Ross Edgar eyes switch from track to road cycling

Ross Edgar won silver for Great Britain in the keirin at the Beijing Games. Picture: Getty
Ross Edgar won silver for Great Britain in the keirin at the Beijing Games. Picture: Getty
Share this article
Have your say

SCOTTISH cyclist Ross Edgar admits it was tough to miss out on an Olympic berth at London 2012, but says he is now considering a switch from the track to road racing.

The 29-year-old – who was born in Newmarket but represents Scotland – won a silver medal behind fellow Scot Sir Chris Hoy in the keirin final at the 2008 Beijing Games and also took part in the 2004 Olympics.

Edgar rode for Scotland in the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, winning a gold medal in the team sprint with Hoy and Craig MacLean.

He also won a silver medal at the 2007 UCI Track World Championships in the team sprint and a bronze medal in the Keirin.

However, he was only team sprint reserve for London and was not needed as Hoy, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes took the gold.

He told the BBC: “I’ve been looking at changing disciplines. I haven’t 100 per cent made up my mind yet but I’ve been doing a lot of road riding.

“I’ve been doing five-hour rides on the road and getting the miles in since the Olympics.

“I had a go at a race – the Newport Nocturne – but had some bad luck with a broken spoke on the first lap,” the Newmarket-based Scot told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

“The main reason for it is a new challenge, a change of scenery and being outside.

“Being in the velodrome, I’ve been doing that for 10 years and as good as it is, you can get stale from doing the same thing repetitively.”

A rule change meant only Hoy was able to represent Britain in the keirin in London, leaving the team sprint – as the latter’s only opportunity to take part.

However, the arrival of Hindes, who raced for Germany as junior, meant he lost out on the ‘man one’ place. Despite that, Edgar insisted he had no hard feelings about not getting the chance to compete and still enjoyed the Games in the role of spectator.

“I got into the spirit of it all – it was hard not to, really. I’d rather that than being all bitter and sitting at home, because you couldn’t get away from it, it was everywhere,” he said.

Team GB dominated proceedings in the Olympic velodrome, collecting seven golds, a silver and a bronze. “It was fantastic how everyone did – I was happy for all of them,” said Edgar, who sees no reason why Britain’s success should not continue despite Victoria Pendleton retiring and Hoy indicating he will not be around for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“There are a few stars that have left but Jason is still going to be there and there are quite a few riders coming through in the academy, so we’ll just have to see who pops their head up,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chris Froome has withdrawn from Wednesday’s time-trial at the UCI Road World Championships to focus on Sunday’s road race, British Cycling have confirmed. The World Championships come at the
end of a gruelling season for Froome.

The Team Sky rider was Tour de France runner-up behind Bradley Wiggins in July, won Olympic time-trial bronze behind his compatriot and was fourth in the Vuelta a Espana, which finished on September 9.

The 27-year-old wants more time to recover ahead of Sunday’s 261-kilometre road race in Limburg, Netherlands, when Mark Cavendish will ride in defence of his title.

Froome’s non-participation means Alex Dowsett is Britain’s sole entrant in the 45.7km elite men’s time-trial which takes place tomorrow.