I was chatting with Gordie McCauley today about setting up an interview – we
had tried before but it had not worked out due to his racing schedule, and in
characteristic fashion he challenged me to interview him on the spot, saying I
couldn’t do it without opening my race bible. Well, the contest was on, me
flying by the seat of my pants and Gordie, well, just being Gordie.
So this is not your average interview, but then, Gordie is not your average
So you are death on doping but won't talk about it, and you don't really
want to talk about the Vuelta, so what do you want to talk about?
Uh, how about related to cycling.
I follow most racing closely; I have since 87.
Okay, what has been the hardest thing about moving up the ranks?
Beating people better than yourself and putting up with the jealous people
what say you only got there 'cause you're a drug user.
Have you done that (beat people better than you)?
'Course I have....I kick arse. Ask me a question...like who won the 1987 Giro.
Who won the fourth stage of the '87 Giro?
Stephen Roche...by the way. Guido Bontempi, Carerra sprinter.
[He answered his own question correctly, but Moreno Argentin won the 4th stage;
however Bontempi was fourth in the first stage that year - an easy mistake.]
That and three dollars will buy you a cup of coffee. So what are your
career goals? Next five years
To ride Paris-Roubaix and TDF.
Just to ride them?
You must walk before you can run.
So what will it take for you to get there, from your perspective? Lay it
all out for me.
A 1st Div team. I think I've done enough to go 1st Div, but it's not
happening this year so I'm gonna use the kermesse races for training next year
and go all out for the UCI races. And try to have more than 200 UCI points by
the end of the 2003 season. Then I should be more of an interesting prospect. I
only have one more UCI race left in Europe this year and I don't know if my knee
will be good. [Gordie is off the bike for ten days for tendonitis.]
How many points do you have so far?
131, but only 102 from 1.3 or above. 1.5's don't count to trade team totals.
Do you think you are particularly suited skill-wise for Paris-Roubaix?
Paris-Roubaix was designed for me.
Flat. Cobbles. Wind. Rain. Big gears. Shitty. My type of race.
So as long as they are flat, the uglier the better?
Yep. Most of my good results have been in shitty races this year:
Henk Vos...Crosswind, Rain
Fayt le Franc...Wind, rain, snow.
What about your climbing abilities? Will you need to develop them to make
it in a Div One team, in your opinion? Or do you intend to just be a shit race
Er, what climbing abilities? I climbed in the 2nd group everyday in Giro del
Trentino with Pantani.
So it's just not your preference then?
Yeah, and climbing races tend to be in hot places. No, I wanna be a classics
rider. I just wanna ride TDF once, just 'cause it's there.
Then you need to be sure to have a contract clause - no rides in hot
It was hot when I won in Strombeke and Puivelde; I just prefer cold.
What is your timetable to become a classics racer?
Next year I wanna have a top ten in semi-classics like GP E3.
Will RDM Flanders be in those races?
Yeah, we did most this year - just missed Flanders and Liege.
So being with RDM will help you on your way?
Yeah, at RDM I can ride for me; at a 1st Div team I ride for others. But but
they are 2 years away for me.
Flanders and LBL?
Yep, but LBL is too hilly for me.
But then when you move to a Div One team and you ride support, how will
that work? How will you benefit?
Hopefully when I go Div One, it will be as a proven hitter in the big races.
So you won't be at the bottom of the barrel.
Thats right. U gitten jiggy wiv it.
Have you considered coming to the US?
There is only one Div 1 team - US Postal.
Would you go with a Div 2 team in the US?
Only the Navs, if they rode more in Europe. They are the only Div 2 team. I
don't like US racing.
When I was a kid I dreamed of the big Euro races, not a poxy crit in billy
Moving on, when did you start riding? What age?
15, 'cause I was a lard butt.
Were you dreaming about it earlier than that?
No, I wanted to be a pro footballer and play for Chelsea in England.
I was crap at soccer and won my first bike race.
Found your calling, or just found what you were good at?
That's it, but I really love riding my bike. That's why I don't train in the
gym. I ride cause I love it. I don't want to go to a smelly gym and push
Did you love it to start? Or did it grow on you?
It grew on me.
Have you been riding continuously since 15 (except when you sleep I mean)?
I had 6 months off in about '95 and played cricket, but put on 15 kilos, so I
started again and got 7th one week later in a 1/2/3 race. No hills that
So you knew that hills were not your friend early on?
No, I've won plenty of races in the hills. I've won the KOM in Tour de
Hokkaido and NZ Tour, and when I raced in Padova I was protected climber.
Who were you riding for? Sorry, don't have your palmares memorized yet.
GS Tasselli Ellematic, the same team as Matteo Tossatto (Fassa) and Nicola
Chesini (Panaria). We are the only three still racing from a team of 32.
Gordie got cut off at this point, and maybe that was a good thing, but look for a
Daily Peloton Chatroom chat with Gordon McCauley in the near future...
palmares from his website. Thanks, Gordie, you know we love you!