With a successful 2016 track season now behind Callum Scotson that saw the 20-year-old win a rainbow jersey in the team pursuit and an Olympic Games silver medal in the same event, his focus in 2017 is on racing and winning in Europe. Scotson successfully defended his U23 Australian national time trial to start his BMC Development career in the best manner possible kick off his biggest road season to date.
Scotson, who rode the London and Gent Six Days with Cameron Meyer, was slower than his 2016 winning time in the trial time but demonstrated his maturity 12-months on from his breakout win, delivering on his favourite status and winning the green and gold jersey by 59 seconds.
"I sort of block it out. It is more what other people say," Scotson said post-victory of starting the time trial as the overwhelming victory. "I wasn't thinking in that way and I judge how I am going of my training. I don't look at past performances, I knew I was feeling good coming in so regardless of whether you went good the year before or bad. Two years ago I was two minutes down and one minute last year so you don't judge things off how you go one year ago."
In 2016, Scotson's brother Miles, who joined BMC from 2017, was the favourite but was unable to match the speed and pace of his younger brother. Callum Scotson acknowledged the possibility of a bolter upsetting the apple cart in Thursday's race while explaining that he was solely focused on his own race.
"If anything for me, it could be a hindrance but I decided not to let it bother me. I knew I was going well coming into it so I was using that as motivation and not going ‘I was national champion last year'. I know anyone can pop out and do an amazing ride and win it," he said. " Last year, my brother was a massive favourite and I pulled a really big one out on the day and beat him. That still didn't mean I was a better time trialist than him, I had a better day and the same thing could have happened to today."
Scotson's next outing will be in Saturday's 132km road race where he is aiming to match brother Miles (2015) and fellow South Australian Rohan Dennis (2012) in doing the time trial and road race double. After the championships, Scotson will make his Tour Down Under debut with the UniSA-Australia wild card team and will also race the Herald Sun Tour with the national team in early-February to begin his road season in earnest.
"It was amazing to get pre-selection for the Tour Down Under along with some of the other U23 guys," he said. "That will be a big experience, I don't know what to expect and I'll go into it with an open mind. The UniSA team, the opportunity always brings out the riders and the fact that they want to impress so badly and want to have a crack. You always see them go above and beyond. I am looking forward to racing that.
"Two years ago he was doing UniSA and I was watching so it's pretty cool for me to see him first year as a professional and be alongside each other with all friends and family watching. It will be a cool experience," he added of the experience of racing the Tour Down Under alongside Miles who has been selected for BMC.
Having his Australian stint of racing, Scotson is looking to get over to Europe where he doesn't have any specific goals but will focus on making his mark in as many races as possible.
"I am really keen to get out on the road a bit more. I hope to get picked and do the track worlds but there will be a lot more road focus this year," he said. "Last year, I was heaps on the track trying to get picked for the Olympics and then get picked for the Olympics. I really want to get out there and have a crack in some European races. I don't have any specific races, just go out there and have a crack and try and get whatever results and hopefully some wins in the U23 scene.
"They sort of asked me what I would like to target," he said of whether BMC had designed a race schedule for him. "I told them I am a track rider, time trials, races in Belgium, some of that flatter stuff. Even some stuff with slight hills where I can use my power and strength I have developed in the past two years. I am confident that I can have a really good year. I have never done an U23 race in Europe so I am really excited to have that focus this year."
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