Talkingshop: Olympic medallist Ross Edgar swaps track for road


Olympic and World Championship Silver medallist Ross Edgar talks about his switch from the track to the road for IG Sigma Sport

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With the GB Sprint Team seemingly in a state of flux with riders leaving and an endurance rider coming in to back up their Olympic Sprint champions, one of the squad, Ross Edgar, is turning his attentions to the road.


Ross showed that with his second to Ed Clancy in the flying lap, he is still very fast despite all the long miles.

Away from the pressure of the sprint training and trying to find a place in a team on top of the World after London 2012, and after a decade or more in the Sprint squad, Ross is making the move away from track sprinting to road sprinting.

At the recent Revolution (Manchester), Ross competed in the Endurance events where he competed well and it’s now full steam ahead to race the road circuit in Britain with IG Sigma Sport. Talking to VeloUK, Ross explained how after the major disappointment of not getting a ride in the Olympics, he started cracking in the road miles despite not being sure where he was going with his career post London 2012.

“The disappointment of the whole Olympic thing where you put so much into it, I did find myself not too sure what I was going to do” he added.

“I was really enjoying the road miles and I spoke to Ed Clancy who was doing the Newport Nocturne and decided to have a go at that. I didn’t do that well (mechanical on lap 1 didn’t help) but I really enjoyed it. I was stalking to Shane Sutton and he wanted to help us in any way he could and he got me in contact with Sigma and so I am following that through”.


“I signed for IG Sigma Sport about a month ago and that was when I fully committed to start doing the road miles. The weight is coming down but I still have a lot of work to do”.

Ross is far from being the first person to go from track sprinting to the road. Patrick Sercu was an early example and became a six day star and Tour de France stage winner after being an Olympic sprint champion 1963, 1967, 1969. Another World Champion in Theo Bos then made the switch as well after having been a Sprint/Kilo/Keirin champion.

It was the ‘Bos’ who Ross turned to for advice. “I rung Theo up and I asked him for some advice on what sort of power out I need to produce to be a road sprinter so I can get my head around it a bit more” Ross explained. “I talked to him for about an hour and half, his racing, how he’s getting on and he was giving me plenty of advice on how he trains for sprinting on the road and went through a general week.”

“It was all very helpful and gave me a lot of confidence I can do it as well.”


Ross, who has represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games since 2002, says he’ll be trying to first of all get to the finishes of the road races and then seeing what he has left at the end. “It’s one step at a time at this point and I’m looking forward to the road season ahead. I just want to get something out of every race I can do.”

Ross has a brother Bruce who was one of the top Junior roadmen in Britain and Ross says Bruce is giving me encouragement in his new challenge. “He knows a few things and has been on the academy with Cav (Mark Cavendish), Ed (Clancy) and Matt Brammeier so he comes up with advice as well. He’s even got a road bike again and still goes well on the bike so it will be good to get out on the bike and do a bit of training with him”.


 Team Sprint and the national champs as man 1, a long way from the road

Ross is still based in Manchester a long way from his home area of Newmarket and intends to still be doing work on the track and trying to get involved with GB for the Team Pursuit and Omnium drills and keeping his options open to perhaps make the swap from GB sprint to GB endurance. “I have grown up on the track, and it would be good to carry that on” he says.
Riding the road is not new to Ross who competed in crits and on the road as an Under 16 and Junior, winning at least one title on the way and says back then he was able to get to the end of the races okay. Asked if he felt as a sprinter he was more of an endurance rider, Ross replied “I always felt in training that I got more from the endurance training like the 500s than the response I got doing shorter efforts.”

“I felt my sprinting improving doing the longer efforts and so know that my strength is coming off a wheel at speed. That seems to be what I am naturally good at so hopefully I can take that into crits on the road.”

His team are still looking at his race programme but Ross does expect the focus will be on the Tour Series and the National Series Crits. “I am come out of the pressure cooker of the sprint team now and the pressure comes from myself to get out on the bike every day and I quite like that”…

Ross will be at the London Bike Show where his team will have their team launch is Ross is said to be one of the riders competing in the indoor crit there.



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