Best of Moments: Gordon McCauley (NZ)

Twice second in the Lincoln GP, winner of the Premier Calendar and a rider who rode as a pro in Europe, Gordon McCauley also medalled in the Commonwealth Games, one of his best moments in the sport

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Best of Moments: Gordon McCauley (NZ)

Twice second in the Lincoln GP, winner of the Premier Calendar and a rider who rode as a pro in Europe, Gordon McCauley also medalled in the Commonwealth Games, one of his best moments in the sport

Above: 2003 and Gordon’s first time on the podium in second behind Mark Lovatt with Malcolm Elliott third

Gordon writes: I’d say my Commonwealth Games medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games Time Trial in Melbourne (Bronze). I initially wasn’t even on the long list despite being the National road champion so I forced my way into the team by winning 59 races that previous year in New Zealand and Australia.

I even flew myself to Melbourne six months prior to check out the course. I figured I’d need to go sub 50 minutes to medal and no Kiwi at that time had ever gone sub 50. I was correct, 49:50 got me bronze. What made it even more special was that I was hit by a car three months out from the Games and smashed my wrist to pieces. I essentially created a heat chamber in my neighbour’s garage and did all my training on the ergo.

I’ve also been lucky enough to race all over the world and win a lot of races but it’s still special that I won the 1999 Premier Calendar overall. It was my first full season out of New Zealand and made me believe I could actually go ok. I’m still the only foreigner to have won it. I loved racing and living in the UK and made some life long mates. Who doesn’t enjoy a toasted tea cake on a Sunday club run?

Above: 2006 Commonwealth Games

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In terms of my UK rivals, when I was first went there in 98-99, it was mainly Gibby (Tony) at Hillingdon. He was the King and took exception to me showing up and matching him. He had a bigger sprint than me so I’d attacked the shit out of him for the whole hour of racing. We eventually became mates and that’s how I ended up on the PCA team in 2007.

Other riders I really had respect for? There were many, but the ones that stood out were Chris Newton, mega talented and tactically extremely smart. Also, Mark Lovatt. I was also impressed with his ability to roll up any berg at 60rpm… I was never friends with either of them to be honest but always respected them in races…

The other would be Deano Downing. We had heaps of battles in both the UK and Belgium. I always saw him as being similar to me, perhaps not the biggest engine in the peloton but the hardest worker. He earned his results and deserved them, he’s a top bloke too.

Dean Downing in 2003 racing for a Belgium team as was Gordon at the time

The Classics are all a bit of a blur really. I figured out pretty quick I’d never be a great classics rider despite loving them. I won four pro kermesses in my second year pro in Belgium and that was cool but I knew that was my limit, being a leader on a small team.

Am I bitter? Not at all, I raced a lot in the UK, USA, Aussie and NZL on small 3rd Division teams (conti), I made some wonderful friends and saw the world. I coached on the side to keep some $$ rolling in which led to a coaching business and bike shop (I started the shop 5 years ago). It also led me to meeting my wife of 13 years.

Cycling has been very good to me. I’m not rich by any means but during this unstable time, the bike industry seems to be one of the industries that’s going ok, so I’m very grateful and it helps that I also love talking, selling and fixing bikes.

No holding anything back, that was Gordon’s mantra in a race …

Regrets? Not many. I wish I hadn’t have broken both legs in 2014. I was still riding well but that’s racing. I could have been less of a gob shite I suppose but I can’t turn the clock back. I always had a lot of nervous energy at races and that’s how I dealt with it. I also don’t suffer fools and hate soft tappers in a break so often let them know.

I still do the odd race mostly to catch up with mates. I did win a round of the Mountain in January, a 160km race here in NZ. I managed to beat the elites so that was cool. Lucky for me it’s flat so my extra 8kgs from when I was pro wasn’t too much of a factor.

I was meant to be heading to the Gravel Worlds in Lincoln, Nebraska in August. I finished 21st out of 700 in last years event without really training as hard as I could have (overall, 6th in age group). So I’d been training pretty hard and I think I could top ten and win my age group. Alas, that isn’t on the cards now. I’ll wait two years and see if the World is turning again. Then I’ll be 50 and the youngest in the next age category.

Thanks to Gordon who I trained with and traveled to Belgium with and had the odd race with too! Stay safe and take care Gordy…


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