With the ink dry on our Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championships report and thoughts now turning to the ‘25’ we thought we best have a word with the medallists on what was a changeable but ultimately very rapid day.
Bronze: Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo)
Ben was defending champion but had to make do with bronze, this year.
“I’m happy with the ride, 19:59 is pretty quick; but I’m a little disappointed with third after winning last year.
“But you never know how the other guys are going until the morning of the race.
“It was good that the conditions changed for the late starters; it was peeing down and cold when I got there and I had to warm up under an awning.
“But when I got on the course it was great, you could feel yourself riding through pockets of warm air – the conditions were very good in those last 20 minutes.”
We asked if there were any ‘with hindsight’ thoughts about the race?
“I dunno if I paced it well, I maybe went off too quick and didn’t finish as strong as I would have liked (the VeloVeritas stop watch would seem to bear this out – we had Ben dropping a lot of time in the last four miles or so).
“That homeward leg is a bit slower due to poorer surfaces but a bit of it was my fault, maybe switching off and not focussing as I should?”
With the Commonwealth Games on home turf for 2014 we asked if his track training to try and achieve the 4:30 Games qualifying standard had been a good thing for his time trialling?
“Yes and no – I think that the pursuit training can complement your time trial riding but you become so focussed upon it that you’re not looking so much at your time trialling and it suffers.
“Someone like Graeme Obree could do both but it’s difficult to focus on both disciplines – I would say, though that my pursuit training has changed the way I ride time trials.
“I ride much lower gears, now – on Sunday morning I was never in the 11 sprocket whilst previously I was in the 11 and 12 all the time.”
And what of the Games?
“The qualifying time was 4:30 for the pursuit; I did 4:31 and have one more chance, tomorrow – the cut off is May 15th. [Alas, Ben didn’t make the required time, riding 4:36 the other day. ed.]
“I’d love to have gone to the Games but I enjoy my time trialling, it’s where my heart is.
“And I don’t think there was really enough time for us to get familiar with the Velodrome and to develop the track craft and experience.
“There’s the team pursuit too, it’s something we may be able to do in the future but right now we just don’t have the riders.”
And Ben’s plans for the Scottish ‘25’ Champs?
“I’m entered, yes – I’d love to improve upon last year’s silver and whilst Iain Grant is obviously the favourite anything can happen on the morning…”
Four seconds quicker than Ben was perennial flyer and former ‘10’ champion, Arthur…
Silver: Arthur Doyle (Dooley’s Cycles)
Again we kicked off by asking if he was happy with his ride.
“Yes, because I’ve not been as much training and racing as I’d hoped to – and of course Iain’s ride was an excellent one and would have been very hard to beat.
“It’s actually the first time I’ve raced with a power meter on the bike – I didn’t look at it too much during the race but I could have gone faster in the first few miles, I still had too much to give in the last mile.”
And does he like the Irvine course?
“I always feel a wee bit exposed on it with those slip roads running down onto it; and some parts of the surface are broken – you drop a mile or two per hour when you hit them.
“But conditions were first class for the late starters.”
And the Scottish ‘25’ Champs?
“Yes, they’re here at Irvine – I’ll try not to overcook it and do too much top end work, like I usually do.
“But I’m training less these days because the kids are at an age where I have to be taking them places – so my training comprises late night turbo sessions.
“I think the course is two laps of the ‘10’ with that ‘dog leg’ off the roundabout down at the paper mill.
“I didn’t train specifically for the ‘10’ and won’t be for the ‘25’ either – I just have to fit my training in and there’s no real progression to it.
“I only do somewhere between six and ten hours each week so there’s not really the opportunity to peak and taper.”
And finally to the man who’s made Scottish short distance time trialling his own over the last few years; Arthurs’s team mate, Iain;
Gold: Iain Grant (Dooley’s Cycles)
It was a great winning ride from Iain but a bitter-sweet week for the man who took just 19 minutes and 40 seconds to re-establish the status-quo.
Was he happy with the ride?
“Delighted, I couldn’t have asked for more – the conditions for the tail enders were very good, it was as if someone turned the temperature up when I arrived at the start line.
“And the numbers were there; I’d tweaked things a little form the Jason Macintyre Memorial ‘10’ where Chris Smart won.
“I produced the same watts but was on lighter tyres and I’d dropped the front end by 25mm.
“I’m on a Cervélo this year; the Giant was a great bike but because I have a long torso it was hard to get the best fit on it.
“I rode a Cervélo in the past and knew it would be a better fit – I’m getting towards the perfect position on it just a few mm here and there at a time.”
And the Scottish ‘25’ Champs?
“The season is all about targets – and that’s the next one.
“I have the Scottish ‘50’ and ‘100’ Champs and the British ‘10’ and ‘25’ Champs all to come.
“The British ‘10’ is in August on the V718 at Hull – a very fast course and I’m looking forward to that.
The National ‘25’ is in Cumbria so the travelling isn’t an issue.
“I like hilly time trials too but my training is largely indoors and it’s difficult to get in the preparation for that type of race.
“I have a few races to come and then it’ll be the ‘25’ followed by the ’50.”
But there was a bitter part to Iain’s week, too.
“My coach, Terry Bell – the man who took me from being not even being into sport to becoming a national champion died on Monday.
“He was riding from Lands End to John o’Groats and suffered a heart attack.
“The last week has been very difficult and I’ve still not come to terms with it – I didn’t know if I’d be able to ride the ‘10’ but my team mates Tom Gordon and Nick Tryon were very supportive; they helped me through the week and it’s down to them I was on the start line, today.”
A set of circumstances which make Iain’s ride all the more impressive – VeloVeritas extends sympathies to Terry Bell’s family and friends.