Before the Tour of the Campsies we asked our man with his ear to the ground on matters of Scottish time testing, Harry Tweed who we should be looking out for?

There were the usual suspects like Chris Smart [GTR] and the up and coming riders like Murray Lawson [Spokes Race Team] but also a name new to me, Cameron Richardson [Road Club Cumbernauld & Kilsyth].

Harry explained that Cameron had ‘crossed over’ from duathlon and would be ‘in the frame’ in the Campsies.

Mr. Tweed was absolutely correct, with Cameron winning the race by 13 seconds from one of those young men on the way up, Oscar Onley, another of those Spokes Race Team boys.

Cameron Richardson. Photo©Harry Tweed

Cameron agreed to catch up with us after he ridden his first ‘25’ the following weekend in the GTR event.

I think my first 25 mile time trial way back in 1971 resulted in a ‘67’ – one hour and seven minutes.

Cameron’s first effort was a little quicker – a ‘49’ in fact, on standard road wheels.

It seems fair to say that this chap has potential…

The basics first please, Cameron – where are you from, how old are you and what do you do?

“I’m from Cumbernauld, 22 years-old and I’m at Stirling university, I started off on a Finance course but changed to Business Management.” 

You were World Junior Duathlon Champion; that’s running and cycling?

“Yes, run, bike, run.

“I was a track and cross country runner to national level, my dad had a friend who was into duathlon so I decided to get into it.

“I was coached by Gordon Crawford who’s now coaching with the Swiss triathlon team.

“As a duathlon and triathlon competitor you race a lot less than you do as a cyclist and after I won the Worlds I took a bit of a break and then decided to focus on the bike.

“The seed was planted when I met Evan Oliphant at a triathlon training camp in 2017 and then I spoke to Mark McKay at Scottish Cycling, he was a good triathlete himself as well as a good rider.

“He said he was looking for young riders to develop and Evan coaches me now.

“I rode a couple of races at the start of 2018 and decided to give it a go.

“I rode a lot of races that year, just to gain experience; I rode the National Road Race Championships at Cromarty and loved it – I hadn’t trained enough for it but managed to get into the top 10.”  

Cameron Richardson
Cameron Richardson on the top step of the World Junior Championship podium, with Jorge Cabrera Silva (left, Mexico) and Thomas Cremers (Holland). Photo©Wagner Araujo/ITU Media

I believe you had health problems earlier this year?

“I had chest pains caused by a viral infection; I’d burned myself out with all the racing and travel I’d been doing in 2019.

“I’d been riding events like the Otley GP, the Isle of Man GP and National Criterium Championships.

“And despite having a chest infection I rode the British Universities Track Championships where I was third in the Pursuit with a 4:30 ride and second in the Points Race.

“I had a week in bed and then rode the Scottish Pursuit Championships, where I was fourth. 

“That was my last race before The Campsies. I’d trained for 15 or 16 weeks and thought I’d hit out and ride a race so I entered The Campsies.

“It was just a test on my way to achieving my goals of getting healthy again and peaking for the CTT Hill Climb Championships.”

What about this first ‘25’?

“I didn’t know what to expect and was just riding on road wheels, as I did in The Campsies.

“I did a bike fit with Dales Cycles during the week which was helpful in sorting my position but I didn’t taper for the race, I just trained through.

“I re-started gym training again too, last week.

“Like I said, I didn’t know what to expect and thought maybe a ‘52’ was possible but the GTR guy came up to me after my ride and told me I’d gone under 50 minutes and broken the course record with 49:49.”

What gears were you on and are we allowed to ask about watts?

“I had a 56 x 11 top gear but was mostly in the 12 to 14.

“I was speaking to Kyle Gordon about gearing and he runs a 60 ring which seems awfully big but there were some sections where I was topping 60 kph and revving out on the 11 sprocket.

“I didn’t have a power meter on for the Campsies but in the ‘25’ – it’s no secret – I averaged 344 watts.”

The CTT Hill Climb is the next goal?

“Yes. It’s promoted by Reading CC in Berkshire on October 25th; 0.8 kilometres with an average gradient 13.0% and a maximum gradient of 25.9%.

“Evan and I agreed it’s a good goal to aim for, I only weigh 65 kilos so I’m equipped for that kind of effort.” 

Cameron Richardson
Cameron Richardson sets off on the second bike leg at the World Championships. Photo©Wagner Araujo/ITU Media

And you have Commonwealth Games ambitions on the track?

“That’s up to Scottish Cycling but there are a lot of good guys in the frame; John Archibald, Mark Stewart, Kyle Gordon and younger guys like Matti Dobbins coming up so there should be opportunities in the Team Pursuit? 

“After the hill climb my next goal is the British Track Championships which are on over the last weekend in January; I think a 4:20 Pursuit is a realistic ambition for me?”

What does 2021 hold for you after the Track Championship?

“I’ve been sending out my CV to British teams to see if I can get a ride.

“I have to work part-time at Tesco to make ends meet as well as my university work and training so it would be good to get support.

“I wouldn’t consider going abroad; I’ve competed in duathlons and triathlons abroad and am aware that the level there is so much higher there than it is here and I have my university course to consider.”

A ‘49’ for your first ‘25’ – it took Alf 20 years to get below 50 minutes. We’ll follow Cameron’s progress with interest.