Cumbernauld’s Cameron Richardson has conquered the world by lifting gold at the world duathlon championships in Canada.
The 19-year-old former Our Lady’s High School pupil showed his rivals a clean pair of heels to take the junior men title in Penticton.
He completed the course - after a 5k run, 24k cycle and 2.5k run - in 58 minutes 47 seconds to finish 21 seconds clear of Mexican rival Jorge Andre Cabrera Silva with Dutch athlete Thomas Cremers a further five seconds back in third place.
And that was despite Cameron incurring a 10-second penalty for a ‘transition infringement’ between his cycle and second run.
He said: “Everything had to go into a box once you’ve used it, but when I threw my helmet it missed the box and I didn’t realise.
“My team manager and a few others were shouting at me when I was out on the course reminding me to take it. If I didn’t take it I would have got disqualified.”
In the end it all worked out for Cameron who headed for Canada targeting a podium place, but secretly hoping to strike gold.
He said: “I was hoping for a podium, but secretly to win it if I executed my race well and I did.
“I talked to a Belgian athlete and a Swiss athlete who are strong cyclists to see if they were willing to work on the bike, but after the first run I distanced both of them and decided I was best making my way on my own and start to put gaps into the weaker cyclists.
“They didn’t run fast enough so I just time trialled. I had to take the time penalty on the second run but had a comfortable lead so I didn’t have to push too hard.”
The triumph in Canada rounded off a breakthrough year for Cameron who now steps up an age group from junior elite to under-23 for the next four years.
He said: “I won the British champs and then had a kind of a rubbish race at the European champs and came 13th.
“I got a bit over-excited and didn’t use my head and ended up cramping up, so I wanted to make up for it at the world championships.
“Next year I plan on racing the French Grand Prix duathlon - it’s pretty big in France. You join a French team and they pay your flights, accommodation and travel and to pay you to go and race, depending on the contract you have.
“I also plan on trying to make a breakthrough within triathlon next season.”
Cameron is studying finance at Stirling University with the university’s sports background - its facilities include national swimming and tennis centres - a major factor in going there. And as for most sportsmen and women, finance and sponsorship is key.
He said: “I’d like to thank Synergy Cycles who provided me with the best equipment for the race and for their continued support.”