When I interviewed Gary Niewand for the last RIDE magazine, a lot of the interview didn't make the cut because it didn't relate but it would have made for a much more entertaining read. Here's is just a snippet.
Gary won the International Keirin Series a record three times through the 90's. He has the best record for a Gaijin and also set some of the lap records at some venues. To summise, Gary was a freak on wheels.
He raced mainly on a 92" which by modern standards is a tiny gear. In Keirin school, which every year the International must attend, Gary did poorly. The first year they were very concerned, he wasn't the best student. He never won a race, sometimes not finishing. He didn't warm up, change gears, and ditched the armour as he couldn't get comfortable with it on. He did follow the japanese approach off the bike. Cigarettes and sake.
Gary said the first year he took the same approach he took to track carnivals. No warm up, little training, just white line fever. As Fiedler, Rouseau took their usual fastidious approach to race preparation, Gary would put his bike on the motorised rollers to make sure it had 'warmed up'.
In Keirin, prior to the race, riders must nominate ther gear and tactic. Gary chose OIKOMI almost religiously. It was the attack from 150m from the finish. When that line came up, he would 'give it a squirt', just enough required to pass everyone.
First race. Win
Second race. Win
The kierin sensei's applauded Gary. He was a true pro. No point in winning if their is nothing at stake.Thanks Barry for the scoop