‘Man in Black’ James McCallum – Rapha Condor Sharp was too strong for the rest in the second round of the Super Six at Rosneath on Sunday, showing the full field of 80 how it should be done when you’re a full time bike rider.
The former British criterium champion outsprinted Liam Cowie (Endura/Pedal Power Development Team) and Rob Wilkins to take the honours.
James took time to talk to VeloVeritas about his performance, on Sunday night.
Tell us a little about the race, James.
“It was a typical frustrating Scottish race; some elements of the field were riding in a very negative fashion — the ‘messing around’ should be at the finish, not the start.
“Evan Oliphant (Endura) and I tried to race early in the day but there were a lot of people happy to follow but not contribute — very negative.
“Four of us eventually got away — me, Liam, Rob and Dave Henderson the mountain biker – with a lap-and-a-bit to go; I actually punctured whilst in the break, at Rosneath, but managed to get back up and won the sprint.
“I think a lot of riders would get a shock if they went to race in England — it’s just so much more aggressive.
“The organisation was very good though, Janette did a great job; the strip was good and the NEG motorbike guys made sure it was a safe race.
“Janette even organised proper Rosneath weather — at one stage the hailstones were bouncing off me!”
What was race distance?
“It was supposed to be 65 miles but I think it was nearer 75 — that’s about right for Scotland.
“Its speed you need to ride road races — you don’t get dropped because you haven’t done enough miles, it’s because you’re not going fast enough!
“Anyone can plod round 100 miles; but that’s no good if you haven’t got the speed.”
Is your form where you want it to be?
“Aye, it’s pretty good, I rode the Tour of Taiwan but had a wee bit of sickness — the last stage finished with a 15 kilometre climb so that was pretty rough.
“But the team did well, we were unlucky not to win stages — we had a second, two thirds and a fourth.
“It was a hard race for the Europeans and Americans — the Asian guys are all flying.”
Are you full time with R apha Condor Sharp?
“Oh yes, when John Herety (Rapha manager) approached me, he made me a good offer.
“Sometimes I’ve heard folks says ‘this’ or ‘that’ about the Rapha team but I think a lot of it is jealousy; it’s a very well organised set up when you see it from the inside.
“I’m happy I’ve made the right move.”
Why Rapha Condor Sharp?
“I’m friendly with Deano Downing and he asked what I was doing for this year and was I thinking about a move?
“John Herety spoke to Kristian House and they made me an offer — it was all done and dusted before the winter.
“It actually helped my motivation a great deal — my enthusiasm to train was high despite the severity of the weather.”
And are you good at resting?
“Yes, I’m really good at ‘daen nuthin!’
“My wife, Pamela works from home so it means that once I’ve done my two hours or six hours or whatever we can spend time together.”
No renewal at Endura?
“No, I wasn’t offered and I wasn’t really happy there, anyway.
“I decided not to ride the Tour of Britain last year and went to Holland to train on the track for the Commonwealth Games, instead.
“When we were discussing that, I said that it looked like I was getting kept on – I wasn’t contradicted.
“I had a couple of offers from abroad — one from a Dutch team and one from the Palmans team in Belgium.
“But I didn’t think it was the best idea; just married then disappearing to the continent for six months!”
You rode that big money crit in Singapore.
“The OCBC Pro Criterium – first prize was 12 grand!
“The Italian Omar Bertazzo from Androni Giocatolli won but we were second with Dean Windsor (Australia) which meant we didn’t do too badly financially.
“It’s funny with Dean, we didn’t used to get on when we were on opposing teams but now we’ve bonded.”
What’s the programme now?
“Next weekend there’s nothing, then it’s the Rutland — East Midlands Classic — after that it’s Doon Hame and the Rás followed by the Tour crit series.
“We’re going to have a core squad of me, Dean Windsor and Deano Downing for the crits with other riders coming in as needed — but the three of us will ride them all.”
Being a Rapha man now, you’ll be expected to win at Smithfield?
“You would think that!
“It was Rapha who started that race off and organised the nocturnes, so yes, it would be good to win.
“Being part of Rapha is cool, there are always folks coming up to you — even in Singapore — striking up conversation and saying that they like Rapha.”
And will you going to be getting a ‘fixie’ bike and Paul Smith ‘man bag?’
“I’ve got my Paul Smith trainers and I’m building up a fixie!
“I get a good discount on Paul Smith; the team is very into how things look; sock length, whether arm and leg warmers should be worn over or under, no beards — and no black socks!”
‘No black socks’ — that’s a relief! With thanks to James for his time and wishing him a successful 2011, we’re sure we’ll have other reasons to chat to him as the season progresses.
