Canadian Cycling Magazine

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.

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