Miles Scotson says that while he's happy to be taking home at least one medal with him at the end of the week, it wasn't quite enough to make up for the disappointment of not being given the opportunity for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio. Scotson, who finished third in the Under 23 men's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Qatar, was a reserve for the team pursuit squad but never raced in Rio.
"Maybe." He said tentatively when asked if it had softened the blow of Rio. "I'm still disappointed not to ride in Rio. That was a big motivation for me going into today. I really badly wanted to win the World title, and that probably would have made up for it, but a bronze medal, maybe not."
Scotson was in the second of five groups of riders to set off and started his effort just after midday when the sun was at its hottest. He started off relatively conservatively, only managing fifth quickest after 7.4 kilometres but had moved into medal contention by the end of the opening lap.
"I was feeling really good going in and I was targeting the top step. Maybe I coped with the heat a little bit better, being Australian I am a bit more used to it. My first lap was good, I gave it everything that I had, and there was nothing left after the finishing line," he explained. "Initially, when I came in I was disappointed that I hadn't set the quickest time. For me, it was still a relief to hold onto a podium spot."
One of the more nervous waits was when his younger brother Callum set off at a blistering speed, going third fastest at the second checkpoint. Had he held onto his pace, he would have knocked Scotson out of the medals. In the end, he cracked and slipped down to 10th, but Scotson thinks that there is much more to come from his brother.
"He had a strong start, but we didn't know how he would go at the start. He's got a bright future, and he's got two more years [as an under 23], and we can see what he can do next year. It would be great to see him take the title in another year."
Focusing on the road and a professional contract
Scotson says will now turn his focus to the road for the foreseeable future as he looks to secure his first professional contract. The Australian, who rode for Team Illuminati this season, has spent most of his early career on the track where he is a two-time world champion in the team pursuit. Despite a stint as a stagiaire for the Belgian Wanty-Groupe Gobert squad, he is yet to put pen to paper. He believes backing up his time trial performance with a solid result in the road race will be and major step towards doing that.
"I don't have a contract for next year and that's a big goal of mine. I still did a solid result today and that was important for me," said Scotson. "I look forward to the road race to see what I can do there. I hope that I can do better because it's what I need to go to a big team next year.
"I'd like to keep going with the track over the next couple of years and the road too but I'm almost 23 now so I'll start focusing on the road side a little bit more, and I'll probably put the focus on the road for the next four years. I'll try to develop a little bit more in the time trial and maybe go to some Classics. Those are my goals for the next couple of years."
Scotson admits that his options are becoming increasingly limited as the end of the year fast approaches. He still has high hopes of securing a spot in a WorldTour team or perhaps extending his time with Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
"Hopefully, when I was there I impressed enough," he said. "I like the team so that is obviously an option. I'd like to go a WorldTour team, but I'll have to see who might want an Australian time triallist. It's late in the year; teams are full and I'm not sure what to expect."