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FEATURE I STAR INTERVIEW


K


elvin has been a BMX racer since 1988 when he was 6 years old. He turned Professional in 1997 at the age of 16. He has


narrowly missed out on competing in both 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. In 2008 when part of Team GB Kelvin secured one of the final 8 Olympic spots for Great Britain through his performance at the World Championships in China. Following this result Great Britain selectors decided to run a trials event from which the winner would represent GB at the Beijing Games. Unfortunately for Kelvin he sustained an injury and concussion during the trial which ended his chances of competing at the 2008 Games. From 2009 Kelvin chose to represent Ireland, he qualified to do this as he has British and Irish Nationality. At this time Ireland were an unknown in the World of BMX. Kelvin’s aim was to compete at The London Games in 2012 wearing the green of Ireland and grow and promote the sport of BMX there. He was 2 places away from qualifying to compete at the Historic London Games in 2012.


Since this disappointment Kelvin has gone on to achieve much on and off the track and has helped to raise the profile and participation of BMX in Ireland. He is a very skilled coach who has a track record for developing riders to the very top of the sport.


Q


You’ve had a really successful BMX career, which was capped off in 2013 when you won a World Title out in New Zealand whilst wearing the green shirt. Talk us through your preparation for this event, how you get yourself in the right shape and make sure you are peaking at the right time,


also tell us about the whole experience from arriving in NZ to working through the qualifying rounds and into the finals and crossing the line?


A


It was a bit of a surreal experience to win a World Title as I had wanted


it my whole career, coming close so many times. I knew I had a great chance in New Zealand with it being my first year of racing Masters (30 years and over Elite level) but if I’m honest I don’t think my form going into the race was the best I could have hoped for. I did try to peak at the right time but it didn’t happen the same way it worked out for me this year (2014 World Championships) where I know I was riding right up near my full potential, that’s what I always like to know I’ve done when I come away from the race. I was jet lagged and generally tired the whole week leading up to the race as I didn’t come around to the time difference at all, but somehow I got the job done after planning some moves I would make in the final as the race day went on. Crossing the line was more relief than anything as I had finally won the only coloured UCI medal I hadn’t already got (Kelvin had previously won Bronze and Silver) and it was a very proud moment to stand on top of the podium hearing the Irish National anthem.


Q A


And you nearly went back to back with World Titles this year in Holland, tell us


about this?


I went into this race in really good form and peaked at the right time. I was really confident I could retain the title but after a poor 2nd pedal in the final I was chasing down Christian Becerine. With


the track being tight I knew I only had a couple of passing opportunities so into the 3rd straight I got some real boost off the back of each jump and pulled level into the last corner wanting to set up a swoop, but got too far ahead and got put up the corner by Christian losing all my momentum. Myself and Becerine were then both passed by Morten Therkildesen from Denmark who took the win and I managed to get some speed from the last jump to hold out Christian for 2nd. I was gutted to lose the UCI stripes for this year but will be working hard to get them back again in 2015.


Q A


I’ve not researched this, but are you Ireland’s first cycling world champion? And if so how do you feel about that?


I’m not too sure but I know Martyn Irvine won a gold on the velodrome just a few months before me so I wasn’t the first but proud to have brought a World title to Ireland. It’s very important to me to be able to show the riders in Ireland that we can win medals and compete with the very best in this sport and as things progress I’m sure each of them will become more confident in their ability to wear the green jersey at International races.


Q A


Talk us through the organisation and infrastructure of Cycling Ireland. How have you seen this develop since 2009?


A new BMX Commission has been formed with Cycling Ireland and I think this was a huge step forward in seeing the sport grow and develop both on and off the track. Being under Cycling Ireland shows that BMX wants to be taken as a professional sport, which is good for


January 2015 I Cycling World 19


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