On a cold Sunday morning of stinging squalls, along the dual carriageway south of Laurencekirk, Dooley’s Arthur Doyle successfully defended his Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships crown in 20:41 from Endura’s Evan Oliphant with 20:59 and surprise Rob Wilkins in 21:02.

Arthur Doyle
Dooley’s Arthur Doyle.

Once I discovered Tay FM’s ‘Classics Sunday morning’ the trip up became less of a pain; The Proclaimers, Kraftwerk — can’t be bad.

I’ll get the moans over first; I emailed yesterday to ask for a start sheet — no reply [turns out my mail had been trapped as SPAM]; I asked the gentleman at the sign on if he had a spare one — negatory; the start sheets that the turn marshals had weren’t the same as the one the race was actually run with and neither is the one I just checked on Braveheart.

It’s not a great state of affairs for a national championship; OK, I’m back in my box.

Arthur Doyle
Where it is.
Arthur Doyle
The essence of time trialling.
Arthur Doyle
Go left, young man.

If it wasn’t for the low cloud hanging on the foothills to the north, the stinging rain and freezing wind, it could have been an Essex drag strip — gently rolling and winding south west to a fly-over turn then retrace.

Arthur Doyle
Not the day out that was anticipated.

Albeit the gravel at the turn would have been brushed away at an English test — number 79 certainly wishes they’d swept it.

Arthur Doyle
Evan makes his start.

I managed to catch a quick snap of Evan as he launched, then headed to the turn to take pictures, cobble a report together and hopefully get some time checks.

The wind was nippy and there were cold showers blowing through; on the flyover it looked and felt as if it was classic ‘headwind out and tailwind back’ stuff, but the riders would say after the race that it wasn’t really like that, more like cross wind all the way round.

Arthur Doyle
Evan is neat and tidy at the turn.

Evan’s job of getting round the turn was what you’d expect of a man who’s ridden and been well placed in two criteriums this week; high revs, fast and neat.

Although he would tell me later that if he’d had a practice run around the turn he could have taken it quicker — his style was in marked contrast to the pure testers who ground round at low revs losing time by the bucket load.

Arthur Doyle
Norman Skene.

Norman Skene was a case in point, not only was he on a ‘big one’ it was a fixed gear — it looked painful as he fought the wind up over the flyover.

Arthur Doyle
Rob Wilkins.
Arthur Doyle
Here comes the rain again.

Number 65 was Rob Wilkins — some had him tipped for a medal but he was a handful of seconds down on Evan — maybe if he hadn’t given me that wave . . .

At this point I had to retire to the filling station to buy tissues to dry the camera and scrounge a plastic carrier bag to keep the rain off it.

Arthur Doyle
Barry McGurk.

Barry McGurk (Couriers) looked neat around the turn but wasn’t going to trouble Evan.

Arthur Doyle
Jeremy Greengrass.

Jeremy Greengrass (Vortex), usually a man for the big gears had gone fixed for the day and looked better than most that made that choice.

Arthur Doyle
Sandy Wallace.

Sandy Wallace was also on the single cog — presumably due of his British Masters track pursuit ambitions but was finding it a handful on that flyover.

Grinding the big fixed into the wind deadens the muscles — and then it’s hard to get the leg speed with the tail wind.

Arthur Doyle
Chris Smart.

Courier’s Chris Smart was going well but not troubling Evan’s time — he was riding true and straight into the wind, unlike some, zigzagging across the tar catching more of the wind.

Arthur Doyle
Dooley’s riders are like buses…
Arthur Doyle
…you wait ages for one…
Arthur Doyle
…and then four come along…
Arthur Doyle
…all at once.

Then it was the ‘Dooleys’ mid week ten;’ I think there were five of the Glasgow men, one after another — that seeding can’t be right?

The rain wasn’t playing at it now, the temperature had dropped and the wind was rising — grim!

Arthur Doyle
Silas Goldsworthy.

Into the seeds and Sandy Wallace’s Silas Goldsworthy was on top of the job, smooth and controlled but well down on Evan.

Arthur Doyle
Carlos Riise.

All the way from Shetland, Carlos Riise — Jim Cusick reckons that the Islander’s chain ring is a converted satellite dish.

Whatever it was he was getting it round; low revs granted but you could see his progress across the tar was rapid — until he hit the flyover where he was another to lose a shed load of time crossing the carriageway.

Arthur Doyle
Jim Cusick.

Jim Cusick was his usual consistent self, 21:18 for sixth.

No one had beaten Evan’s time to the turn, but the rising tail wind would give any rider who was close to it a big advantage.

Arthur Doyle
Peter Ettles.

Peter Ettles is a fixed man but was paying the price for that choice, almost stalling on the bends as the gusts caught him — despite his obvious power.

