Of all the performances that wowed the crowds at the Avantidrome at this year’s Elite & U19 Track National Championships, few compare to that of Finn Fisher-Black; the now two-time record-breaking individual pursuit rider. We got to catch up with him after the championships.
Presently Finn Fisher-Black is over in Australia, Bundaberg to be precise, getting stuck into the track carnival goings on over there; barely enough time to sit back and reflect on what he managed to achieve last weekend. At the Avantidrome, the Home of Cycling, Fisher-Black broke the individual pursuit world record not once but twice. The first time – a staggering 3.08.815mins in qualifying – will sadly not officially be ratified by the record books with no anti-doping control or UCI officials present.
No matter, he then backed that ride up with a time of 3.09.710mins in the gold medal final; lowering the previous world record by a second. This time there was no questioning, no missing stats on the record books; he is officially the new world record holder in the U19 men’s individual pursuit. It’s an achievement that even now still takes Finn aback a little.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunken in yet, it all seems so unreal to me when I think about it I just wasn’t expecting to go anywhere near that time and the record has been such a big goal for me over the last couple years. Sometimes I think about it and I’ll just get the goosebumps knowing I can finally say I have the record,” Finn told RoadCycling.
Despite his pedigree as a junior track world champion already, Finn Fisher-Black revealed to us that leading up to Track Nationals it was only late in the piece that he realised that a shot at the world record might be on.
“It actually wasn’t until just three days prior to the IP at nationals when I really was like ‘woah I really could break this record at nationals’. I was down at the track for a Waikato training session where I did two half IP’s, sitting on 15.0 second laps, comfortably, which is a 3:08 pace. My Individual pursuit at Auckland champs just two weeks out from Nationals where I did a time of 3:13 flat was a good indicator of my form and I was more than happy with that ride, though as much as everyone was talking it up, I wasn’t sure that I was ready for the record yet.
Although the realisation of how possible a shot at the world record was, Finn Fisher-Black and coach Myron Simpson nevertheless had the planning in place to tackle the previous mark; but cometh the hour in the first ride Fisher-Black decided to push the boat out a little further than had been scheduled with coach Myron Simpson.
“I had planned out my qualifying ride the night before with Myron, we were going into the qualifying round with a schedule that would just scrape a world record, holding 15.3 and 15.4 second laps, though when it came to the actual race, I decided to bring down the times to 15.0 second laps as I began to feel quite comfortable just sitting at that pace, and managed to hold it right until the last lap where I just faded out to a 15.4 to finish. The schedule was very much the same in the second IP, only I knew it was going to be a lot harder on my legs after the morning’s ride,” Finn said.
Now that the goal of national championships are out of the way, attention now turns to what’s next, and for Finn it’s not a case of exclusively focusing on the boards from here; with the Waikato Bay of Plenty rider excited about the prospects lying on both road and track.
“From here I have Oceania Road championships where I want to prove myself on the road so that I can put myself up for selection to the road world championships in September, I also want to secure my selection in the track worlds squad and begin building towards the IP and TP at track worlds. The world record was going to be the main goal of the year and I was only targeting to do it at worlds so now that I have done it so early, it takes a bit of pressure off track worlds and I can hopefully focus a bit more on preparing for road worlds, doing a few Euro tours in the lead up to it, after staying on from track worlds,” Finn said.