1 James McCallum Rapha Condor Sharp
2 Liam Cowie Endura/PedalPower Development Team
3 Robin Wilkins Equipe Velo Ecosse / Montpellier
4 Dave Henderson GT Racing UK
5 Gordon Murdoch Team Cyclelane
6 Peter Murdoch Team Cyclelane
7 Stuart Macgregor Dooleys Racing Team
8 David Lines Endura Racing
9 Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers – DB Development
10 Gary Hand Endura/PedalPower Development Team
11 Robert Hassan Endura/PedalPower Development Team
12 Veli-Matti Raikkonen Granite City RT
13 Ross Creber Cycle Premier/Metaltek
14 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing
15 John McCarthy Thebicycleworks.com
16 Dougie Young Endura/PedalPower Development Team
17 Alistair Robinson Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
18 Richard McDonald Stirling Bike Club
19 Stuart McCluskey Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
20 Finlay Young Equipe Velo Ecosse / Montpellier
21 James Cusick Glasgow Couriers – DB Development
22 James McPake GJS Racing Team
23 Lewis Oliphant Equipe Velo Ecosse / Montpellier
24 Alister Watt Granite City RT
25 Andrew Davies Thebicycleworks.com
26 Jack Barrett Stirling Bike Club
27 Eddie Cowle Stirling Bike Club
28 Paul Newnham Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
29 Gary McCrae Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
30 Lindsay Gordon The Bicycle Works
31 Matthew Macdonald Thebicycleworks.com
32 Jordan Stokes Endura/PedalPower Development Team
33 Ian M Brown Deeside Thistle CC
34 David Lindsay Thebicycleworks.com
35 Scott McCrossan Endura/PedalPower Development Team
36 Philip Brown Equipe Velo Ecosse / Montpellier
37 Euan Pope Glasgow Couriers – DB Development
38 Grant Ferguson Boardman Elite
39 Alan Thomson Glasgow Couriers – DB Development
40 Keith Robertson Granite City RT
41 Franco Porco GJS Racing Team
42 Derek Walker East Kilbride RC
43 Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers CC
44 Keith Laird Glasgow Couriers – DB Development
46 Rich Semple East Kilbride RC
47 Craig Wallace Granite City RT
48 Andrew Brierley Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
1 Ewan McDougall Elgin cycling Club
2 Peter Hale Falkirk BC
3 Raymond Reidy Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
4 Christopher Walsh Unattached
5 Gary Cross Falkirk BC
6 Ross Green Stewartry Wheelers/Next LevelBikes
7 Brendan Roe Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
8 Geoffrey Martin Nevis Cycles RT
9 Alex Slaven Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
10 Ricky Sutherland Royal Albert CC
11 David Dalziel Glasgow Nightingale CC
12 Benjamin Peacock Johnstone Wheelers CC
13 Euan MacPherson Dunfermline CC
14 Michael Fong Unattached s
15 Malcolm Gibson Stirling Bike Club
16 Terence McMahon Glasgow Ivy CC
17 Brian Lafferty Edinburgh University Triathlon
18 Francis Hepburne Scott Edinburgh RC
19 Scott Lindsay i-cycles
20 Georges Avraam Edinburgh RC
21 Paul Nunn West Lothian Clarion
22 Brian McCardle East Kilbride RC
23 Jack Mclaren Falkirk BC
24 Steve Macluskie VC Glasgow South
25 Scott Hawkins Glasgow Couriers
26 Paul Ramsay Royal Albert CC
27 Patrick Galbraith Velo Ecosse
28 Dale McCallum thebicycleworks.com
29 Greig Brown Unattached
30 John Paterson Dumfries CC
31 Colin McLellan Velo Club Edinburgh
32 Bradley Carroll Deeside Thistle CC
33 Paul McSkimming dooleys-cycles.co.uk
34 Stephen Dickson Falkirk BC
35 Nick Tryon lomond roads cc
36 Jane Barr Velocity 44 Stirling
37 Scot Bullivant Rock and Road
38 Ayrton Pellet Edinburgh RCe
39 Gavin Mooney Velo Club Edinburgh
40 Matthew Ansell Velo Club Edinburgh
41 Bradley Stokes Pedal Power RT
42 Angus Gillies Thebicycleworks.com
43 Robert Kelly Ayr Roads / Harry Fairbairn CC
44 George Roberts VC Glasgow South
45 Alex McAllister Ayr Roads / Harry Fairbairn CC
46 David Monro Lomond Roads
47 Brian Hamilton Pedal Power RTe
48 Paul Gibson Ayr Roads / Harry Fairbairn CC
49 Katie Wylie Falkirk BC
50 Laura Murray velocity 44 Stirling
51 Darren Stewart Royal Albert CC
52 Simon Kirkness thebicyclesworks
53 Luke Johnstone Chryston Wheelers
54 Graeme Scott Edinburgh RC
55 John Farrell East Kilbride RC
56 David Thomson Johnstone Wheelers CC
57 Andy Douglas Pedal Power RT
58 Robin Millar Edinburgh RC 07:53
59 Simon Kenny West Lothian Clarion
60 Tony Reidy Team Leslie Bikshop – Right Move Windows
61 Scott McCallum Edinburgh RC
62 David Smith Royal Albert CC
63 Sandy Wallace Sandy Wallace Cycles
64 David Lang Glasgow Wheelers CC
65 Grant Johnstone Chryston Wheelers CC
66 Craig Marshall West Lothian Clarion
67 Keith Armstrong Glasgow Nightingale CC
68 Lettie Chambers Stirling Bike Club
69 Scott Ross Pedal Power RT
70 Paul McGhee Ayr Roads / Harry Fairbairn CC
71 Stuart McClymont Unattached
72 Hannah Ferguson WXC mountain bike team
73 Stuart Alexander Ythan CC