David Randall Interview
By Rob Cumine
In the second of our 2018 interviews, we sat down with David Randall. One of two Victorian’s on the team we got to learn a little more about where he’s come from and what he wants to achieve this year.
Q So how did the Nationals go for you?
It was a mixed week for me personally – I was happy with my ride in the criterium, given that ACA were bossing the race. I decided to throw everything at a late attack, but it didn’t quite work out. I’d always rather take the risk than regret taking the safe option! I rode the time trial for personal improvement and experience, and was closer to the best guys than I expected. Unfortunately, I didn’t handle racing all 3 races and the heat as well as I’d have liked, and had a bit of a shocker in the road race. It’ll be a great motivator for when I race against the elites next year!
Q I presume you were there sort of as a domestique kind of role? Who were you working for?
We had a pretty open tactical approach. Our goal was to keep Eggie out of trouble early, and he thankfully survived the selection on lap 3. I’m looking forward to working on better fulfilling that role in some of the harder races in the VRS and NRS this year.
Q How did you get into racing?
My high school participated in Human Powered Vehicle racing (popular in both Victoria and South Australia). After performing well at the RACV Energy Breakthrough in Maryborough and the Murray Bridge Grand Prix, a friend took me down to a local club crit and it went on from there!
Q What was your path from there, to now being on Van D’am Racing?
I did junior racing early on, focussed on getting into university, and eventually decided to try my hand at competing in the NRS. My family owns a Victorian chain of bicycle shops called Bicycle Superstore, and last year I set up a VRS/NRS team called Bicycle Superstore-Giant with whom I got some good results. I knew Matt de Vroet from around the traps and he told me how much he’d enjoyed riding with Van D’am, so I sent in my CV and was lucky enough to join the team for 2018!
Q Is it an interesting balance between study, work and racing?
It can be precarious at the best of times! I do a lot with Bicycle Superstore, especially over summer, and also really enjoy working as a secondary school maths tutor. I’m 3 years into a 4-year Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to finishing that off and training and racing as much as I can. I’ve managed to get better at achieving a healthy balance, but it’s always a worthwhile challenge.
Q Do you feel like you get the training volume in needed to race at the NRS level?
Until last year, I would say I treated cycling more as a hobby than a real concrete commitment – I definitely didn’t get enough volume in to compete at that level. Last year, I moved closer to Melbourne and really upped my workload on the bike. This year I’m hoping to train smarter and harder, go overseas mid-year, and become really competitive in the NRS.
Q What’s it like to travel with a relatively small NRS team as Van D’am Racing is?
I got the hang of it last year with Bicycle Superstore-Giant – it’s all about planning ahead, budgeting smartly, and everyone communicating and being accountable to one another. I really enjoyed staying with the guys in Ballarat for Nationals, and can’t wait to travel around more with the boys this year!
Q You’re known as a lead-out man for a sprinter; who’s the sprinter on VDR you’releading out, or does it change?
There’s a vicious rumour going around that Tom Allford packs a serious punch! I think we’ll end up sharing responsibility for the flat finishes this year – if one of us is going well or the other is feeling the pinch on a particular day, we get along well enough to be honest with one another and execute a plan to achieve the best result for the team.
Q Do you think you could beat him in a two-up sprint?
We’re yet to test that theory – in terms of peak wattage, he has me covered (and then some)! He’s been flying lately, so if he comes back from his European trip in the same or better form, I’ll be on lead-out duties without a doubt.
Q What sort of races really suit you, hilly, kermesse style racing?
I’m not really sure. I’ve had some success on the track, and I love fast crits and road races that don’t finish in ski villages (unlike most of the team, conveniently). I’ve done the Warrny twice (2015 and 2017) and on both occasions felt fresher as the race went on, so I think I’ll try to specialise in longer classics-style races. I can’t wait to have a crack at some of the amateur kermesses in Belgium later this year and see how I go!
Q What do you think your potential is in this sport?
I have no idea yet! I’m hoping that I’ll be selected for Australia for the World University Cycling Championships this year. I’m hoping I can prove myself in the National Road Series this year and I’d love to one day have an opportunity to race full-time in Europe. Finishing my Bachelor degree is the first priority, though, so I’ll only start to think about it after this year.
Q Tell us something the rest of the team DON’Tknow about you?
I do a lot of indoor rock climbing when the weather turns sour. It’s awesome cross-training, improves upper-body strength and balance, and is great brain training. I’ve gotten up 26-rated climbs before and want to go higher this winter!