An interview with Brad McGee, November 26, 2006
With a longer than usual stay in Europe this year, Brad McGee found the time to compete at Revolution 14 last week. The Sydneysider was happy to answer a few questions when Cyclingnews' Ben Atkins caught up with him before the action started.
Most Aussies have flown south for the winter by now, but this Sydneysider is hanging around for longer than usual - allowing him to ride some fun events like the Revolution 14 at the Manchester Velodrome. This extension to the usual European tour is an indication that the McGees are beginning to put down more roots in the Northern Hemisphere; "We made the decision a long time ago to stay , mainly because our little girl's in school now, and we didn't want to be flying her out. I didn't expect to stay so long, but then these sort of things keep cropping up, you know; I'll stay for that, stay for that, stay for that, why not..."
Despite enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the Revolution meeting, he's not tempted to have a go at anything more competitive at the moment. One might have though that the UCI Track World Cup event in his home town may have been tempting if he'd gone back at the usual time, but that's not the case; "Even if I'd been there I wouldn't have been riding the World Cup. I am looking at doing the Moscow World Cup later on [December 15-17]."
Despite a usual start to his season, things have begun to fall apart for McGee, with reoccurring back problems returning to blight what should have been the time to hunt results. "Well, it was about as bad as it gets really. It started off normally, but then by about April, May, I started having all these problems with my back, with sciatica," explained McGee. "I struggled through for a few months before fixing it properly in early June, then it took until the middle of August to come back with things right. In doing that I learned a lot and I've cured a problem that's been lurking around for a few years now. So, from May on this year was nothing but unpleasantries."
The fact that McGee was in Manchester for the Revolution track meeting and that he's considering next month's Moscow World Cup event, both indicate that he's now thinking seriously about his preparations for Beijing 2008; "Yeah, exactly, because of what I've done this year I haven't done anything that even corresponds to track racing. So it's more important that I start now."
This new found confidence in his fitness and focus on specific targets, like the 2008 Olympic Games, give McGee a sense of purpose, and real impetus for 2007; "Ah, totally! Just to get back on track with two strong legs again. I've been limping around on two half legs for too long now."
McGee's preparations are already on track for Beijing. In fact things are almost going too well, making him ensure he doesn't burn out before the games by doing too much too soon. "Just recently I've done some really good stuff, I only took a week off at the end of the season," he said. "I've been getting to the gym. I'm feeling really positive now, I'm holding myself back now, I just want to get on and do it all, but I've just got to be strong and keep to my plan."
With McGee fit, eager to take out the frustrations of this season on the road and importantly, aware of how to fix any reoccurrence of his past back problems, the Francaise des Jeux rider should be pretty difficult to stop next season. He could be looking at spoiling the British party in London come July 7, 2007, and he'll be hard to bet against for completing his collection of Individual Pursuit Medals in 2008 (after Bronze in Sydney and Silver in Athens).
Watch out 2007, Mcgee is back!