He’s been winning major global titles for fifteen years so there’s not too much, in a sporting sense, that Neil Fachie hasn’t experienced.

Which is why this week’s Para-Cycling Track World Championships are going to be quite so unique for the Scot. 

Fachie is in Rio de Janeiro, spearheading a 29-strong GB team, and is being confronted with two brand new experiences.

Firstly, the Aberdeenshire man is defending three world titles over the next few days. And secondly, for the first time ever, all going to plan, he will be competing alongside his wife, Lora.

The Fachies have long been teammates but never before have the married couple had to directly depend on each other for silverware.

This week, however, the pair will race likely together in the Tandem B team sprint and with their 1-year-old son, Fraser, also heading over to Brazil, it’s shaping up to be a real family affair.

“Lora and I riding together will be a first - I don’t know if it’ll be good fun or if it’ll be terrible, we’ll have to see. It'll be a great new challenge, though” says Fachie, who won team sprint gold alongside Elizabeth Jordan last year as his wife regained fitness after giving birth.

“It’ll be great to have Fraser there too – Lora’s parents are here to help us out because obviously, there’ll be times when we’re both on the track. He’s got zero concept of what’s going on and he just wants to run around the velodrome. But hopefully, when he looks back in a few years, he’ll be pleased that he was there, especially if we do well.”

Defending three titles – Fachie is also reigning gold medallist in the tandem B kilo and tandem B sprint – comes with significant pressure, something the Scot, who is visually impaired, is well aware of, particularly considering he and his pilot, Matt Rotherham, have had less than ideal preparation for this World Championships.

“The build-up to these Worlds has been a bit of a struggle. In December, I picked up a bug and as a pairing, we were behind where we’d want to be. So, at the start of this year, we were really chasing our tail,” says Fachie, who already has 19 world titles to his name.

“But in the last week or two, we started to see our form coming through. It happened at just the right time so I’m feeling much better about things.

“Of course, there’s that sense of wondering if you’ve done enough, which you feel before every major champs, but we’re in a good place now so I’m feeling optimistic and we just need to keep the faith it’ll come good on the day.”

The Herald: Neil Fachie (l) in actionNeil Fachie (l) in action

While Fachie is, he admits, gunning to add more gold medals to his cabinet this week, his primary focus of the year is, unsurprisingly, the Paralympics in Paris, which begin in less than six months.

Fachie already has two Paralympic titles to his name and, having turned 40 just a few days ago, he’s cognisant that he may not have many Paralympic appearances left in him.

And while his motivation comes in a very different form than it did ten or fifteen years ago, there is, however, no sign of a retirement plan and he admits that, while he’s still winning major titles, it’s hard to imagine hanging up the helmet quite yet.

“The motivation is still there but I’ll be honest, it’s very different now. At the start of my career, I was trying to prove myself whereas now, what do I need to prove?,” he says.

“One thing I’ve not done yet, though, is successfully defend a Paralympic title so I’d love to do that. And I’ve not been to a Paralympics with a child either and it’s a cliché but Fraser’s my motivation. 

“The longer you do sport at thus level, the harder it is to motivate yourself but I am still enjoying it.

“This week, my priority is the 1km time trial – if I want to be in Paris, I need to perform well in that. 

“There’s the big picture though and so while the next few days are important, the big thing is we want to show that we’re on track for Paris.”

Also in the GB team this week is Fin Graham from Strathpeffer, who will defend his C3 individual pursuit title while Stirling's Jenny Holl will pilot Sophie Unwin.