Last weekend saw Endura’s Davie Lines realise one of his big goals in the sport in winning the Scottish Criterium Championships.
We had a word with ‘Falkirk’s Flying Fireman’ (sorry), here’s what he had to say.
Congratulations, Davie — a big goal?
“Absolutely, for four or five years since I moved across from mountain biking it’s a race I’ve wanted to win.”
Do you change your training for the race?
“I knock off the long runs — the three/three-and-a-half hour stuff – and do a maximum of 90 minutes with big gear intervals, motor pacing and the chain gangs.”
Was it a good event?
“It was a brilliant set up, barriers, stands, a good crowd with a fast, flowing course — hats off to the organisers.”
Give us the race story.
“Robbie Hassan and I were the protected riders for the race — we knew that James
McCallum (Rapha Condor Sharp) was the favourite and we had to neutralise him.
“In the first 15/20 laps we were just trying not to miss any moves — and those which we did, Gary Hand put in huge spells to bring back.
“As the race went on there were a few crashes and we lost a couple of riders in those, but in the second half of the race I could see that guys were tiring and gaps were opening.
“As the finish approached James and Michael Nicholson (Dooleys) were the guys to watch — the split came with maybe 10 laps to go.
“There were 10 or 12 of us away and Ross Creber (Metaltek) jumped with four to go, he held out ‘til the last lap — I waited and hoped that James would chase, which he did, along with Michael.
“I went for it from the bottom corner with about 300 to go, maybe a bit early — especially since it was up a drag – but it narrowed down so there was a ‘funnel’ effect and I knew if I was at the front there wasn’t a lot of room for riders to pass.
“I had the momentum and I had the right gear so I held it to win from Michael and James.”
You work full time as a fireman, how do you fit in training?
“I live in Falkirk but work in Edinburgh and cycle to and from work; so there’s three hours each day — and it saves me a tenner a day in fuel!
“I work shifts, two day, two nights and then four days off; so I really prefer crits and cyclo cross because there’s not so much recovery required.
“If you do a five hour run on Saturday and Sunday it’s very hard to recover if you’re going out on two day shifts after it.”
Last year you were on the Endura Continental team; do miss the ‘glitz?’
“It’s just a pity I’m ten years too old!
“I’ve been involved with Endura since I started on the road — the original pedal Power team.
“Endura have been brilliant, they’ve put a lot of money into the sport and have been great at supporting the young guys.
“The travelling with the Cointinental team was stressful, but it was great arriving at big races on the continent with the team buses, the sunshine and the kids asking for your autograph — yes, I do miss it.”
And you rode the Commonwealth Games?
“At the start, David Millar said that the only way he could win was if he got into a
small group at the end — I did my job for him and things were going fine, but on lap eight a plastic bag blew into my rear mech and that was that.
“On the track the scratch didn’t go well, James McCallum and I didn’t qualify for the final.
“For the points we decided that whoever got the points early would get the support of the other two — Evan Oliphant got in the move and James and I did a lot of work for him.
“That didn’t please the commissars because it’s meant to be an individual race — but never mind!
“It was a great experience, something I’ve aimed at all my life.”
“There’s the Premier at Richmond where we’ll be working for Robbie Hassan — he has good form just now.
“The level of the Premiers is good, but to make it you have to abroad — that’s the whole point of the team, to bring the young riders on.
“All of our young riders have moved up categories, this year.
“I’ll be riding the cyclo-cross season, races in Scotland and England; I rode the British national champs last year.
“At my age, if you stop racing over the winter it’s maybe too much of a thought to start again!
“I like the ‘crosses, they keep my motivation going and there are a lot of folks there that I know from my mountain bike days.
“The fields are big, but some of the guys aren’t too serious and the atmosphere is good.”
“I want to have a right good crack at the British crit champs, I was 9th in 2010 but last year was a wash out.
“Guys took laps out for a crash and as they filtered back in to the string they got in the way and I couldn’t get back up to the front — it was impossible on that circuit.
“I also want to have a right go at the track; I’d like to make the track team for the Games in 2014 — I think that when the Glasgow track opens it will make a huge difference to the scene.
“Racing at Meadowbank is fine but it gets rained off so much — I think Glasgow will see a big increase in the number of folks riding the track.
“It’ll be great — in the winter I’ll be able to race ‘cross and the track league!”
You can’t fault the man’s enthusiasm! (And if someone reminds me, I’ll try to get me self to the X champs this year).