‘Unfinished business’ is how Iain Grant (Dooleys) viewed the 2013 Scottish 100 mile championship; and it has to be said that he ‘did the business’ on the day to win in 3:54:05 giving him a yawning nine minute margin over team mate Gavin Shirley [4:03:02] and Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) [4:03:26].
Here’s what he had to tell VeloVeritas about his completing his hat trick of 2013 Scottish time trial titles.
Congratulations, Iain – nine minutes is a big gap.
“Yeah, it’s great to finish the job after last year when I was DNF.
“The forecast was for rain on the second lap but the sun was splitting the sky even if it was windy – it’s been a great summer for racing, weather-wise.
“And the event was really well organised. As for the wind, it was a head wind south towards Inverness then a tail wind back north past Alness but a head wind on the minor road south, again – you were either working hard or flying.
“And everyone suffered in those final 15 to 20 miles.”
Dooleys with four in the first five?
“It was a brilliant result for the team with Gavin Shirley second, Thomas Gordon fourth and Nick Tryon fifth.
“It was all very relaxed, we had a good laugh before the start – the team spirit was great.
“And Nick brought a friend to help with the feeding which was a real help.”
Did you ride on watts?
“This year I’ve found that my top end is the same as last year but I’m able to sustain higher wattages for longer.
“I targeted 310 watts and was bang on that at 70 miles but the last 20 miles I was just hanging on – and the stop watch seemed to be going twice as fast!
“I was delighted with my time – if I could have held my power then it would have been a very fast ride but who knows . . .
“To win it rounded off the season nicely – 25, 50 and 100.”
What about nutrition?
“Herbalife do a carbohydrate drink with protein and electrolytes which works really well for me.
“I had a bottle before the start then one every 25 miles – it’s still a learning curve for me, nutrition over that distance.”
Were you on the low-pro machine?
“I thought about using the aero road bike but rode the TT bike with absolutely no hassle.
“I felt comfortable in the saddle but must confess I felt every bump in the road over those last 20 tough miles – TT bikes are pretty unforgiving that way.
How did you feel on Monday?
“Fine, but I was tired on Tuesday – Monday was an easy day whilst Tuesday was active recovery.”
Would you ride another 100?
“Definitely – even though when I crossed the line it was like a scene from a war movie with bodies lying around everywhere.
“But when you’ve cleaned yourself up and chatted to your team mates then you think about maybe chasing a fast 100 down south, next year.
“And when you’ve fully recovered and reflect, you realise you’ve had a great day.
“It’s a strange race to ride because at the start it feels too easy – but you know you have to pace your effort and it’s going to hurt later.
“It’s like a 70 mile warm up then a 30 mile race after it – you find out a lot about your body and mind.”
If there was still a 12 hour, would you ride it?
“It’s funny you should mention that – Nick Tryon is in the Marines and he goes down to 12 and 24 hour races in England and supports Sean Childes; we’ve discussed it but I think a 12 would be my limit.
“Maybe when I’m older and there’s not so much speed but I need a challenge – never say ‘never.’”
With just 29 finishers do you think there’s still a place for the 100 in modern cycling?
“We have this debate about getting time trials off the drag strips and the trouble is that in the central belt you can no longer have 100 courses because of the traffic and road conditions with traffic lights everywhere.
“The North is the only area where you can have them, really – it’s a long drive up and that puts a lot of people off.
“For the time crunched cyclist with family and work to think about it’s a big commitment – in terms of time and money.
“But if you’re talking about the popularity of time trialling – look at the Robbie Robertson Memorial 10 with 130 entries.”
You must be leading the BAR?
“I think so because neither Silas Goldsworthy nor Ben Peacock rode a 100 – I may actually ride two 100’s next season.
“If it fits in then I’ll ride the Aberdeen one as well.”
Do any of your coaching clients ride 100’s.
“None of the male athletes; but Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles) won the ladies event – I’ve been coaching her and that’s a clean sweep for her of 10, 25, 50 and 100.
“Ladies racing has had times when it’s struggled but it’s definitely on the way up.”
And another medal for you in the TTT?
“Yes, we were third with 56:01 behind Paisley Velo [55:28] and Sandy Wallace Cycles [55:49] – it was a super-fast day; we’re all delighted to have got in the medals.
“Everyone rode well on the day and it was good to be so close to winners, in the past we’ve been a couple of minutes away.”
What’s still ‘to do’ this year?
“I have the Robbie Robertson 10 and then the Duo Normand team time trial in France with Sean Childes.
“I’m really looking forward to that – you ride your race in the morning and then in the afternoon you can watch the pros in action.”
“It’s a cracking race with a big nostalgic element but every time I’ve ridden it I’ve produced a howler.
“I tend to descend like a granny on a Zimmer frame – and I don’t like the autumn cold.
“The Campsies is another nice race but you never know – so we’ll never say ‘never’ on both of those events.”