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A Chat with New Zealand's National Champion: Gordon McCauley
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 6/14/2002
A Chat with New Zealand's National Champion: Gordon McCauley

New Zealand's National Champion, Gordon McCauley is a real character. He rides in Belgium now for the RDM-Flanders Team, but the DP crew met up with him in Philadelphia as he was in town to ride with Domo and support Fred Rodriguez's hat trick bid for the USPRO Stars and Stripes jersey.

Fred pulled off the road citing a stubborn and lingering case of Bronchitis; but Gordy rode like a champ in Philly, dragging an ailing Fast Freddy to the foot of the Manayunk Wall until his legs were well-done, and then retired to get himself a Philly Cheese Steak before flying back to his home in Belgium to hit the road on two wheels, straightaway.

I say we met up with him, but what really happened is that we spent several hours shootin' the breeze with Gordy, and interspersed with a running commentary on the all-American girls, he told us about his season, his ride with Domo at the USPRO, his future aspirations as a salesman, and his thoughts on the cycling life.

Manny: Can we ask you a few questions?

Sure, no problem... It's a dollar a word, though!

Manny: Ok. Jaime will handle the money, I'll handle the questions! How did you hook up riding with Domo in Philadelphia?

They just rang me up and said "Do you want to come," and I said "Hang on... lemme think about it a minute... Yeah, ok."

Manny: This year has been your best year ever. What do you attribute that to?

I went home at the end of the year, and linked up with my old coach... lost two kilos, and just trained hard, corrected my diet, cut out all the junk food I'd been eating.

Also, I'm team leader this year, so I can race the way I want to race. If I want to attack 100 km from the finish, it's no problem. Last year I was always under pressure to look after Michel Van Acker and do everything that he said, and the problem was, I'd ride for him all race and then I'd need to stop at the end because my legs would be finished, he'd stop, and at the end of the day, the team gets nothing.

I could have stayed there, they asked me to stay... oh look at those all-American girls... and uh, I figured it was better to take one step back this year so that I could get the results and get noticed so I could take two steps forward to a new team.

Manny: Any talks with division 1 teams?

Just Domo, so far.

Manny: What's next on the schedule for you?

The day after I get back I have a race in Belgium. I got second there last year, but I'm going to be a bit tired and jet-lagged. After that, I don't know. That's one problem with being on a small team, you don't know your program from one week to the next. My director expects me to get results in the races, but I never know what's coming up, so it's a bit of a problem.

Jaime: Do you mind the pressure of that?

No I don't care. I want to win every race too! It's not always possible, but you've always got to try.

Manny: Is it hard to adjust your training to not knowing where you're going to be?

No, you always know a week in advance... most the time it's just race and recover anyway for most of the season, even last year when I knew I'd be racing two or three times a week, so?

Manny: Where do you like to race most?

Ummm... Anything without mountains.

Manny: Is it difficult to adjust to riding with Domo since they're not your regular teammates?

Um, yeah. They do things differently. For instance, they're all out now training as a team, and I went out earlier by myself. I just like training by myself better. I get a better quality of training alone.

Manny: What about the girls? Do you like watching the girls race?

Oh yeah! I'm a hot-blooded male, of course I do! You could probably take race off the end... I'm just interested in watching the girls. That's on the record. If my wife reads it, I'll just deny that I said it.

Jaime: Does your wife race?

No. She comes to the races occasionally, but she always just ends up getting yelled at for not holding the bottles properly and things, so she doesn't come.

Manny: Do you think you'll stay in Belgium, or eventually move back home, or what?

I don't know. I wanted to live in Belgium, but it'll end up being New Zealand or England. There's no way I'll be in Belgium forever. My wife's English, so it'll probably be England.

Manny: Eventually when you do decide to hang up the wheels, do you think you'll continue to be involved in the sport?

Yeah. I don't think I'll ever stop racing. I just like racing.

Manny: Would you like to direct a team sometime?

No. It would be like directing blooming animals in the zoo! I know what we're like now. We're like three year olds!

I'd actually like to get into sales or something. A lot of riders, when they stop, have a lot of depression because they're used to racing and winning. I'd like to do sales, because I'd like to do something where you work hard, and you earn money. Then I can sit at coffee shops and watch girls walk past. That's the great thing about sales... you make your own hours!

Jaime: but you know, you're in good shape now, wearing that costume to the coffee shop. Then when you sit at coffee shops watching girls in that, the girls are looking back!

Right. Nice. Yeah, Well, I guess I could sell bike stuff. Keep wearing lycra... but I'm going to be like Graham Miller, and Gaggioli... just keep on racing forever.

Manny: What do you do to relax and get away from cycling?

