'If I'd been training I'd have turned around and gone home': the fickle fortunes of ultradistance record breaking

There's literally nowhere to hide, explains ultracyclist James MacDonald

James MacDonald on his indoor 100-mile attempt 2024
(Image credit: CTS Appsbroker)

After months of planning, preparation, five-hour interval rides in the freezing cold and nailing the nutrition to ultra-precise proportions, James MacDonald was ready to set a new indoor record for 100 miles. But as soon as he rolled out on to the Lee Valley Velodrome, he knew it wasn't going to happen. 

"I said to my wife straight afterwards, it was one of those days that if I was in training I would have turned around after 20 minutes and gone home," the Scot tells Cycling Weekly.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.