It was another surprise win in a Scottish time trial championship as Sandy Wallace Cycles’, Steve Nutley took the honours in the ‘100’ on a wet day along the Cromarty Firth, last Sunday.

Steve Nutley.
Steve Nutley.

Congratulations, Steve – can you give us the basics first, please?

“I’m 55, live near Newport in Fife and I’m a software engineer.”

55?

“Yes, Norman Skene reckons that he was the oldest rider to win a Scottish time trial championship before me – he won the ’12’ when he was 48.”

What’s your background in the sport?

“I used to ride the mountain bike but started road racing in 2008 at 51.

“I rode the Fife mid week time trial league and have been concentrating on time trials for the last three years.”

You used to be with Fife Cycling 2000?

“Yes but the Fife Cycling guys tended not to race outside of Fife; I used to see the Sandy Wallace guys around at races and they have a good roster of guys.”

What was your ‘100’ personal best prior to the championship?

“That was the first one I finished, I did 3:54:33; I started one in 2009 – when Ian Black won – but packed at 33 miles because I was having problems with my back.”

Did you think you could win?

“I started with zero expectation but knew I had decent form after I won bronze in the ’50.’

“I was just hoping to finish, I had no time checks although I was conscious of people shouting to me – but with the rain drumming on my aero helmet and visor, I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

I knew I was going OK and with the way the course is designed you get a good impression of how you’re comparing against other riders at the turns.”

Steve tackles the hill climb championships. Photo©Martin Williamson

Did you ride the lo-pro bike and are you a big gear man?

“Yes and I am a big gear man, I was using 60 x 11 as much as I could.

“I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but it works for me.

“I know that it’s unconventional but I can relax when I’m top of it and then try to spin up the drags.”

What about nutrition?

“I took a gel every 20 minutes and used a ‘camel front’ – it hangs inside the skinsuit and you’re not really aware that it’s there.”

Did you like the course?

“Yes, some of the surfaces are getting a bit rough, but it’s the same everywhere.

“It was quiet to start with but there was a cruise liner docked at Invergordon and it just got busier and busier as the day went on – particularly the bus traffic.”

Is there are a ’12’ this year – and are you thinking about the BAR?

“I don’t think the ’12’ is being held, no – as for the BAR, I hadn’t thought about it until you just mentioned it!

“I have a reasonable 25 – 54:06 and a reasonable 50 – 1:52:01, which I did in the Championship, so it’s something to think about.”

Are you a ‘scientific’ trainer?

“The exact opposite!

“I ride my bike for an hour a day around a local circuit I have.

“I don’t have a coach – I just blast that loop.

“The only thing I’ve done different this year is a 30 minute ‘lactate session’ on the rollers each day; like riding a ’10’ – it’s supposed to increase your lactate tolerance and it seems to be working for me.”

Which are your favourite courses?

“I don’t travel much, I race mainly in Fife and travel to the Nationals – I don’t go over to Glasgow to chase the fast ’10’s’ for example.”

Which is your favourite distance?

“The ’50,’ definitely – you have time to think about what you’re doing and time to apply yourself.”

What’s your take on the Scottish TT scene?

“I love it, very friendly and there’s respect – there’s a bitterness about road racing sometimes.”

What about the fact that it’s all old guys doing the winning?

“I think time trialling it’s too hard for young guys, isn’t it?”

What goals do you have in the sport?

“Just to ride and enjoy it, I’ve only been doing it for a few years so I hope I’ll have a couple of years improvement before I get really old!”