Arthur Doyle
Arthur Doyle leads all the way.
Arthur Doyle
Determined and strong, Arthur looked every inch the winner.
Arthur Doyle
Arthur is able to shove a large gear.

Arthur — tall, slim, strong, jaw jutting, perched on the tip of the saddle, not losing too much time on the technical section and just a little down on Evan’s turn time.

I managed to catch him on the way in and the power pumping from him was apparent — I thought it might be tight between him and Evan; but Arthur had the watts over those last five miles to open the gap.

It was time to get the words of wisdom.

Rob

“I’m pretty happy, I guess it was the best I could hope for — but it would have been nice to get those three seconds on Evan.

“I’ve not really changed my training from my usual road race work — but Gregor gave me a proper time trial bike and that’s made a big difference.

“I’m looking forward to the 25 champs, I rode the Fife course in April, just to familiarise myself with it; I did 56:03 but that was on my road bike.

“I did a 55:19 in the Couriers 25 mid-week so I’m looking forward to the champs and – getting closer to Arthur!”

Evan

“It’s my first time on the time trial bike since the Commonwealth Games in Delhi; after a bit you start moving around, trying to get comfortable on it because you’re not used to it.

“I wasn’t expecting to ride those crits in the week or I wouldn’t have entered for this — on Thursday we were in Aberystwyth after Durham on Tuesday; we spent three days sitting in the team van.

“I should have checked out the turn, I’d have saved a lot of time there but it was horrible wet and windy yesterday, so I didn’t bother.”

I explained to Evan that my time trial hero, Alf Engers would always check out the course, the day before the race — even if it meant just riding a dead turn.

But I could see Evan’s eyes glazing over with boredom…

Arthur

“It’s not been the best week for me; I’ve had a bad cold and had to have a minor operation on my finger — the stitches opened up in the race.

“I didn’t check the turn out, I wish I had, there was gravel and oil on the road.

“I thought it was going to be a head wind out and tail wind back but it was more like cross wind all the way.

“I rode a 56 x 12 — 25 but was only in the 12 once.”

I asked if riding the road race champs last week was the best prep for the ten?

“I enjoy racing, I find that if I try to taper and peak, it doesn’t work for me, I’m better if I keep racing.

“My next target is the 25 in a fortnight — I’m not sure about the 50 though, I may have to attend a conference.”

Good news for the ’50’ competitors, then?

Arthur Doyle
Arthur chats to Jim Cusick and Pete Ettles.

And as we set off to drive home, the sun came out.

See you at the 25?

Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships – Result

1 131 Arthur Doyle Dooley’s S 0:20:41 1st Team
2 50 Evan Oliphant Endura S 0:20:59
3 65 Robin Wilkins Velo Ecosse S 0:21:02
4 127 Carlos Riise Shet. W V 0:21:09
5 105 Richard Hunter Perth Utd. V 0:21:17
6 125 James Cusick Glas. Cour. V 0:21:18
7 117 Iain Grant Dooley’s V 0:21:20 : 1st Team
8 70 Gary Robson Gala CC V 0:21:25
9 85 Alan Thomson Glas. Cour. S 0:21:25
10 90 Steve Nutley SWC V 0:21:27
11 110 Chris Smart Glas. Cour. S 0:21:30
12 123 Silas Goldworthy SWC S 0:21:33
13 119 Benjamin Peacock Johnstone S 0:21:36
14 75 Robert Carson FC2000 V 0:21:38
15 99 Stephen Davidson Perth Utd. V 0:21:42
16 129 Peter Ettles SWC V 0:21:44
17 113 Thomas Gordon Dooley’s V 0:21:45 : 1st Team
18 80 Barry McGurk Glas. Cour. S 0:21:49
19 55 Graeme Cockburn Glas. Wls. V 0:21:51
20 104 Jeremy Greengrass Vortex V 0:22:01
21 111 David Gibson Dooley’s V 0:22:03
22 60 Steve Macintosh GCRT V 0:22:09
23 69 Steve Cairns Perth UCC S 0:22:10
24 63 Bob Brown GCRT S 0:22:15
25 95 Grant Smith DCC V 0:22:17
26 54 Graeme Hay Stirling V 0:22:18
27 84 James Mcloughlin Forres CC V 0:22:18
28 78 Colin Smith Shet. W V 0:22:26
29 108 Andrew Underwood Glas. W S 0:22:27
30 103 Paul Rodden MFCC S 0:22:30
31 87 Kenny Darling Kelso W V 0:22:32
32 73 David Walker Kelso V 0:22:35
33 64 Ian King Velocity44 V 0:22:40
34 121 Brendan McCabe AWCC V 0:22:41
35 49 Sean Monaghan GCRT V 0:22:43
36 115 Sean Gray Dooley’s V 0:22:47
37 40 Ian Humphreys SWC V 0:22:48
38 68 Graham Barclay Leslie V 0:22:49
39 59 Norman Skene GCRT V 0:22:50
40 88 Andy Cowie MFCC V 0:22:54
41 77 Mike Spalding DTCC V 0:23:00
42 21 Jessica Wilson-Young ERC F 0:23:03
43 25 Rory Downie Stirling U S 0:23:03
44 98 John Paterson Dumfries S 0:23:06
45 74 Paul Friel Glas. Cour V 0:23:09
46 23 Mari Todd SWC F 0:23:10 0:21:25
47 44 Nick Tryon Lomond V 0:23:16
48 82 Malcolm Nash Perth Utd. V 0:23:20
49 39 Kevin Lackie Elgin CC V 0:23:22
50 83 Kenny Philpot Elgin CC V 0:23:27
51 89 Peter Collins Icarus S 0:23:27 0:21:48
52 34 Dick Gordon Lomond V 0:23:29
53 15 Sian Tovey Dooley’s F 0:23:38
54 92 Andy Duncan Ythan CC S 0:23:39
55 109 Jeremy Smith Kelso 0:23:41
56 94 David Anderson GNCC V 0:23:43
57 38 Douglas Kirkham MRCC V 0:23:45
58 43 David Robinson N Argyll V 0:23:45
59 10 Shelly Farrar DTCC FV 0:23:47
60 42 Simon Munro DTCC V 0:23:50
61 97 John Anderson Glas. Cou V 0:23:55
62 81 Ian Wilson DTCC V 0:23:57
63 102 Alan Solway Ken. RC V 0:23:58
64 66 Mark Higgins GCRT V 0:24:00
65 58 Derek Stewart DTCC V 0:24:09
66 45 Steve Beech SWC V 0:24:10
67 48 David Pritchard KRC V 0:24:13
68 86 Hector Nicolson MFCC V 0:24:20
69 19 Christine McLean Shet. W FV 0:24:22
70 32 Neil Anderson DTCC V 0:24:25
71 67 Stuart Easton SBC V 0:24:27
72 57 Kevan Sturgeon Elgin CC V 0:24:28
73 62 Tom Bishop DCC V 0:24:29
74 46 Callum Findlayson Forres CC S 0:24:31
75 106 Colin Sim AWCC V 0:24:32
76 17 Kelly Van Der Toorn Dooley’s F 0:24:35
77 107 Sandy Wallace SWC V 0:24:38
78 72 Paul Anderson MRCC V 0:24:40
79 76 Andy Laing MRCC V 0:24:40
80 51 Peter Robertson Forres CC V 0:24:49
81 37 Ian Grant DTCC S 0:24:59
82 56 Gordon Smith DTCC V 0:24:59
83 47 Iain Watson AWCC S 0:25:13
84 91 Craig Cameron AWCC V 0:25:19
85 53 Bob Taylor Dooly’s V 0:25:38
86 61 Stephen Walton DTCC V 0:25:42
87 11 Laura Nicolson MFCC F 0:25:45
88 8 Jenni Nicholson SWC FV 0:25:49
89 30 David Lines Endura S 0:24:07 (Late Start 1:12 penalty)
90 35 Aaron Wright PPRT S 0:26:16
91 27 Colin Allanach Ythan CC V 0:26:20
92 31 Stephen Brown DTCC YM 0:26:23
93 101 Alistair Speed Fife CRC V 0:26:57
94 41 George Grant Forres CC V 0:27:05
95 28 Ross Clark DTCC S 0:27:17 0:23:44
96 26 Andrew Brown DTCC YM 0:27:53
97 3 Laura Gunn Forres CC JF 0:28:11
98 71 John Hunter Ythan CC S 0:28:33
99 9 Carol Middleton Ythan CC FV 0:28:35
100 7 Chantel Clark SWC F 0:29:00
101 12 Fiona Walker WCC F 0:30:37
102 24 Paul Winter Ythan CC V 0:31:35 0:25:19
103 6 Emma Findlayson Forres CC YF 0:32:55
104 96 Gavin Laffoley Fife CRC YM 0:33:59
105 2 Yvonne Winter Ythan CC FV 0:34:49

79 Graham Jones Edin. RC V DNF
1 Cathy Wyse DTCC F DNS
5 Claire Macaulay SWC F DNS
13 Gemma Neill SWC F DNS
29 Matt Powell Forres CC S DNS
36 Stewart Mitchell DTCC V DNS
52 Alastdair McGill DTCC V DNS
100 Mark Atkinson SWC S DNS