Canadian Cam MacKinnon finished in the 12th place in the men’s keirin standings on Saturday at a track cycling World Cup competition in Los Angeles. It was MacKinnon’s keirin debut at the World Cup level. He participated in the Kilometer TT and Team Sprint World Cup competition in 2006 in Bordeaux, France, and also won the Pan American Champion in the Kilometer TT that same year.
MacKinnon was fifth in his first qualifying heat. Only the winners in each heat advanced forcing MacKinnon to a repechage heat which he dominated and advanced to the semi-final or second round. In the second round, MacKinnon needed a top-three finish in his heat to qualify for the final round. He took fifth spot for 12th overall.
MacKinnon has been racing track for seven years. He feels that he’s “had the most success at keirin, but starting to like sprinting a little bit better, match sprints.”
About the race
“I’m fairly satisfied especially how I rode in the morning, getting through to the semi-finals.” said MacKinnon about his results. “Once I hit the semis, I just didn’t feel right, I didn’t feel comfortable. I’m happy with it, I learned a lot of different things that I could improve for sure.”
He learnt that he “definitely needs to work on positioning and making sure to react quicker to different moves in the race” because waiting too long, even “a split second late and that’s completely over at this level.”
There is “lots of pushing, that’s legal. You have to do whatever you can to get positioning.” explained MacKinnon about the strategy in the Keirin. “The other half of the strategy is pure speed and being able to hang on. Positioning is important because even if you’re the fastest guy, if you’re starting your run at 10 meters back you have no chance the race is over.”
About the plans for the rest of the year and his frustration with the CCA
MacKinnon is unsure about future competitions for the rest of the year as it is up to the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). And according to MacKinnon, “they haven’t been too good to us this year so we’ll see what happens. I’ll have to speak to them. It’s likely that this was my last race of the season. I have no idea, really no idea what to expect. I’ve been expecting that. I’ve been dealing with them all year, and it really hasn’t improved at all despite many promises.”
“I want them to establish a program and they don’t have to go nuts and provide everything right away but they need to start somewhere and they’re not at all.” said MacKinnon when asked what he wants the CCA to do. “They should have started four years ago, the process to get started for Beijing, and I’d say it was at its peak four years ago, and it’s only gotten worse every year which doesn’t make any sense. It’s how they are managing their budget, I’m not really sure, but it’s unacceptable, they need to find corporate sponsors, they need to go and work for it and not just say ‘we don’t have it so we can’t do anything’.”
A frustrated MacKinnon explained that he had to pay his way to get to the World Cup in Los Angeles, “I had to pay my whole way to get here along with pretty much the rest of the team. And we’ve had some good result…world cup medalist are paying their own way to come here. Every other rider is being paid to be here, so it’s kind of a big difference. A lot needs to be done.”
Cam MacKinnon placed 22nd in the men’s sprint qualifying and did not advance. He did post a personal best 10.616 seconds.