A chilly, breezy but rapid Sunday morning on the roads alongside the Cromarty Firth saw Shetland’s Carlos Riise reclaim the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 title he last won in 2004, with a personal best 3-51-43.
This was Carlos’s eighth hundred title, the man who ended his run of seven straight wins and who took the title in 2005, Jonathan Copp (Deeside) was not riding, neither was last year’s champion and current record holder, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).
Whilst Atkinson’s 3-49-45 was safe, the 12-06-34 team record set by GS Modena in 1998 was blasted by the Sandy Wallace trio of Joe Wilson, second with 3-54-03; Ian Black, third in 3-56-38 and fast-improving Alan Dow, fourth in 3-56-41, dragging the record way-under the 12 hour barrier.
Asked about his trademark, ‘big finish’, ever-modest Carlos said; “it wasn’t planned, it just worked-out that way”. He’s told me that one before, but I’m not sure I believe it.
A car crash near Alness caused the start to be delayed by 30 minutes, but it there was a nip in the air and a stiff north westerly breeze blowing as the contenders kicked away from the start and down the incline to the wind-assisted first leg along the shore of the Cromarty Firth on the B817; after joining the A9 at Kildary the route continued east to the Nigg roundabout, where it turned and headed west into the wind until the roundabout at the end of the Cromarty Firth Bridge where it turned and retraced the route back to dead-turn at 50 miles, just short of the start.
The medicine was then repeated to give the full 100 mile dose. At Alness on the first westward leg on the A9, it was Ian Black setting the: pace, powering up the long drags which characterise this part of the course, Carlos was a minute back and obviously already thinking about the brutal final leg along the gnarly surfaced B817.
On the wind-assisted return leg the pattern remained the same, with Ian opening the gap as he levered the ‘big ones’ round. At 50 miles the race pattern had changed as Joe Wilson took over from his team mate as pace setter. The first rider we put the watch-on at this point was Arthur Doyle (Ivy), he took the turn well, revving a small gear up the rise, neatly round the turn and soon back up the gear box.
Ian Black was the picture of determination, 3-16 up on Arthur;: “You won’t get round in front of that car!”: advised the marshal, but Ian had no time to stop as he hand-braked the Orbea round the turn.
Joe Wilson was next and he had 13 seconds on his team mate, with the turn taken very neatly. Alan Dow was a minute down on Joe, as he eased out of that saddle-nose ‘tri’ position to take the turn.
Carlos was 46 seconds down on Joe as he gave us a little bit of that foot-down cycle speedway stuff to get round the turn — I saw Cancellara do the same at the Tour.
Last of the big-hitters was Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) who was around half a minute down on Joe, but up on Carlos.
Up on the A9 at Tomich west-bound, it was ‘all-change’ as Carlos flowed smoothly past into the wind — fastest.
Joe looked good too, pedalling at a good cadence and looking comfortable.
Ian was giving it ‘slo-mo’ on the mega-gear, but it was going round.
East-bound at Tomich, Carlos was making full use of his 57 x 11 and there was now no doubt about where the gold was going, Joe was on top of it and Ian too was making hay while the tail wind blew.
Down on the B917, into the teeth of the wind with a couple of miles to go, Ian had caught Arthur whilst Joe bore down on both of them, meanwhile Alan Dow had hauled Ian back to just three seconds at the line.
What They Said
It was Carlos Riis’ day however, and we had a word after the finish;
“That last leg was a killer, into the wind and with your tyres at racing pressure it’s very bumpy. I didn’t plan to a strong finish it just worked-out that way; I don’t ride on power or heartbeat any more, just ‘feel’.
“I was pedalling a bit more than usual on the head wind sections but using the 11 with the tail wind.
“I’m looking forward to the 12 now, I’ll be very disappointed if it’s cancelled through lack of entries; I’ve heard that’s a possibility.”
The Sandy Wallace trio took the next three places, but was Joe Wilson happy?
“I suppose so, but I think we were all fortunate that the wind died for the second lap. Next it’s the 12 — if it’s on. I don’t know what the team record is, but it’ll be nice if we got it.”
Jim Cusick was fifth in 3-58-42: a thousand touring miles around Northern Scotland with Barry McGurk will have helped the form, but not the: antibiotics he’s been taking for a bad chest cold.
And has he entered the 12?
“No, I’ve ridden my last 12; they shorten your life expectancy!”
Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 – Result
Carlos Riise Shetland Wheelers V 3:51:43 Gold
Joe Wilson Sandy Wallace Cycles S 3:54:03 Silver
Ian Black Sandy Wallace Cycles V 3:56:38 Bronze
Alan Dow Sandy Wallace Cycles S 3:56:41
James Cusick Glasgow Cour Bennet V 3:58:43
Arthur Doyle Ivy CC S 4:02:01
Robert McLean Angus Bike Chain V 4:03:24
Stephen Blom Glasgow Cour Bennet S 4:05:11
Steve Beech Sandy Wallace Cycles V 4:10:45 2nd Vet on Standard
David Millar Glasgow Cour Bennet V 4:10:51 1st Vet on Standard
James Hall Sandy Wallace Cycles S 4:13:31
Paul Black Edinburgh RC / Bicycle Works S 4:17:58
John Sturgeon Classic Walls V 4:20:05
Keith Smith Caithness CC S 4:21:26 1st North of Scotland
Graham Jones Edinburgh RC / Bicycle Works V 4:25:44
Jessica Wilson-Young Edinburgh RC / Bicycle Works F 4:27:53 Gold
David Murphy Glasgow Nightingale V 4:32:59
Bill Donald Moray Firth CC V 4:36:19 2nd North of Scotland
Andy Duncan Ythan CC S 4:38:10
Colin Sim Deeside Thistle V 4:40:53
Kevin Lackie Forres CC V 4:43:23 3rd North of Scotland
Neil Fraser Forres CC S 4:43:43
Fiona Duncan Ythan CC F 4:45:12 Silver
Alasdair Washington Caithness CC V 4:46:11 3rd Vet on Standard
Ian Sinclair Deeside Thistle V 4:48:57
Hamish Aitchison Forres CC V 4:49:42
Peter Clark Deeside Thistle V 4:57:23
Al Sutton Elgin CC V 4:57:23
Ivan Laughton Tri Changing Gear V 4:59:42
Hector Nicolson Moray Firth CC V 5:06:09
Ross Clark Deeside Thistle S 5:07:46
David Stuart Cromarty Firth CC S 5:13:22
George Grant Forres CC V 5:17:05
Peter McLean Elgin CC V 5:17:21
Freddie Toms Elgin CC V 5:21:57
Keith Eagleson Ross-shire Rds CC V 5:22:39
Ian Anderson Dundee Wheelers V DNF
Graeme Walsh Sandy Wallace Cycles V DNF
John Allan Tri Changing Gear V DNF
Kevin Moir Ross-shire Rds CC S DNF
Ken Ross Cromarty Firth CC V DNS
Ian Condie Dunfermline CC V DNS
Norman Skene Granite City RT V DNS
Michael Devlin St Christopher’s CC V DNS
Ken Thomson Dunfermline CC V DNS
Paul Tiggerdine Glasgow Cour Bennet V DNS
Vince Maclennan Clach CC S DNS
Christine McLean Shetland Wheelers FV DNS
Mark Atkinson Sandy Wallace Cycles S DNS