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With an age group hour record in hand, Ed Veal sets sights higher

Tokyo 2020 and a pro contract still ambitions for the 41-year-old

Ed Veal successfully capped off the Day of the Hour at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ont. on Sept. 23 setting a new age group hour record in the men’s 40 to 44 category. As the last rider of the eight Canadians who set out, Veal rode what he described as a near perfect 48.587 km.

“I’m not sure it could have gone any better. I rode a very conservative schedule that kept me in a good place below my threshold for the majority of the ride. It made things quite enjoyable,” Veal described out his ride which allowed him to focus on the little details. “During the effort I could communicate with [coach] Chantal Thompson track side very easily, smiling and giving the thumbs up as I went by. It was the definition of everything going to plan.”

In 2015, Veal first attempted the hour record inspired by Jens Voigt, the brand-new Milton velodrome and the Pan Am Games. While there was less specific training that time around, Veal wanted to give it a try and test himself to see how far he could go. He set a new Canadian record that year at 47.59 km.

“I really didn’t think too much of it. Records are made to be broken, I just thought it would neat to have held the record at one point in my career,” Veal said.

After that attempt, which failed to net him the 35 to 39 men’s age group having even gone further unofficially in training, Veal told himself that he’d give it another go one day. Despite the improvement of nearly a kilometre this time around, Veal continues to believe he has a better performance within him.

I will do it again but my hope is someone will break this record and it won’t be me just bettering my own mark,” he said.

At 41-years-old, Veal isn’t getting any younger but he certainly doesn’t see that as a disadvantage. “Right now, I would like to continue being the fastest I can be at any age, anywhere in the world. I don’t want to be an age grouper just yet or defined as the fast ‘old guy’ even though it is getting harder and harder for people to see it any other way,” Veal explained.

men's team pursuit squad: Veal, Jamieson, Caves, Lamoureux
Canada’s gold winning men’s team pursuit squad at the Apeldoorn World Cup.

As for future ambitions, he isn’t ruling out another crack at the hour record whether in his current age group or the 50 to 54 category which has a record that sits just above his own at 48.89 km.

“As long as I continue waking up hungry to train like a fool and continue learning as much as I can about the sport including strength training, recovery and nutrition I don’t see this progress slowing down anytime soon,” Veal said about the possibility of continued improvements.

“No matter what age I am, I’m still chasing my full potential,” he said. “This includes signing my first professional contract and being an Olympian in Tokyo 2020.”