The world record that was almost snatched away because of a hold
The only thing in Ross Wilson’s office that speaks to his World Cup-level road and track cycling is a whiteboard with key events and some notes on upcoming training. He refers to his high-level racing as a hobby, which may seem like an understatement considering his commitment to the sport. But he does have a day job at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (nait) in Edmonton as the director of internal audit. On Nov. 8, the accountant set a world record on the track.
Wilson was in Scotland at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow for the World Cup. He competes in the C1 paracycling category, which means he’s on a diamond-frame bike (as opposed to a tricycle or handcycle). There are five levels in the C category. C1 comprises athletes with the highest levels of impairment.
At the track, the starting gates weren’t working, so Wilson had to begin his individual pursuit ride from a hold. A Cycling Canada mechanic kept Wilson and his bike steady until it was time for the rider to cover 3,000 m on the track. “For me, that usually means a worse start because I like to push back against the gate and rock off of it,” Wilson said.
Toward the end of the effort, he knew something was up. Sebastien Travers, the national paracycling team coach, ran to the finish line to yell encouragement to Wilson to keep riding hard. Wilson crossed the line in 3:49.450, beating Ricardo Ten Argilés world record of 3:50.051. After a cool-down, a commissaire spoke with Travers. The officials weren’t going to give Wilson the record because it was a held start. Travers argued that it wasn’t Wilson’s decision to have such a start. There was also video evidence that the rider didn’t get a push to influence his ride.
After about 20 minutes, the audit of the auditor’s ride was done. The officials would recognize Wilson’s new world record.