling and Columbia (that's his contract sorted for 2017 - IAM folds at the end of the season) Ed and Callum were race-bound, flying in to Geneva to get the car and get organised with race accreditation.

Tour of Britain 2007 – Day 4: Stage 3, Worcester – Wolverhampton

Stage three of the Tour of Britain 2007 into Wolverhampton, so how is the grass track boy from Wick doing?

Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2006

Jason MacIntyre made it a neat half dozen Scottish individual titles for 2006 with a 16 second winning margin over fast-improving Irishman, Raymond Wilson (Dunfermline CC) in the Scottish Hill Climb Championship on the Bonnyton Moor climb near Eaglesham on Saturday afternoon.

Stats Catch Up

Stats Catch Up. Possibly the most boring blog post ever coming up. Since the Tour, I’ve been having a relatively quiet time, reboosting the energy reserves, and catching up with the boys who need treatment in Girona as and if they need. And now, on the eve of heading off to the Eneco Tour, I finally get myself into gear to post another blog entry. Quality.