I don't do anything else, really. I knock walls down in my house sometimes. I only really have about two weeks off my bike per year. So, in those two weeks, I drink copious amounts of alchohol. Last year, I put 6 kilos on in two weeks! I like to drink huge amounts of beer and eat lots of junk food. It's like a pressure valve. You get drunk, you go partying, you really enjoy yourself, and then the next day...

Manny: How long do you want to keep at this?

I'd like to race as a pro for 8 or nine years. It's like Graeme Miller or Gaggioli, or something. If you're going good, why stop?

Manny: Any family plans?

Yeah. The wife wants kids. It would be kind of nice, but I'd like to wait until I'm earning a better salary on a better team.

Manny: Would you encourage your kids to ride a bike?

Oh yeah...

Manny: Professionally?

Well, it would be up to the kids if they want to race their bike or not, but it would be nice... it's what I do... though, football would be nice, too; then they could look after me in my old age!

Was it hard for your wife to adjust to your life as a cyclist?

Well, she had dated a cyclist before. But, I couldn't race the way I race if she didn't support me. There's no way. It wouldn't happen. She's interested in the sport and she likes coming to races, but it's not always convenient when you're on a European team.

Manny: Is this your first time racing in the states?

Yeah, and I don't like it. It's too fast. It's just a different style of racing.

Jaime: What do you think of the US based pros?

They're pretty good, right! The difference between the US based pros and European guys is that between the top guys and the very bottom guys, there's a huge difference. The top guys are good though, you know... Chris Horner rode well for Francais de Jeux. They're top riders. Lotto and everyone came for Redlands last year, and Klasna gave 'em all a good kicking. They're good riders!

Manny: What about the food?

Oh, we're just eating in the trough at the race hotel. With all the other riders.

Jamie: Oh yeah! I saw that. They all file down like good soldiers, check their names off the list and go eat in the separate dining room.

Yeah. The pigpen!

Jaime: What's the story with that? Doesn't anyone get to go out and have any fun?

It's normal for a bike race. We try and crack food fights every once in awhile... but normally, you ride your bike, you go back, lie on the bed and watch TV 'til the end of the day... and American TV sucks. It's so boring! There are 15 channels, but 12 of them are infomercials and Golf! Some of the infomercials are quite good actually. Occasionally I see one that's pretty good. The aerobics ones or something...

Oh... look at them! I'm going to get my picture taken with them!

Manny: What did you think about the Giro?

Bit of a joke really, wasn't it?

The last week was interesting. You can see the sport's cleaning up. Look at the last week. Some guys got caught, but there's clean riders in the race, too. Look at the way Cadel and Frigo blew up! That shows they're not using anything. That shows that the sports cleaning up. A few year's ago they'd just hammer everyday, and nobody got tired, but now guys are blowing up near the end, in the third week everyone's finished. So, that's a good thing.

What do you think about the Tour? Lance again?

Yeah. Is there anybody else? There's no Ullrich there to challenge... and we didn't get a wildcard, so I'm not going to be there to challenge him, either. All of his main competition has been eliminated.

Manny: Aside from the racing and the humidity, what did you like about Philadelphia?

Well, the girls. I like the girls... Did I mention I like the girls?

Gordy's Palmares

GP Strombeke(Belgium) 1st place
GP Wanzele (Belguim) 1st place
Archer GP (England) 1st place UCI 1.5
Bochum Pro Crit (Germany) 2nd place
Fayt le Franc (Belguim) 3rd place UCI 1.5
GP Midtbank (Denmark) 3rd place UCI 1.3
GP Midtbank (Demark) 1st place sprint classment
GP Midtbank (Denmark) 1st place gravel classment
CSC Classic (Denmark) 1st place Berg classment
GP Puidvelde (Belgium) 1st place
Jock Wadley Memorial (England) 1st place

2001, As a Neo Pro
Loret de Mar (Spain) 6th overall
Loret de Mar (Spain) 2nd Stage 5
Omloop Het-Volk (Belgium) 26th
Gulrensporen 2 DAY (Belgium) 13th overall
Gulrensporen 2 DAY (BEL) 9th Stage 1
GP Midbank (Denmark)7th
GP Puidele (Belgium)3rd
GP Wiesbeke (Belgium)4th
Brussels-Ingoigam (Belgium)2nd
Archer GP (GB)1st
GP Ostende 13th
GP Melle 12th
Havant GP (GB) 2nd
Bouggenhout 3rd
New Zealand National Road Race Champs 1st
Tour Southland Stage 3 1st
Tour Southland Stage 4 1st
Tour Southland Sprint Ace 1st
Round the Gorges Classic - Fastest Time and Record

You can read all about Gordy, follow his progress and read all of his colorful updates on his website . I especially recommend the biography section.

Thanks, Gordy!

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